Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK
AWESOME ANGLE OF THE WEEK
PLAY AGAINST any sub .700 NFL road favorite off a win if they are scheduled to face the defending Super Bowl champs in their next game.
ATS W-L Record
Since 1980: 15-1 (93%)
5* Raiders UNDER
4* Vikings OVER
3* Titans OVER
5* BEST BET
Baltimore over CLEVELAND by 11
Some teams benefi t more than others from scheduling gifts. The
Ravens are one such club. When they visited Miami two weeks ago,
they were recipients of the Dolphins being cast into the role of a
favorite for the fi rst time this season. They also caught Miami off
three consecutive pointspread wins, two of which were SU underdog
victories. The result: Baltimore (+3) 27, Miami 13. As Yogi Berra would
say, “It’s déjà vu all over again” my friend with the Browns in the
same identical role as outlined above. Better yet, Baltimore brings the
better offense and the better defense into this contest. Yes, it may be
revenge for the Brownies from a 28-10 loss in Crabtown earlier this
year but the fact of the matter is the Black Birds have made a living
of late in this series, going 6-0 ATS the last six meetings. By the book,
Baltimore improves to 8-1 ATS In November against an opponent off
a SU underdog win while Cleveland dips to 1-7 ATS in Eleventh Month
games when hosting a division foe. Again
4* BEST BET
WASHINGTON over Pittsburgh by 14
A myriad of solid handicapping factors are at work in this Monday
night fi ght and we’ll gladly step in and soak all of them up. The
Redskins join fellow division rival Eagles and Giants as the only three
teams in the league to have won the total yardage in all but one game
this season (they won the stats in each of their last seven games). They
are also a Monday night home team off a road game taking on a foe
of a home loss of 7 or more points. Teams in this role are 24-2-1 SU and
21-5-1 ATS since 1980! Tie that into the Steelers’ 3-10 SU and 4-8-1 ATS
record on the Monday night road against an opponent off a win and
you can understand our glee. With new head coach Jim Zorn having
shown a unique tendency to ‘play to the level of the opposition’ (4-0
SU and ATS versus .500 or greater opponents; 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS versus
less than .500 teams), we welcome you to the glee club.
3* BEST BET
Dallas over NY GIANTS by 3
As banged up and depleted as the Cowboys are they still bring a lot to
the table in this contest. And with the number bordering on doubles
we’ll bite. For openers, Dallas has been a dog of more than 6 points
three times in this series dating back to 1991. They won the money all
three times. In addition, they are 10-2 ATS as road dogs when taking on
a division opponent off a SU and ATS loss. More importantly, though,
they own a Top 10 ranked defense that has held two of its last three
foes to season low yards (Tampa Bay and Arizona). The G-Men return
home off a tough, physical battle at Pittsburgh. And that’s a vital key
in this contest as teams are just 7-14 SU and 5-16 ATS in games after
facing Pittsburgh since Mike Tomlin took over the reins last season,
including 2-9 ATS when favored. Dallas devours the Big Apple.
MINNESOTA over Houston by 6
The Texans fi nally hit the asphalt after having been camped out at home
throughout the month of October. Thanks to a scheduling change due to
Hurricane Ike, Houston becomes only the 6th team in NFL annals to take
to the regular season road after having played four straight home games
(FYI: the other fi ve went 2-3 SU and ATS, including 0-3 as dogs of 2 or more
points). Meanwhile, the Vikings hope that their success in November when
playing off a loss in games when they own a losing record continues its
winning charm (8-0 ATS) and is enough to overcome Minny’s 8-game losing
skein against AFC opponents. The Texans’ putrid 3-28 SU mark in their
expansion franchise history in road games off a home game, including 1-11
SU and ATS of late, does not bode well for Houston. Minny breaks its AFC
Jacksonville over CINCINNATI by 3
No one ever aspires to be a pig. Like s**t, it just happens. Once you’ve been
enshrined into the oinker society, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s
a label that doesn’t wash off. To gain admittance into the NFL ‘Ugly Pig’
fraternity all a team needs to do is to lose its fi rst four games of the season.
It’s just that simple. Try as they may, these teams are labeled as losers the
rest of the season. Dress them up as home dogs in games off back-to-back
SU and ATS losses and they respond with aplomb, having gone 33-9 ATS in
this role since 1980! That’s the role for the Cincinnati Pigs, err, Bengals today.
Considering Jacksonville is still looking for its fi rst ATS cover as a favorite
this season (1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS), look for the underdog (8-0 ATS) to remain
perfect in Jags’ games this season in the Pig Pen here today.
Tampa Bay over KANSAS CITY by 10
If you’re a professional hog-caller forget about calling on the Chiefs. Despite
their sorry status they were not born into the ‘Ugly Pig’ family this season.
A shocking win over Denver in Game Four saved them, momentarily, from
swine-status this year. Instead, they are simply a fl at-out bad team. That’s
confi rmed by the fact they have allowed season high – or 2nd high – yardage
in EVERY game they’ve played this season, including season highs the last
four. Speaking of statistics, the Bucs 5th ranked defense is the reason
Tampa is +63 net YPG this season while the Chiefs’ 31st ranked defense is
largely responsible for KC’s –137 net YPG this season. That’s a 200-yard net
differential. No surprise to see the Bucs improve on their glittery 12-1-1 ATS
mark in games off a SU and ATS loss when taking on a .600 or less nondivision
foe. Lay the points, bucko.
BUFFALO Over NY Jets by 6
Key AFC East duel pits 5-2 division leading Buffalo against the 4-3 Jets
with plenty on the line for both teams. Statistically both teams mirror one
another. Biggest concern is a Jet defense that’s coughed up season high – or
2nd high – yardage in three of its last four games. Key edge in the contest
is the fact that Bills’ boss Dick Jauron is 10-2 ATS at home in games off a SU
and ATS division loss in his NFL head coaching career, including 8-1 versus an
opponent off a win. With that, Buffi e goes to 9-0 ATS as a home favorite off
a SU and ATS loss in November. ‘No charge’ for this winning piece of advice.
We’ll Bill you later.
Arizona over ST. LOUIS by 7
It’s amazing what three pointspread wins in a row will do to the complexion
of a ‘pig’ (read: bad team). After opening the season 0-4 and gaining ‘Ugly Pig’
status, the Rams fi red head coach Scott Linehan and promoted Jim Haslett.
Since then, they’ve gone 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS. As a result, today marks the fi rst
time St. Louis will not be getting at least a touchdown from the oddsmaker.
Never a good home dog (1-6 ATS last seven), the Rams are a paltry 2-15 ATS
taking points as a division host when they own a losing record. The Cardinals
9-0 SU and 8-0-1 ATS mark as road favorites from Game Eight out versus an
opponent off a loss of 7 or more points cements it.
CHICAGO over Detroit by 14
Like the Chiefs, the Lions own the distinction of having allowed season high
– or 2nd high – yardage in EVERY game they’ve played this season. Thus,
the race is on for the ‘worst team in the league’ honors. The 425 yards they
surrendered to the Bears in an earlier meeting this season was – surprise
– the Bears’ best effort in 2008. The problem here is Chicago’s 0-7 ATS record
as double-digit chalk against sub .400 opponents off back-to-back losses and
the Lions’ 14-2 spread mark off a double-digit SU and ATS non-division loss.
We’ll let the stat story fend us off the trends and keep our nose out of this
TENNESSEE over Green Bay by 6
Forgive the Titans if they don’t show up for this game today after a 7-0 SU
and ATS start to the season, including Monday night’s big win over former
division kingpin Indianapolis. With the division all but locked up (before the
mid-point of the season!), all that’s left is a PERFECT SEASON. After all, they
are only 2nd team in NFL history to open a campaign with seven wins and
covers in its fi rst seven games. The other? Last year’s New England Patriots,
who went on to win and cover eight in a row (52-7 against Washington)
before the pointspread wheels fell off. Meanwhile, the well-rested Packers
look to stay atop the NFC North Division with Chicago knowing they are 7-3
SU and 8-2 ATS as dogs off a SU non-division underdog win. Are the Titans
this year’s ’18-0’ hope? Nope.
DENVER over Miami by 3
Lots of ammunition for both sides in this battle of two teams that appear
headed in opposite directions. After starting the season with three straight
wins, the Broncos have dropped three of their last four games. The best
news of late has been the Bye Week as it allows Denver an opportunity to
regroup. And regroup is what Mike Shanahan does best as evidenced by
his sterling 15-5 SU and ATS career mark in games with rest, including 12-1
SU and ATS against non-division opponents. Miami has numbers of its own,
like 9-0 ATS as dogs against AFC West Division opposition. The bottom line
for Bronco backers is Denver’s 0-7 ATS mark in its last seven regular season
games in the series puts this one on hold. With that, we’ll make like John
Elway and Dan Marino and pass.
Atlanta over OAKLAND by 6
Who would have believed the Falcons would be sent out as a road favorite
with a rookie quarterback this season? That’s what happens when your team
has won as many games (4) at this stage of the season as they did all of last
year. And, unlike Cleveland above, Atlanta has worn the cloth of favorite this
season (won 38-14 as 6-point favorites against the Chiefs in Week Three). The
home dog Raiders, who have allowed season high – or 2nd high – yardage
in their last three games, will try and improve on a nasty 3-15 ATS home dog
record when taking 8 or less points at McAfee Coliseum. Back the team with
the better running game and the better defense. Back the Falcons.
Philadelphia over SEATTLE by 3
The Eagles scratched and clawed their way to a 5* win for us in the Playbook
last week when Andy Reid kept his brilliant record in games off a Bye Week
intact. Today, however, they travel to the left coast to meet the suddenly
awakened Seahawks in an unattractive AWESOME ANGLE ‘play against’
situation (see page 2) with division rival and defending Super Bowl champion
New York Giants up next. While no team in the league has played better ‘In
The Stats’ than the Eagles (6-1 ITS) this year, we simply can’t ignore the fact
that Andy is a not-so-dandy 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in 2nd games after the Bye
Week when taking on a non-division foe. You know what to do.
INDIANAPOLIS over New England by 10
Pity Peyton. His team has lost as many games before the midway mark of this
2008 season than it did in total in any of the previous three seasons. What
to do? If you’re a believer, you don’t bail. If you’re a cynic you point out the
fact that they could realistically be 1-6 rather than 3-4 were it not for a few
late-game gifts from the Vikings and Texans. But as Bill Parcells likes to say,
“You are what your record says.” Since we’re believers, we point out the
fact that head coach Tony Dungy is 32-18-2 ATS in his NFL career at home
with revenge, including 7-0 SU and ATS when playing off a loss of 7 or more
points. With defending Super Bowl losers a miserable 25-50-2 ATS on the
non-division road against an opponent seeking revenge, look for things to
get back to the norm at Peyton’s place today
5* Raiders UNDER
4* Vikings OVER
3* Titans OVER
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
THE GOLD SHEET
VIRGINIA by 9 over Miami-Florida
MINNESOTA by 17 over Northwestern
TEXAS A&M by 14 over Colorado
SOUTH CAROLINA by 17 over Tennessee
VIRGINIA 28 - Miami-Florida 19—Acknowledge young Hurricanes’
recent uptick, as well as their desire to pay back Virginia for LY’s humiliating
home loss in final game ever at storied Orange Bowl. Still, prefer to support
cohesive Cavalier bunch that’s in ACC Coastal driver’s seat after 4 straight
victories. Rapidly-maturing soph QB Verica (72% during win streak) &
relentless sr. RB Peerman lead victory at Charlottesville, where host UVa is 28-
12 its last 40 vs. spread.
(07-Va. 48-MIAMI 0...V.21-9 V.39/130 M.39/95 V.20/25/1/288 M.9/21/3/94 V.0 M.2)
(07-Virginia +3' 48-0 06-VIRGINIA +3 17-7 05-MIAMI -17' 25-17...SR: Miami-Fla. 3-2
MINNESOTA 34 - Northwestern 17—Northwestern could be without
both star RB Sutton (wrist surgery) and QB Bacher (hamstring injury at Indiana)
in addition to MLB Arrington (knee) in this game. Moreover, Wildats run into
resurgent, hot Minny side that’s covered 6 straight and owns the most prolific
pass combo in Big Ten with QB Adam Weber and WR Eric Decker. Bacher
(assuming he can go) has thrown 10 ints. & just 7 TD passes in his last 5 games,
and the Gophers lead the nation in turnover margin. Gophers shooting for first
January game since ’62 Rose Bowl. TV—ESPN2
(07-NW 49-Minn. 48 (OT)...N.28-26 M.44/239 N.28/119 N.41/59/0/470 M.25/38/2/341 N.1 M.0)
(07-NORTHWESTERN -6' 49-48 (OT)...SR: Minnesota 49-29-5)
*SOUTH CAROLINA 27 - Tennessee 10—With UT’s embroiled HC
Fulmer’s “hot seat” sizzling following another listless offensive showing in 29-9
Knoxville loss vs. Bama, must support rested, double-revenge-minded USC,
primed to snap aggravating 4-game home losing streak vs. SEC foes. ‘Cocks
parsimonious defense (SEC-low 256 ypg; 16 ppg) sets up favorable field
position for emerging, mobile QB Garcia, who is already much more efficient than
Vols shaky soph counterpart Stephens (no meaningful TD vs. Tide). TV—ESPN2
(07-TENN. 27-S. Car. 24 (OT)...S.31-16 S.39/171 T.28/101 S.34/50/2/330 T.26/45/1/216 T.0 S.2)
(07-TENN. -3 27-24 (OT) 06-Tenn. -3' 31-24 05-Usc +13' 16-15...SR: Tennessee 21-3-2)
TEXAS A&M 38 - Colorado 24—Quick-footed true frosh QB Tyler
Hansen (16 for 30 rushing, 12 of 16 for 72 YP) got his first start for Colorado in
last week’s 58-0 blasting by Mizzou. He’s way behind rapidly-developing 6-5
A&M soph Jerrod Johnson, who ran Mike Sherman’s West Coast offense like
a pro at Iowa State, hitting 31 of 39 for 381 YP for 4 TDs, despite the Aggies’
makeshift receiving corps. Sherman still searching for more defense, however.
(05-COLORADO -3 41-20...SR: Colorado 5-2)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30
*South Florida 28 - CINCINNATI 20—Well-coached Bearcats usually a
tough nut to crack as underdog, and home-lovin’ USF has been sub-par play vs.
spread on road lately. But with Cincy’s QB situation muddled (see Special
Ticker), HUGE edge under center possessed by Bulls with jr. gunslinger Grothe
might ultimately be too much for host to overcome. The überconfident Grothe
hit 11 different receivers for his 344 YP at Louisville last week, while bumbling
Bearcat offense was 0 of 14 on third down during ugly loss at UConn. CABLE
(07-Cincy 38-S. FLA. 33...S.27-14 C.38/137 S.37/99 S.31/54/4/382 C.14/32/1/238 C.1 S.4)
(07-Cincy +5 38-33 06-CINCY +1' 23-6 05-USF -20 31-16...SR: Cincinnati 3-2)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1
BOWLING GREEN 26 - Kent State 24—Return to form of Kent RB Eugene
Jarvis (105 YR, 4 rush TDs vs. Miami) indicates Flashes capable of hanging
within number vs. BG side that can’t run (107th in rushing) and has problems
stopping the run (97th). Falcons have dropped 12 of last 14 spread decisions at
home, and Jarvis had 168 YR and 3 scores against BG in ’07. Visitor 8-0 vs.
number TY in Falcons’ games.
(07-B. Green 31-KENT ST. 20...K.19-18 K.56/254 B.31/197 B.14/25/0/184 K.8/13/0/128 B.0 K.1)
(07-Bgu +5 31-20 06-Ksu +7 38-3 05-Bgu -11 24-14...SR: Bowling Green 53-16-6)
INDIANA 36 - Central Michigan 27—CMU welcomed back MAC MVP QB
Dan LeFevour from injury last week, and he looked sharp (24 of 31 for 242 YP
vs. Toledo). Conversely, Indiana has been playing without starting QB Kellen
Lewis (ankle), but upset Northwestern last week with soph Ben Chappell at the
controls (219 YP). Hoosier defense looked improved in holding NW’s spread
attack to just a pair of TDs, and a win here keeps Indiana in bowl picture.
(05-Ind. -7' 20-13...SR: Indiana 3-0)
Air Force 20 - ARMY 17—Don’t look now, but Army one of nation’s hottest
teams vs. spread (covered last 5!) since HC Stan Brock went “back to the
future” and reinstalled the old option offense that worked so well in ‘80s and ‘90s
at West Point. Meanwhile, switch to true frosh QB Jefferson (completed 1 pass
last week vs. Lobos) not exactly balancing Air Force version of option. Black
Knight “D” (allowing only 15 ppg last 4) robust by academy standards. CABLE
(07-AFA 30-Army 10...Af.24-10 Af.67/437 Ar.26/17 Ar.14/33/0/164 Af.9/12/1/105 Af.0 Ar.0)
(07-AFA -16' 30-10 06-Afa -6 43-7 05-Army +11' 27-24...SR: Air Force 28-13-1)
*Louisville 35 - SYRACUSE 13—Cardinals fell victim to one of the biggest
upsets in college football history during LY’s meeting at Louisville. Strongarmed
sr. QB Cantwell & mesmerizing RS frosh RB Victor Anderson (727 YR on
6.4 ypc) help resurgent Cards avenge that loss and drive another nail into good-asgone
HC Greg Robinson’s coffin at staggering Syracuse (only 1 cover in last 8 as
home dog). TV—ESPNU
(07-Syr. 38-LVL. 35...L.37-16 L.28/73 S.35/42 L.45/65/2/555 S.17/26/0/423 S.2 L.2)
(07-Syr. +37 38-35 06-Lvl. -17' 28-13 05-LVL. -36 41-17...SR: Syracuse 4-3)
CONNECTICUT 20 - West Virginia 19—Most of well-regarded HC Edsall’s
off-season tweaks to UConn defense were designed to counteract recent
carnage inflicted on Huskies by quick-striking West Virginia offense. Mounties
not as potent TY, so even if UConn still down to 3rd-string QB (see Special
Ticker), host’s hot streak at Hartford (11 straight victories, 15-5 vs. spread last
20 on line) might continue.
(07-W. VA. 66-Conn. 21...W.26-22 W.52/517 C.50/203 C.18/34/0/189 W.9/13/1/107 W.0 C.3)
(07-WVA -19 66-21 06-Wva -23 37-11 05-WVA -15 45-13...SR: West Virginia 4-0)
Iowa 24 - ILLINOIS 20—Iowa has beaten Illinois 5 straight times, and rested
Hawkeyes are one of the surprises in the Big Ten this season, thanks to RB
Shonn Greene’s 144 ypg rushing and 10 TDs. The Illini have intercepted only
3 passes all year (none in the last 6 games), and QB Juice Williams was held
in check at Wisconsin last week. Iowa QB Stanzi has completed 66% with 5
TDPs & just 2 ints. in last 5 games. Hawkeye defense is 5th in scoring and pass
efficiency. REG. TV—ABC
(07-IOWA 10-Ill. 6...Ia.21-15 Ia.47/141 Il.35/137 Ia.17/25/0/182 Il.12/20/1/150 Ia.1 Il.1)
(07-IOWA +4 10-6 06-Iowa -21 24-7 05-IOWA -18' 35-7...SR: Illinois 37-29-2)
WAKE FOREST 23 - Duke 20—Absolutely no interest in laying substantial
points with Wake (just 4-14 as home chalk since ‘03), as discombobulated
Deacon offense has produced only 2 TDs in first 4 ACC games. Duke QB Lewis
has fired 31 TDP & only 13 ints. last 1+ seasons, and 4-3 Blue Devils will battle
hard to boost surprising bowl hopes.
(07-W. For. 41-DUKE 36...W.18-16 W.42/115 D.31/95 D.21/47/2/291 W.22/30/1/221 W.0 D.0)
(07-Wfu -7' 41-36 06-WFU -20' 14-13 05-Wfu -13' 44-6...SR: Duke 53-33-2)
OKLAHOMA STATE 51 - Iowa State 13—With OSU’s defense much
improved in second year under coordinator Tim Beckman, believe Cowboys
can overcome the disappointment of their 28-24 loss in Austin. ISU has lost six
straight, yielding 34 or more in last five. Mike Gundy 9-0 last nine as a DD
favorite (He’s “a man!”).REG. TV—ABC
(05-IOWA STATE -14 37-10...SR: Oklahoma State 23-17-3)
Missouri 44 - BAYLOR 20—Missouri re-established its ground game last
week (189 YR vs. Colorado) after generating only 64 & 30 YR in back-to-back
losses to Oklahoma State & Texas. Thus, prone to lay the points with sr. Chase
Daniel (77%, 23 TDs, 6 ints.) and Tigers, who have covered four straight as a
road favorite. Dynamic frosh QB Robert Griffin has the Baylor offense
ascending; defense still shorthanded vs. premium foes.
(05-MISSOURI -9 31-16...SR: Missouri 9-2)
MISSISSIPPI 26 - Auburn 17—Since struggling Auburn (3 straight losses
for 1st time since ‘99!) still lacks any identity on offense (running spread with
more I-formation), favor chemistry-rich Ole Miss, eager to snap 4-game series
losing streak. Rebels own much more big-play capability with quick-releasing
QB Snead (1673 YP, 12 TDs), who is able to run play-action against a faltering
Tiger defense that allowed a whopping 445 yds. in 34-17 defeat at WV. AU’s
unpolished QB Burns & RBs well-contained by Rebels aggressive front 7 (just
3.1 ypc). Tuberville’s tottering troops just 1-8 vs. spread last 9.
(07-AUB. 17-Miss. 3...A.22-15 A.48/231 M.29/70 A.16/26/0/189 M.14/28/1/123 A.1 M.0)
(07-AUBURN -18 17-3 06-Auburn -18' 23-17 05-AUBURN -20' 27-3...SR: Auburn 24-8)
WYOMING 31 - San Diego State 24—The only thing we’re sure about in this
snoozer is that Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit will not be in Laramie
this week. True, Wyo going on 14 months since its last cover (0-15-1 last 16 vs.
line!), but not even Cowboys feeble enough to rank last in both national rush “O”
and rush “D” stats at midseas,on as did SDSU. And since Wyo actually owns 2
home wins TY, anti-Aztec argument a slightly easier sell.
(07-S. DIEGO ST. 27-Wyo. 24...W.18-16 W.47/91 S.24/58 S.20/45/2/249 W.22/30/1/159 S.0 W.0)
(07-SDS +4 27-24 06-WYO. -15 27-24 05-SDS -7' 34-21...SR: Wyoming 15-14)
WESTERN MICHIGAN 38 - Eastern Michigan 28—WMU QB Hiller has
been on fire (1163 YP, 10 TD passes last 3 games), but Broncos have yielded
64 points in last 2 and rank 90th in pass defense. EMU defense even more
terrible, but Eagle QB Andy Schmitt has engineered a win at Bowling Green and
a cover at Ball State this season, and has thrown for 567 yards & 5 TDs in last
(07-E. MICH. 19-W. Mich. 2...E.21-13 E.52/255 W.23/53 W.13/27/3/146 E.15/28/1/137 E.0 W.3)
(07-EMU +5 19-2 06-WMU -15 18-15 05-Wmu -3' 44-36...SR: W. Michigan 26-14-2)
Tulsa 38 - ARKANSAS 34—Though ranked Tulsa stepping up in class after
competing in defensively-shy C-USA, still support BCS-hopeful Golden
Hurricane in last major hurdle for an undefeated season. Highly-explosive
Tulsa attack (56 ppg), led by dynamic QB David Johnson (69%, 31 TDs), should
continue to prosper vs. immature, yielding Arkansas defense (SEC-worst 360
ypg & 32 ppg). Hogs workhorse RB M. Smith (920 YR) gets his yards, but not
enough to cover number at home, where UA is 1-5 as a dog since ‘05.
(DNP...SR: Arkansas 51-16-3)
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
NOTRE DAME 31 - Pittsburgh 20—Panther defense was ranked first in Big
East (and No. 10 in nation) against the pass last week before being summarily
shredded for 6 TDP in home loss to Rutgers. Pitt’s scintillating soph McCoy
(835 YR & 14 TDs) is best RB on field by far, but grooving Irish soph QB Clausen
(1206 YP & 9 TDP with only 3 ints. in last 4 games) & blossoming true frosh WR
Floyd likely to heap more abuse on Panther secondary. TV—NBC
(05-Notre Dame +3 42-21...SR: Notre Dame 44-18-1)
Fresno State 23 - LOUISIANA TECH 22—Ruston ain’t Baton Rouge, but La
Tech is one different Bulldog at home (3-0 SU). And Sarah Palin had yet to become
the official GOP VP nominee the last time Fresno covered a game (Sept. 1).
Although slowed by rain at Army, LT “O” previously showed lots of life behind new
QB Jenkins in last home game vs. Idaho. Fresno turning Pat Hill’s hair and fu
manchu gray after series of nailbiters (4 decided by 3 or fewer!).
(07-FRES. ST. 17-La. Tech 6...L.21-14 F.43/170 L.38/100 L.23/49/0/182 F.8/22/1/92 F.0 L.0)
(07-FSU -12 17-6 06-Fsu -13 34-27 05-Tech +22' 40-28...SR: Fresno State 7-2)
Hawaii 30 - UTAH STATE 27—Acknowledge recent Hawaii uptick (3-1 SU,
4-0 vs. line last 4) that, if nothing else, has bowl organizers in Honolulu excited
that Warriors might save the live gate for Sheraton Bowl at Aloha Stadium. But
not too comfy recommending UH if Greg McMackin continues his QB merry-goround
(used Funaki, Graunke, and Alexander last week vs. Nevada) on road. USU
and livewire QB Borel still battling hard for under-fire HC Guy.
(07-HI. 52-Utah St. 37...H.23-21 U.44/123 H.19/47 H.28/38/1/465 U.21/29/0/247 H.0 U.1)
(07-HAWAII -39' 52-37 06-Hawaii -26' 63-10 05-HAWAII -17 50-23...SR: EVEN 4-4)
Florida 38 - Georgia 30—With this heavyweight SEC showdown probably
deciding the East Division champ, will side with healthy, hummin’ Florida
(outscored last 3 foes 152-33), eager to avenge LY’s painful 42-30 loss (see
Looking for an Angle). Respect UGA’s terrific triumverate of QB Stafford, RB
Moreno & WR A.J. Green. But believe Gators imaginative attack—featuring QB
Tebow (leads SEC in pass efficiency), WR Harvin (at least one TDC in 5 straight
games) & burgeoning frosh RBs Demps & Rainey—make a few more gamechanging
plays vs. Bulldog 2ndary that’s allowed 13 TDP (UF only 5). Also,
mistake-producing Gators (+10 TO margin), which is excelling on STs (4blocked punts TY;
40 for Meyer-coached teams), haven’t dropped two straight
in series since ‘89. (at Jacksonville, FL) TV—CBS
(07-Georgia 42-Florida 30...19-19 G.44/196 F.35/107 F.14/22/0/236 G.11/18/1/217 G.0 F.2)
(07-Ga. +7' 42-30 06-Fla. -13' 21-14 05-Fla. -4 14-10 all at J’ville...SR: Georgia 46-37-2)
SOUTHERN CAL 49 - Washington 0—If it took U-Dub into the 2nd half
before it could cross midfield against Notre Dame, it might take Jake Lockerless
Huskies all week to take a snap on other side of 50 vs. voracious USC “D,”
allowing a nation’s-low 8.1 ppg. And though Trojans have surprisingly failed to
cover last 3 in series, Pete Carroll could be excused for playing “poll ball”
considering that other one-loss BCS hopefuls are running up scores each week.
(07-S. Cal 27-WASH. 24...S.20-15 S.39/224 W.33/100 S.20/37/2/236 W.13/28/1/90 S.1 W.1)
(07-Usc -20' 27-24 06-USC -19 26-20 05-Usc -30 51-24...SR: Southern Cal 48-26-4)
*OKLAHOMA 52 - Nebraska 24—OU’s seemingly unstoppable shotgun, nohuddle
offense (48 ppg; 55 in the first H last week at K-State) now getting more
help from RB DeMarco Murray (knee injury late LY). But the Sooner defense is
mystifying its coaches with its allowance of 37 ppg the last 3. NU’s Bo Pelini
(former Stoops assistant) can score with sr. QB Ganz (70%, 15 TDP) and has
plugged some of the Huskers’ many defensive leaks. But, enough of them?
(06-Okl. -3' 21-7 at K. City 05-Okl. +1 31-24...SR: Okla. 43-37-3)
Oregon 31 - CALIFORNIA 30—Return of Oregon QB Roper to active status
gives Mike Bellotti as full an offensive deck as he’s had since early September.
And with either Roper or juco Masoli at controls, o.c. Chip Kelly’s creative
spread can stretch the Cal “D” that was burned repeatedly the last time it saw this
many weapons (Oct. 18 loss at Arizona). Not sure Bears can count on a couple of
int. TDs to extend margin as was case vs. limited UCLA. REG. TV—ABC
(07-Cal. 31-ORE. 24...O.27-21 O.39/191 C.33/115 O.31/44/2/306 C.28/43/0/285 C.0 O.2)
(07-Cal. +6' 31-24 06-CAL. -5 45-24 05-ORE. -2' 27-20 (OT)...SR: California 38-30-2)
NAVY 20 - Temple 17—Respect job HC Niumatalolo has done with Navy, as
Middies have won and covered 4 of last 5 to pull into bowl contention. However,
Temple has enough athletes up front on defense to slow down Navy running
game, and return of Owl QB DiMichele a boost (he threw winning TD pass with
1:51 left vs. Ohio).
(07-Navy 30-TEMPLE 19...N.21-16 N.56/361 T.25/74 T.21/29/2/199 N.3/7/0/78 N.2 T.0)
(07-Navy -21 30-19 06-NAVY -32 42-6 05-NAVY -27' 38-17...SR: EVEN 4-4)
KANSAS 38 - Kansas State 34—Don’t trust either to stop the other’s
capable QB, so side with K-State (four straight covers as dog). KU has been
burned for 45 & 63 points last two games, with QB Reesing suffering 7 sacks &
5 ints., partly due inconsistent Jayhawk rushing. Wildcat QB Josh Freeman (15
TDP, 13 TDR) should be able to keep KSU in the hunt.
(07-Kansas 30-KAN. ST. 24...U.24-17 U.39/170 S.21/53 S.32/49/3/310 U.22/36/3/267 U.0 S.0)
(07-Kansas +3' 30-24 06-KANSAS -2' 39-20 05-KSU -6 12-3...SR: Kansas 64-36-5)
*Texas 30 - TEXAS TECH 27—Colt McCoy has hit 81.8% of his passes for
21 TDs with 4 ints., while Graham Harrell’s number are 71.1%, 28 & 5. McCoy
has faced the tougher opposition, but that’s an issue, as this is UT’s fourth
straight game against top-flight teams who totaled one loss between them! TT
defense improved TY, with 14 picks. But the Longhorns still have the better
athletes overall and are second in the country with 29 sacks. Red Raiders have
allowed only three! TV—ABC
(07-TEXAS 59-Tex. Tech 43...U.33-26 U.62/283 T.7/10 T.36/48/1/466 U.21/30/1/268 U.0 T.0)
(07-TEXAS -6' 59-43 06-Texas -10' 35-31 05-TEXAS -16 52-17...SR: Texas 43-14)
Michigan 21 - PURDUE 16—Feel Rich Rodriguez’ & Michigan have a better
chance of picking themselves up off the canvas and continuing the fight than
lame-duck Tiller’s Purdue side. Boiler QB Painter suffered a shoulder injury vs.
Minny and didn’t return, and replacement Joey Elliott is out for the season, so
it could be soph Justin Siller leading Boilers to a sixth straight loss.
(07-MICH. 48-Purd. 21...M.25-13 M.43/189 P.25/39 M.22/30/0/269 P.29/47/2/253 M.2 P.2)
(07-MICHIGAN -5 48-21...SR: Michigan 41-12)
MICHIGAN STATE 21 - Wisconsin 20—Wisconsin’s win against Illinois a
major lift for the Badgers, and QB Dustin Sherer’s success could carry over vs.
Spartans despite another injury to TE Travis Beckum (leg fracture). MSU can’t
be blamed for having a bit of a hangover after winning at rival Michigan for the
first time since ‘90. Spartans have scored only 16 ppg in last 4 at home, with
defenses stacked vs. star RB Ringer (1373 YR). CABLE TV—ESPN
(07-WIS. 37-Mich. St. 34...W.25-22 M.37/241 W.52/214 M.22/36/0/323 W.17/25/2/247 W.0 M.1)
(07-WISCONSIN -7' 37-34...SR: Michigan State 26-20)
BOSTON COLLEGE 23 - Clemson 14—Backing BC is a teeth-gnashing
endeavor these days, as QB Crane’s proclivity for killer turnovers (6 ints. last 2
games, 3 taken back for TDs and 1 returned to goal line) making Eagle games
exceedingly unpredictable. Miid-season coaching change not enough reason
to support Clemson (0-5 vs. spread), however, especially with QBs Harper &
Korn both hurting. CABLE TV—ESPNU
(07-Bos. Col. 20-CLEM. 17...B.26-21 B.34/60 C.31/47 B.31/47/1/315 C.26/40/1/226 B.0 C.0)
(07-Bc +8' 20-17 06-BC +2 34-33 (OT) 05-Bc +3 16-13 (OT)...SR: Boston Col. 8-7-2)
San Jose State 41 - IDAHO 17—Idaho turned to Princeton (RB McCarty,
that is, with 160 YR last week) to break 9-game Kibbie Dome drought vs. FBSlevel
foes against NMSU. But Vandals might need help from Yale and
Dartmouth in order to get over hump vs. San Jose bunch that has taken care of
business vs. lesser opposition lately (covered last 9 as chalk!). Spartan QB
Reed will feel like he’s on a date with Beyonce’ this week after dealing with
rugged Boise “D” last week.
(07-S. JOSE ST. 28-Idaho 20...S.23-13 I.43/183 S.48/134 S.22/30/1/302 I.8/15/2/68 S.0 I.0)
(07-SJSU -7 28-20 06-Sjsu -6' 28-13 05-SJSU -7' 26-18...SR: San Jose State 11-7-1)
*Byu 30 - COLORADO STATE 24—Now that BYU’s postseason goals likely
involve bowls in Fort Worth and Las Vegas instead of the BCS, Cougs (no
covers last 4) appear either uninterested or unable to clear sizable imposts.
Either way, scrappy CSU (3-0 vs. line at Fort Collins) has enough pop to hang,
especially with RB G. Johnson providing nice offensive balance and QB Farris
developing noticeable rapport with quality TE Sperry (3 TD catches at SDSU).
(07-BYU 35-Colo. St. 16...B.21-20 C.43/150 B.38/106 B.22/31/1/355 C.18/35/1/161 B.1 C.0)
(07-BYU -21 35-16 06-Byu -15 24-3 05-BYU +2' 24-14...SR: BYU 36-27-3)
STANFORD 45 - Washington State 6—Although previous night’s
Halloween could prove nice diversion for Wazzu (Cougs can trick-or-treat as
themselves!), another dose of reality awaits outmanned Palouse bunch that’s
allowing more points vs. Pac-10 foes (58 ppg!) than Tony Bennett’s Wazzu
hoopsters. Chance for Jim Harbaugh to have Stanford take out some frustrations
and restore confidence of QB Pritchard for bowl-deciding stretch run.
(07-WASH. ST. 33-Stan. 17...W.27-23 S.47/113 W.31/112 W.32/47/0/449 S.22/40/2/263 W.3 S.1)
(07-WSU -11 33-17 06-Wsu -10 26-10 05-Stan. +14 24-21...SR: Stanford 32-25-1)
*Boise State 42 - NEW MEXICO STATE 14—Number rising following
NMS’s loss at lowly Idaho, but that won’t dissuade us from laying the lumber
with poll-conscious, defensively-fierce BSU, allowing a meager 5 meaningful
TDs over last 6 games. Broncos highly-creative, balanced attack (51 ppg last
3 meetings) once again overwhelms soft Aggie defense (35 ppg) that allowed
Vandals to rumble for season-high 271 YR & almost 6 ypc.
(07-BOISE ST. 58-Nms 0...B.27-7 B.43/233 N.26/M19 B.24/36/0/371 N.15/28/3/108 B.0 N.0)
(07-BSU -24' 58-0 06-Bsu -26' 40-28 05-BSU -33 56-6...SR: Boise State 8-0)
MISSISSIPPI STATE 19 - Kentucky 13—Unless number over-inflated as a
result of UK’s 63-5 debacle at Florida, would rather buck Wildcat squad
resembling a MASH unit these days. MSU’s developing QB Lee (10 different
receivers in 31-22 win vs. Middle Tennessee) & RB Dixon (599 YR) on the
upswing, while true frosh QB/RB/WR Cobb has prematurely become the
centerpiece on a decimated UK attack. Number sensitive, since Bulldogs 0-5
as Starkville chalk since ‘05.
(07-Miss. St. 31-KY. 14...M.22-19 M.51/200 K.27/89 K.24/42/3/230 M.17/28/0/152 M.1 K.3)
(07-Msu +13' 31-14 06-Ky. -1 34-31 05-KY. -1 13-7...SR: Kentucky 20-15)
GEORGIA TECH 19 - Florida State 16—Sure, four straight wins find Florida
State’s bandwagon filling fast. But ACC scouts quick to remind us that Va. Tech
offense was moving very effectively last week at Tallahassee before Hokies lost
their top 2 QBs. Young but jelling Seminole OL figures to have its hands full with
talented, veteran Ga. Tech DL, so Ramblin’ Wreck option should generate
enough offense for host to prevail. REG. TV—ABC
(DNP...SR: Florida State 12-7-1)
*LSU 44 - Tulane 10—Sandwich spot for LSU, but look for angry, focused
Tigers to feast on sliding, demoralized Tulane, which trailed Rice 35-0 at
intermission week ago. Ouch! LSU’s punishing ground attack overpowers
wound-licking Green Wave front 7 (gave up 230 YR vs. Owls!), while QB J. Lee
rebounds from 3-pick effort vs. Georgia (two returned for Dawg TDs). Resilient
Tigers are 8-1-1 vs. spread last 10 following SU loss.
(07-Lsu 34-TULANE 9...L.16-12 L.38/134 T.33/88 L.17/32/1/257 T.12/32/1/139 L.0 T.2)
(07-Lsu -41' 34-9 06-LSU -36' 49-7...SR: LSU 67-22-7)
*Tcu 33 - UNLV 13—UNLV at least not evaporating down stretch as it has in
recent seasons, but succession of gut-wrenching defeats (last 3 losses decided
in final minute) apt to take toll on Rebels. No comparison in defensive
competence (TCU ranks 2nd, UNLV 108th), and BCS-hopeful Frogs (only loss
vs. Oklahoma) starting to stretch the field once again now that soph QB Dalton
has returned to lineup.
(07-TCU 34-Unlv 10...T.27-13 T.58/251 U.22/12 U.18/30/1/235 T.12/23/1/126 T.0 U.1)
(07-TCU -18 34-10 06-Tcu -20 25-10 05-TCU -29 51-3...SR: TCU 5-1)
*SOUTHERN MISS 32 - Uab 30—Golden Eagles hungry (starving?) for
victory after 5 straight losses. But USM’s defensive woes—allowed 516 yards
& 36 points at Memphis last week even though Tigers were down to their 3rd and
4th-string QBs—acute enough to compel us to take points with hard-trying
Blazers & resourceful jr. QB Webb.
(07-S. Miss 37-UAB 7...S.25-13 S.56/338 U.26/65 U.17/37/1/179 S.11/24/0/118 S.1 U.1)
(07-Usm -11 37-7 06-USM -14' 25-20 05-Usm +2' 37-28...SR: Southern Miss 8-0)
*Rice 47 - UTEP 41—Have little doubt that quick-trigger soph QB Vittatoe
(41 TDP, only 11 ints. last 1+ seasons) & potent Miners will “get theirs” against
vulnerable Rice defense. Won’t buck plucky Owls, however, especially now
that prolific sr. QB Clement (74 TDP, 19 TDR last 2+ seasons!) getting
increased ground support from jr. RB Ugokwe.
(07-RICE 56-Utep 48...R.26-23 R.34/163 U.33/49 R.32/58/3/395 U.30/57/0/373 R.4 U.3)
(07-RICE +7' 56-48 06-Rice +9 37-31 05-Utep -19' 38-31...SR: Rice 6-5)
*Utah 30 - NEW MEXICO 17—Rocky Long’s UNM teams have been known to
rise to the occasion in dog role, but circumstances not especially conducive to Lobo
recommendation here. That’s because Lobo o.c. Baldwin has had to scale back
playbook with RS frosh Gruner and juco T. Smith alternating in place of injured
Donovan Porterie at QB. And unbeaten, rested Utah (off “bye”) well-aware a close
might not help very real BCS dreams.
(07-UTAH 28-N. Mex. 10...U.19-15 U.44/138 N.31/81 N.18/41/0/198 U.17/28/1/172 U.1 N.4)
(07-UTAH -15 28-10 06-UNM +6 34-31 05-Unm +6 31-27...SR: Utah 30-17-2)
*OREGON STATE 40 - Arizona State 17—Whatever magic Dennis Erickson
was weaving upon his arrival at ASU has long since disappeared, as free-falling
Sun Devils have lost last 5 SU and have dropped 10 of last 11 vs. line. And noshow
home effort vs. Oregon indicates troops showing no signs of rallying down
stretch. Meanwhile, hot OSU has covered last 5, as the brothers Rodgers ignite
Beav infantry and fuel another late-season uptick for Mike Riley. Note home
team 16-2-1 vs. line last 19 in series!
(07-ARIZ. ST. 44-Ore. St. 32...O.28-19 O.32/190 A.36/35 A.25/36/1/361 O.28/48/5/324 A.1 O.1)
(07-ASU -11' 44-32 06-OSU -2 44-10 05-Asu -6' 42-24...SR: Arizona State 23-9-1)
WESTERN KENTUCKY 41 - North Texas 20—Pick your poison. Lightpunching
WKU hasn’t scored more than 20 points against an FBS foe TY, but
bottom-of-barrel North Texas (just 12-28-1 vs. spread last 41 on line!) allowing
50 ppg and frequently fails to stay inside much roomier imposts.
(07-N. TEX 27-W. Ky. 26...N.23-21 W.46/226 N.34/195 N.20/42/3/202 W.15/23/0/123 N.0 W.2)
(07-NORTH TEXAS (NL) 27-26...SR: North Texas 1-0)
ALABAMA 30 - Arkansas State 10—The “Nicktator” finally extracted a full 4
Qs from his team in 29-9 romp at Tennessee, but still lean to scrappy, rested
ASU, accustomed to big, hostile environs such as College Station, Austin &
Knoxville last 1+Ys (covered two of those). Red Wolves mult-talented QB
Leonard (11 TDs, 3 ints., 554 YR) does enough business to hang inside big
spread in Tuscaloosa, where distracted Tide is a woeful 3-17 as chalk since ‘05.
Oh, by the way, Nick Saban has a little lookahead with his former LSU next week.
(DNP...SR: Ala. 1-0)
*LA.-LAFAYETTE 31 - Florida Intl. 28—Go-with vs. go-with, as these two
are combined 11-2-1 vs. spread so far TY. Even if slippery sr. QB Desormeaux
back in action (as expected) for Ragin’ Cajuns, prefer to take points with
(07-La.-Laf. 38-FIU 28...L.27-16 L.54/287 F.42/264 L.16/19/0/177 F.11/19/0/127 L.2 F.1)
(07-Ull -3' 38-28 06-Ull -4' 17-7 05-ULL -9 28-7...SR: La.-Lafayette 5-0)
*Troy 31 - LA.-MONROE 27—Troy hasn’t missed a beat since Richmond
transfer Levi Brown (school-record 40 completions vs. North Texas!) replaced
injured Jamie Hampton at QB. But scrappy Monroe rarely loses touch vs. Sun
Belt opposition. And if Warhawks not too depressed by last-second loss vs.
Florida Atlantic, versatile QB Lancaster capable of keeping hosts within reach.
(07-TROY 24-La.-Mon. 7...T.20-14 L.40/189 T.26/101 T.29/49/2/288 L.18/26/1/114 T.0 L.2)
(07-TROY -13 24-7 06-TROY -9' 24-19 05-ULM +2 27-3...SR: Troy 7-2-1)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2
*East Carolina 29 - UCF 19—Although LY’s move to new on-campus
stadium has provided UCF (6-2-1 vs. spread last 9 as host) with significant
home-field edge, can’t support Golden Knights until their moribund offense
(nation’s-worst 248 ypg thru first 6) shows more signs of life. ECU has two QBs
capable of leading its attack, and Pirates determined not to lose inside track in
C-USA East chase. CABLE TV—ESPN
(07-E. CAR. 52-Ucf 38...U.29-16 U.42/187 E.37/160 U.28/48/3/308 E.15/27/0/210 E.0 U.2)
(07-ECU +3' 52-38 06-Ecu -5' 23-10 05-Ucf +1' 30-20...SR: East Carolina 6-1)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4
*BUFFALO vs. Miami-Ohio—Check www.goldsheet.com for this one!
(07-MIAMI 31-Buf. 28...M.21-18 M.39/216 B.27/103 M.20/26/0/259 B.33/45/0/217 M.2 B.1)
(07-MIAMI -6' 31-28 06-Miami -7' 38-31 05-MIAMI -27' 54-13...SR: Miami-Ohio 10-0)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5
*BALL STATE vs. Northern Illinois—Check www.goldsheet.com for this
one! CABLE TV—ESPNU
(07-Ball 27-N. ILL. 21...B.19-17 B.31/44 N.28/M1 B.23/35/0/326 N.25/45/1/262 B.0 N.1)
(07-Bsu -9 27-21 06-Niu -6' 40-28 05-Bsu +29 31-17...SR: Ball State 19-14-2)
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
THE GOLD SHEET
CLEVELAND by 13 over Baltimore
N.Y. GIANTS by 20 over Dallas
OVER THE TOTAL in the Detroit-Chicago game
CLEVELAND 23 - Baltimore 10—In its last home game, the aroused
Cleveland defense made Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champs look like
chumps, the Browns winning 35-14. In fact, the improved Cleveland defensive
unit has allowed only 12, 14, 14 & 17 points its last four games! The Browns’
major question of 2008 remains whether QB Derek Anderson (56.5%, 29 TDs,
19 ints. LY; 49%, 6 & 7 TY) can regain his big-play form. He was sacked 5 times
and intercepted thrice by the Ravens in Week Two. But, now, it’s payback time
for Cleveland vs. Joe Flacco. Browns four straight covers TY; 17-6 vs. spread
last 23 overall; 1-11-1 “under” last 13.
(08-BALT. 28-Cle. 10...B.21-11 B.44/151 C.15/73 B.13/19/2/122 C.14/37/3/96 B.0 C.0)
(07-CLE. 27-Balt. 13...B.16-12 B.20/111 C.30/99 B.34/53/1/307 C.10/18/1/204 C.0 B.1)
(07-Cle. 33-BAL. 30 (OT)...B.23-22 B.25/128 C.34/117 C.24/38/1/263 B.22/41/2/240 C.1 B.2)
(08-BALT. -2' 28-10; 07-CLEVE. +4 27-13, Cleve. -2' 33-30 (OT)...SR: Baltimore 12-7)
NY GIANTS 33 - Dallas 13—Hard times for Brad Johnson, a Super
Bowl-winning QB six years ago, but now a soft-tossing (19 completions for only
122 yards last week vs. T.B.), 40-year-old fill-in for Tony Romo (expected to be
sidelined through Dallas’ upcoming bye week). Worse yet for the Cowboys, the
G-men have the rush defense (fifth prior to last week) to repeatedly force
Johnson to the air and the pass rush (26 sacks) to then attack. Giants’ own
mashing ground assault (No. 1 prior to the Steeler game) figures to keep
DeMarcus Ware (9 sacks) under control, allowing Eli and his deep WR corps to
exploit the depleted Dallas secondary. G-men on 19-6 cover streak.
(07-DAL. 45-Giants 35...N.22-21 D.30/142 N.22/124 D.15/24/1/336 N.29/44/1/314 D.1 N.0)
(07-Dal. 31-GIANTS 20...N.23-19 N.27/106 D.24/82 D.20/28/1/241 N.23/34/2/194 D.0 N.0)
(07-Giants 21-DAL. 17...D.23-16 D.33/154 N.23/90 D.18/36/1/182 N.12/18/0/140 N.0 D.0)
(07-DAL. -6 45-35, Dal. -2 31-20, Giants +7' 21-17 (Playoffs)...SR: Dallas 54-36-2
OVER THE TOTAL CHICAGO 37 - Detroit 16—Can Detroit ever win
a game, or is Cincinnati more likely to emerge as the more serious challenger
to the all-time futility mark of the 0-14 of the T.B. Bucs of 1976? While
pondering that one, the immediate focus is whether the Lions can put up a
better fight vs. Chicago than they did in their humbling 34-7 loss at Ford Field
four weeks ago. We’re not convinced, especially with Jon Kitna out and stilllearning
Dan Orlovsky (three starts) at QB, and with HC Rod Marinelli’s status
on a week-to-week basis. Would much rather trust rested Bears, looking to
take charge of the NFC North and with Kyle Orton (10 TDs, 4 ints.) resembling
a good NFL QB. Chicago 17-4 “over” at home.
(08-Chi. 34-DET. 7...C.21-12 C.34/97 D.13/54 C.24/34/0/328 D.21/39/1/131 C.1 D.1)
(07-DET. 37-Chi. 27...C.22-19 D.25/95 C.22/69 C.34/52/3/234 D.20/24/0/215 D.2 C.0)
(07-Det. 16-CHI. 7...D.22-16 D.28/119 C.20/63 D.24/35/0/246 C.22/40/4/192 D.1 C.0)
(08-Chicago -3' 34-7; 07-DETROIT +2' 37-27, Detroit +5 16-7...SR: Chicago 88-64-5)
MINNESOTA 27 - Houston 26—Houston’s far-from-perfect defense is
vulnerable to Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota ground game. However, the
Vikes still have holes in their pass defense, and it’s always an adventure to see
what Minny might do next when punting and returning punts. The Texans have
a super-fast returner in Jacoby Jones (two PR TDs TY), and rookie RB Steve
Slaton is a tick faster on artificial turf. WR Andre Johnson (56 recs.) is having
a monster year. Houston “over” 6 of 7 TY and 10 of last 12 overall.
(04-Minnesota -3' 34-28 (OT)...SR: Minnesota 1-0)
Jacksonville 28 - CINCINNATI 17—Bengals have yet to cover in four starts
by Ryan Fitzpatrick (2 TDs, 5 ints., 17 sacks). And the loss of good-looking
rookie OLB Keith Rivers could prove doubly important vs. a strong-running
team such as Jacksonville. The Jags (0-5 as a favorite) are no cinch, however,
and former Chicago Bear Cedric Benson is providing at least the semblance of
a ground attack for Cincy. Maybe the best option is “over,” as Jacksonville is
11-3-1 “over” on the road (but only 1-2 TY).
(05-JACKSONVILLE -3 23-20...SR: Jacksonville 11-5)
Tampa Bay 24 - KANSAS CITY 10—Maybe Tyler Thigpen is getting the
hang of this NFL thing, as the former Coastal Carolina Chanticleer QB enjoyed
his best pro day (280 YP & 2 TDP) in 28-24 loss at the Jets. Then again, that
unexpected K.C. uprising should only serve to alert an angry Tampa Bay bunch
that’s unlikely to overlook the Chiefs after the Bucs’ own bitter 13-9 loss at Big
D. Have more faith in Monte Kiffin’s coverage schemes and blitz packages to
disrupt the inexperienced Thigpen, and in Jon Gruden’s offense to repeatedly
exploit the low-ranking K.C. defense, especially now that WR Joey Galloway is
back in action.
(04-TAMPA BAY +3 34-31...SR: Kansas City 5-4)
BUFFALO 22 - NY Jets 13—With Buffalo’s power running game still not
generating consistent yardage (Marshawn Lynch only 3.5 ypc), we wonder if
last week’s 25-16 loss at Miami might be the first sign the Bills are about ready
to fall back to earth. But we’re reluctant to trust the Jets as long as Brett Favre
(ints. in 6 straight games for first time since ‘05; 3 picks last week; now 11 TY)
continues to make costly mistakes as he adjusts to N.Y.’s offense. Buffalo
counterpart Trent Edwards (only 3 ints.) proving more efficient. Note: Bills 13-
6 vs. line at Orchard Park under Dick Jauron.
(07-BUF. 17-NY Jets 14...N.20-19 B.28/86 N.19/60 N.32/39/2/286 B.22/28/1/218 B.1 N.0)
(07-Buf. 13-NY JETS 3...B.19-14 B.35/108 N.23/100 B.17/26/1/239 N.18/32/2/154 B.0 N.1)
(07-BUFFALO +3' 17-14, Buffalo +3 13-3...SR: Buffalo 53-42)
ST. LOUIS 29 - Arizona 24—Can St. Louis (2-5) possibly be on the verge
of getting back into the NFC West race? And do the modern-day Ram fans even
know or care of Bill Bidwill, who moved the Cards from the Gateway City to the
desert 20 years ago? We’ll say “yes” to the first question, and “probably no” to
the Bidwill portion. What matters most is that St. Louis is 2-1 SU and 3-0 vs.
the spread since Jim Haslett replaced Scott Linehan. And even without
Steven Jackson (thigh strain; check status), Rams have a new gamebreaker
in rookie WR Donnie Avery, who is supplanting Torry Holt as Marc Bulger’s
(07-Ariz. 34-ST. LOU. 31...24-24 S.23/123 A.31/102 A.21/41/2/281 S.24/43/3/252 A.0 S.0)
(07-ARIZ. 48-St. Lou. 19...A.25-13 A.31/123 S.24/75 A.23/39/2/300 S.14/30/3/159 A.0 S.0)
(07-Arizona -3' 34-31, ARIZONA -6 48-19...SR: St. Louis 31-26-2)
TENNESSEE 21 - Green Bay 20—Extra rest for G.B., off its bye week, while
Tennessee on short practice after important Monday nighter with Indy. Both
teams sport ball-hawking DBs, with DBs Courtland Finnegan & Michael Griffin
of the Titans and Nick Collins & Charles Woodson of the Packers each with 4
ints. prior to that Indy game. Tenn. runs it better with Chris Johnson & LenDale
White. But Packers throw it better with the surprising Aaron Rodgers (65.6%,
12 TDs, only 4 ints.), who’s taking fine advantage of his quality receivers and
Mike McCarthy’s clever passing schemes.
(2008 Preseason: Tennessee -6' beat Green Bay 23-21 at Green Bay)
(04-Tennessee +3 48-27...SR: Tennessee 5-4)
DENVER 30 - Miami 21—This one figures to be run vs. pass, with the
Dolphins’ strong and often deceptive ground game challenging the Broncos’
low-ranked defense, now missing LB Boss Bailey & cover corner Champ Bailey
(expected to be replaced by fourth-round draft pick Jack Williams of Kent
State). However, Denver’s bye week will allow Jay Cutler’s sore finger to heal
and for Mike Shanahan (5 straight covers after byes; 6-1-1 last 8 vs. the spread
following a DD loss) to devise some new looks for WRs Marshall & Royal and
TEs Scheffler & Graham. Broncs 13-4 “over” at home.
(05-MIAMI +5 34-10...SR: Miami 10-4-1)
Atlanta 23 - OAKLAND 16—Prefer the solid coaching and impressive
development of Atlanta, even though both of the promising QBs in this game
deserve credit for avoiding the very frequent interceptions that often plague
young passers (Matt Ryan has 5 picks; JaMarcus Russell, only 3). However, for
the Falcons, WR Roddy White (43 recs., 5 TDC) has continued his ascension
toward the upper echelon. Cross-country travelers not doing well in the NFL TY, but
Mike Smith has his young Atlanta players believing they’re solid contenders in the
NFC South, while many Raiders uncertain what exactly is going on in Oakland.
(04-ATLANTA -7' 35-10...SR: Oakland 7-4)
Philadelphia 23 - SEATTLE 20—Hesitant to lay the lumber with superior
visitor at one of the NFL’s toughest sites, especially with mobile backup QB
Seneca Wallace (2 TDP last week in S.F.) at least stabilizing the Seattle
offense. Eagles always a major threat when Brian Westbrook (167 YR, 6 recs.
last week) healthy. But Seahawks, who have won four straight NFC West titles,
have a solid corps of players eager to a make a run at a fifth now that they’re
back on the winning track. This one unlikely to come easy for the favorite.
(07-Sea. 28-PHIL. 24...P.17-16 P.29/144 S.29/135 P.19/42/4/219 S.19/34/1/176 S.1 P.0)
(07-Seattle +3 28-24...SR: Philadelphia 6-5)
*INDIANAPOLIS 27 - New England 24—Tom Brady’s knee injury has kept
this game from being the premium matchup anticipated prior to the season.
And injuries to other players (Rodney Harrison, Sammy Morris, Joseph Addai,
Bob Sanders; check status of the last three) have further dimmed the luster.
Making things interesting, however, has been the gradual improvement of Matt
Cassel and the injury-disrupted season being endured by Peyton Manning (8
TDs, 7 ints. prior to Monday night game in Tennessee) and the Indy offense.
Pats are 11-6-1 L5+Ys in rare underdog role. TV—NBC
(07-N. Eng. 24-INDY 20...I.23-21 I.31/119 N.28/105 N.21/32/2/237 I.16/27/1/213 N.0 I.1)
(07-New England -5 24-20...SR: New England 44-27)
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3
*Pittsburgh 20 - WASHINGTON 16—Maturing Washington QB Jason
Campbell (8 TDs, no ints.) faces perhaps his toughest challenge since the
Redskins’ 16-7 opening-day at the Giants, as the often-confusing Steeler 3-4
features two of the NFL’s top sack artists in James Harrison’s (8½) & LaMarr
Woodley (7½). Only once (last week, in fact) has the Steeler defense allowed
more than 260 total yards TY. RB Clinton Portis (944 YR) is leading the league
in rushing, but he’s been taking a beating. Pittsburgh is hoping Willie Parker
(out since Game Three with knee injury) and WR Santonio Holmes (deactivated
due to pot arrest) will both be back. Only Steeler losses have come vs. the
Eagles & Giants, and Redskins lack that type of pass rush. CABLE TV—ESPN
(04-PITTSBURGH -10 16-7...SR: Washington 42-30-3)
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA
TECHNICAL PLAYS OF THE WEEK
When riding a winning horse, why jump off? So it goes with
Army, which looks for revenge Saturday against Commander-inChief
rival Air Force at Michie Stadium. And the Black Knights have
indeed been hot in recent weeks, covering their last five outings
(three of those as an underdog). Note that Army is also a featured
play in the Rivalry Dog system this week.
Sometimes, there’s a team trend that is simply too compelling to
overlook. And in the case of Bowling Green, one must
acknowledge that the road team has covered all eight Falcon games
this season, which bodes well Saturday afternoon for traveling
Kent State at Doyt Perry Stadium. The Falcs are 0-3 vs. the line at
home this season and now 2-12 vs. the number their last 14 as host
since early in the 2005 campaign. Note that the Golden Flashes
have covered their last 3 visits to Doyt Perry in a series in which the
underdog has covered the last 4 meetings. Also note Kent State’s
impressive +16.50 “AFS” (Away from Spread) number its past
Don’t look now, but Duke has put itself in position to make a run at
a rare bowl berth. And the Blue Devils continue their postseason
quest Saturday when they make the short trek down Tobacco Road
for a battle at Wake Forest. Duke has covered 4 of its last 5, and 6
of its last 8, trips to Winston-Salem, as well as covering a surprising
10 of its last 15 as a visitor. As for the Demon Deacons, they have a
long history of underachievement as a home favorite, standing a poor
4-15-1 their last 20 as home chalk.
There’s no question what the series pattern has been when
Oregon State and Arizona State have tangled in recent years. It’s
go with the home team, baby, as the host side stands 16-2-1 vs. the
number the last 19 meetings between these Pac-10 foes. Which is
great news for the host Beavers as they entertain the Sun Devils
Saturday night in Corvallis. Oregon State is also on a definite uptick,
covering its last 5 games and recording a solid +14.50 “AFS”
(Away from Spread) mark its last two games. And OSU has been
a great investment lately as home chalk for HC Mike Riley, standing
11-4-1 its last 16 laying points at Reser Stadium. Meanwhile, it’s
gone pear-shaped for the Sun Devils, now 1-10 their last 11 on the
board and 0-7 as an underdog since HC ex-Beaver HC Dennis
Erickson arrived last season.
It’s hard not to notice the black hole in Alabama’s recent
pointspread performance pattern. The Crimson Tide continues to
offer poor value as home chalk, now at 3-17 its last 20 laying points
at Tuscaloosa, and just 1-7 in that role since, HC Nick Sabana
arrived last season. Good news, then for visiting Arkansas State,
especially since the scrappy Red Wolves enter Saturday’s battle at
Bryant-Denny Satdium having covered 5 of their alst 6 as a double digit dog
TECHNICIAN'S CORNER...featuring the tech edge!
SOUTH FLORIDA at CINCINNATI (Thursday, October
30)...Bearcats have won last 2 and 3 of last 4 vs. USF, and Cincy has
covered the last 4 as well. Bearcats also 10-3 vs. line at Nippert since
‘06. Bulls 3-6 last 9 as road chalk. Tech edge-Cincy, based on
team and series trends.
KENT STATE at BOWLING GREEN...Note that road team has
covered first 8 BGSU games this season! Falcons 2-12 vs. line last
14 as host! Kent has covered last 3 trips to BGSU. Tech edge-Kent
State, based on extended BGSU home woes.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN at INDIANA...Hoosiers 1-7 vs. line last 8 on
board since late LY. Tech edge-CMU, based on recent IU woes.
AIR FORCE at ARMY...Ugh! Army on an uptick, with covers last
5 TY! Included are wins and covers the Black Knights' last two at
Michie Stadium, and covers their last 3 as an underdog. Tech edge-
Army, based on recent trends.
LOUISVILLE at SYRACUSE...Cards have failed to cover last 3
meetings and were ambushed in shock 38-35 upset as 37-point chalk
LY at Papa John’s. Robinson 2-8 vs. line at Carrier Dome since LY,
1-7 as home dog that span. Tech edge-UL, based on Cuse
MIAMI-FLORIDA at VIRGINIA...Big revenge for Canes after getting
smashed 48-0 at home by Cavs LY. Groh has won last 2 and
covered last 3 vs. Miami. Groh has won and covered last 4 TY and
is now 28-12 vs. line last 40 at Charlottesville. Groh also 12-2 last
14 as home dog. Tech edge-Virginia, based on team and series
WEST VIRGINIA at UCONN...Mounties really brutalized UConn in
recent meetings, winning and covering last 4. If Edsall a dog note 7-
1 spread mark at Rentsch in role since ‘05. Huskies 15-5 vs. line last
20 as host. Tech edge-UConn, based on team trends and
IOWA at ILLINOIS...Note that home team has covered last 5
meetings, although Iowa has won all of those games SU. Illini scored
no more than 13 in any of those games. Hawkeyes on uptick with
covers in last 3, also 5-2-1 as dog since LY (1-0-1 TY). Zook but still
just 3-7 as Champaign-Urbana chalk since ‘06. Tech edge-Iowa,
based on recent and series trends.
NORTHWESTERN at MINNESOTA...Gophers 2-1 vs. line at home
TY and 6-1 vs. line overall in ‘08 for Brewster. NU 1-0 as road dog
TY but only 4-6 in role since ‘06. Tech edge-Minnesota, based
on recent trends.
DUKE at WAKE FOREST...Blue Devils have covered last 2 meetings
and are 4-1 vs. line last 5 at Winston-Salem. Deacs 1-2 vs. line as
home chalk TY and just 4-14 in role since ‘03 (that includes 3-1 mark
LY!). Tech edge-Duke, based on series trends and extended
Wake home chalk woes.
IOWA STATE at OKLAHOMA STATE...OSU roaring with covers
its first 7 TY and 8 straight dating to late ‘07. Gundy 9-0 as DD chalk
since ‘06! Tech edge-OSU, based on team trends.
MISSOURI at BAYLOR...Pinkel is 4-0 as road chalk since LY. Tech
edge-slight to Mizzou, based on team trends.
AUBURN at OLE MISS...Tuberville no covers last 7 TY but is still
7-3 vs. number as dog since ‘05. Tuberville had won and covered
4 of last 5 years vs. Houston Nutt when at Arkansas. If Rebs chalk
note 1-3 mark TY and 2-9-1 mark since ‘05 in role. Tech edge-slight
to Auburn, if dog, based on extended trends.
SAN DIEGO STATE at WYOMING...SDSU no covers last 3 on road
TY. But Wyo now on epic 0-15-1 pointspread run! Tech edgeslight
to SDSU, based on Wyo woes.
EASTERN MICHIGAN at WESTERN MICHIGAN...EMU has played
Broncos tough at Waldo Stadium, covering last 3 visits. WMU just 2-
7-1 vs. line last 10 at Waldo. Tech edge-slight to EMU, based on
TULSA at ARKANSAS...Tulsa 5-1 vs. line TY and has covered 6
of last 7 since the end of ‘07. At home, Hogs 1-3 vs. line TY, and they’re
1-5 as home dog since ‘05. Tech edge-Tulsa, based on recent
COLORADO at TEXAS A&M...CU only 5-11-1 vs. line away from
home under Dan Hawkins. Tech edge-A&M, based on CU road
PITT at NOTRE DAME...‘Stache 6-2 vs. line away since LY, if dog
note 5-1 mark in role on road since ‘07. Tech edge-Pitt, based on
FRESNO STATE at LA TECH...LT has covered last 4 meetings and
is 4-0-1 last 5 vs. FSU. Pat Hill 0-3 as road chalk TY, 1-9 last 10 laying
points away from home. Tech edge-LT, based on team and
HAWAII at UTAH STATE...UH has now covered its last 2 on
mainland and last 4 overall TY. Tech edge-slight to UH, based on
team and series trends.
TENNESSEE at SOUTH CAROLINA...Visitor is 8-0-2 vs. line last 10
in series. Vols 3-0-2 vs. number last 5 at Williams-Brice. Spurrier no
covers last 3 as host TY. Tech edge-slight to Tennessee,
based on team trends.
FLORIDA vs. GEORGIA (at Jacksonville)...Revenge for Gators
after 42-30 loss LY, but Urban M just 2-2 last 4 in payback role. Richt
has covered last 2 and 3 of last 4 in series. Dawgs 5-1 as dog since
‘06, 7-2 in role since ‘05. Tech edge-Georgia, based on dog
WASHINGTON at SOUTHERN CAL...Ty has actually covered last
3 in series, including near misses at big upsets past two seasons.
But Ty 0-2 vs. line away TY and 1-5 as road dog since ‘05. Pete 3-
0 as Coliseum chalk TY, though just 1-5 last 6 laying 30 or more. Tech
edge-slight to SC, based on recent trends.
NEBRASKA at OKLAHOMA...OU still 2-1 vs. number at Norman in
‘08 and 12-4-1 last 17 against spread at home (all as chalk). Pelini has
covered first 2 on road TY after Callahan was 1-7-1 last 9 vs. line
away from Lincoln. Tech edge-slight to OU, based on team
OREGON at CAL...Bellotti is 14-7 as dog since ‘03 (0-1 TY). Tech
edge-slight to Oregon, based on team trends.
TEMPLE at NAVY...Mids just 4-9 vs. spread last 12 at Annapolis.
Tech edge-Temple, based on Navy Annapolis woes.
KANSAS STATE at KANSAS...Wildcats 4-0 as road dog since LY.
KU, however, 10-2 against number last 12 as home chalk, and 16-
6 vs. spread last 21 at Lawrence overall. Tech edge-slight to KU,
based on team trends.
TEXAS at TEXAS TECH...Leach hasn’t beaten Texas since ‘02 and
has failed to cover 3 of last 4 in series, although he did cover at home
vs. Mack in ‘06. UT has covered 10 of last 12 on board dating to late
‘07. Tech edge-slight to Texas, based on team trends.
MICHIGAN at PURDUE...Rich only 1-7 vs. line TY, so not sure
Wolverines are up to extending recent 3-game cover streak and 6-
1 vs. line last 7 against Purdue that was accomplished by Lloyd Carr.
Tech edge-slight to Purdue, based on recent trends.
WISCONSIN at MICHIGAN STATE...Badgers have dropped 7 of
last 8 against line as visitor (1-2 TY). Bielema just 6-13 vs. line last
19 on board. Tech edge-MSU, based on recent UW woes.
CLEMSON at BOSTON COLLEGE...Tigers 0-5 vs. line TY. BC 11-
5 vs. line last 16 at Alumni Stadium (2-1 TY). Tech edge-BC, based
on team and series trends.
SAN JOSE STATE at IDAHO...SJSU has covered last 2 meetings.
Tomey also 9-0 last 9 as chalk. Tech edge-SJSU, based on team
BYU at COLORADO STATE...Cougs no covers last 4 TY, while
Rams 3-0 vs. line at Hughes Stadium in ‘08. Home team has covered
last 6 CSU games on board. BYU 0-3 vs. line away TY, no covers
last 4 away from Provo. Tech edge-slight to CSU, based on team
WASHINGTON STATE at STANFORD...WSU 0-7 vs. line TY.
Harbaugh 2-2 as chalk at Stanford but has never laid DDs that span.
Tree has covered first 3 as host TY and last 4 dating to late ‘07. Tech
edge-Stanford, based on WSU woes.
BOISE STATE at NEW MEXICO STATE...Mumme 0-2 as home dog
in ‘08, and since arriving at Las Cruces in ‘05, Mumme 10-21-1 as
short. Boise 3-0 vs. line away TY (2-0 as road chalk). Tech edgeslight
to Boise, based on team trends.
KENTUCKY at MISSISSIPPI STATE...Rich Brooks just 1-5 vs.
number last 6 seeking payback. Sly 2-0 against number at Starkville
TY after poor 2-9 home spread mark previous 2 seasons. Tech
edge-slight to UK, based on team trends.
FLORIDA STATE at GEORGIA TECH...Paul Johnson 5-1 vs. line TY.
Tech edge-GT, based on recent trends.
TULANE at LSU...Underdog side has covered in first 7 Tulane
games TY (Wave 3-0 as dog). Wave is 5-2 vs. line as visitor under
Bob Toledo. LSU 1-7 against number last 8 laying DDs. Tech edge-
Tulane, based on team trends.
TCU at UNLV...TCU has won handily the last 3 years vs. UNLV (all
wins by 15 or more, total score 110-23) but did fail to cover at Sam
Boyd in ‘06. Frogs 6-2 vs. line in ‘08. Tech edge-slight to TCU,
based on series trends.
UAB at SOUTHERN MISS...Golden Eagles no covers last 5 TY, no
covers last 4 at home, now 2-7 last 9 as home chalk. Tech edgeslight
to UAB, based on recent USM woes.
RICE at UTEP...Rice has won last 2 and covered last 5 in series.
Tech edge-Rice, based on series trends.
UTAH at NEW MEXICO...Utes 6-2 vs. number last 8 as visitor. But
Rocky has covered last 3 at home TY and is 17-9 last 26 as dog since
mid ‘04. Tech edge-slight to UNM, based on team and series
ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE...Home team has covered 7
of last 8 meetings and is 16-2-1 vs. line last 19 in series. Beavs 7-1 vs.
line as host since LY, 6-1 as home chalk that span. ASU on 1-10 spread
slide since late ‘07, and Sun Devils 0-7 as dog since Dennis Erickson
arrived LY. Tech edge-OSU, based on team and series trends.
NORTH TEXAS at WESTERN KENTUCKY...Mean Green also just
12-28-1 last 41 on board. Tech edge-WKU, based on UNT woes.
ARKANSAS STATE at ALABAMA...Nicky 1-3 as home chalk TY,
1-7 in role since ‘07. Tide just 3-17 as Tuscaloosa chalk since ‘05,
also just 5-15 as DD chalk overall since ‘05. ASU 5-1 as DD road dog
since ‘05. Tech edge-ASU, based on team trends.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL at UL-LAFAYETTE...ULL has won
and covered the last 4 in series. Cajuns also on 6-game cover streak
in ‘08. Tech edge-slight to ULL, based on series and team
TROY at UL-MONROE...Troy 14-5 vs. line last 19 away from Movie
Gallery Stadium, but Weatherbie 19-10-1 as dog since ‘05. Tech
edge-slight to Troy, based on team trends
COLLEGE SYSTEM PLAYS THIS WEEK
COACH & POINTSPREAD-ARKANSAS over Tulsa, BYU over
Colorado State, GEORGIA TECH over FLorida State@, KANSAS over
Kansas State@, UL-MONROE over Troy, MICHIGAN STATE over
Wisconsin@, MISSOURI over Baylor, OREGON over Cal, TCU over
Unlv, EAST CAROLINA over Ucf (11/02).
COLLEGE COACH AS UNDERDOG-CINCINNATI* over South Florida
(10/30), GEORGIA over Florida, ILLINOIS* over Iowa, UL-MONROE
over Troy, NEW MEXICO over Utah, UTEP over Rice, and dog in
FLORIDA STATE-GEORGIA TECH game.
RIVALRY DOGS-ARMY oveer Air Force, GEORGIA over Florida@,
EASTERN MICHIGAN over Western Michigan, KANSAS STATE over
POWER UNDERDOGS-CINCINNATI over South Florida (10/30),
AUBURN over Ole Miss, CLEMSON over Boston COllege, GEORGIA
over Florida@, KENTUCKY over Mississippi State, NEW MEXICO over
Utah, OREGON over Cal, TENNESSEE over South Carolina, TEXAS
TECH over Texas, WISCONSIN over Michigan State, and dogs in
FLORIDA STATE-GEORGIA TECH and IOWA-ILLINOIS games.
PAINFUL MEMORY-MIAMI-FLA. over Viorginioa, FLORDA over
POWER REVENGE-FLORIDA over Georgia@.
RESTED HOME WINNERS-ULL over Fiu, BUFFALO over Miami-
IMPOTENT FAVORITES-SAN DIEGO STATE over Wyoming, NORTH
TEXAS over Western Kentucky.
STREAKBUSTERS-off pointspread win-UCONN over West Virginia,
DUKE over Wake Forest, EASTERN MICHIGAN over Western
Michigan, INDIANA over Central Michigan, MISSOURI over Baylor,
SAN DIEGO STATE over Wyoming, UTAH STATE over Hawaii,
WISCONSIN over Michigan State; off pointspread loss-MARSHALL
over Houston (10/28), INDIANA over Central Michigan, FLORIDA
STATE over Georgia Tech@, NOTRE DAME over Pitt, IDAHO over San
Jose State, TEXAS ETCH over Texas, EASTERN MICHIGAN over
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA
Upon close inspection, the Minnesota Vikings haven’t been
offering a lot of value lately. Not only is Minnesota struggling vs. the
number this season (2-5), but the Vikings have been
underachieving since the middle of the 2006 campaign, recording a
poor 11-23-1 spread mark their last 35 on the board, including just 7
covers in their last 19 as a favorite. So, no problem recommending
ascending Houston, especially with the Texans on a 3-game
straight-up win streak.
HOUSTON at MINNESOTA...Texans “over” 6-1 TY, now “over” 10
of last 12 since late ‘07, and “over” 19-8-1 last 28 overall. Vikes 11-
23-1 last 35 on board. Tech edge-Texans and "over”, based on
team and “totals” trends.
JACKSONVILLE at CINCINNATI...Bengals no covers first 3 at
home TY, now 9-20-1 vs. number last 30 on board as host. Jags 9-
4 vs. line away since LY, also “over” 15-4 last 19 since early ‘07.
Tech edge-Jags and slight to “over,” based on team and
TAMPA BAY at KANSAS CITY...Herm just 2-8-1 vs. number as
host since ‘07. Chiefs also “over” 8-4 last 12 as host. Gruden “over”
7-4 last 11 as visitor. Tech edge-Bucs and slight to “over”,
based on team and “totals” trends.
BALTIMORE at CLEVELAND...Romeo has covered 5 of last 6 TY
and has noteworthy 17-6 overall spread mark since last season.
Tech edge-slight to Browns, based on team trends.
NY JETS at BUFFALO...Bills have won and covered last 3 meetings.
Jauron 12-4 vs. spread last 16 at Orchard Park as well. Bills
“over” 10-5 last 15 as host. Tech edge-Bills and slight to “over”,
based on team and “totals” trends.
ARIZONA at ST. LOUIS...Last 3 in series “over”, and Rams 11-3
“over” their last 14 as host. Cards “over” 5-2 TY, “over” 22-8 last 30
overall. Tech edge-“Over” and slight to Rams, based on team
and “totals” trends.
DETROIT at CHICAGO...Detroit “over” 9-4 last 13 as visitor, while
Bears “over” 17-4 last 21 at Soldier Field! Tech edge-“Over” and
Bears, based on “totals” and team trends.
GREEN BAY at TENNESSEE...Pack “over” 11-3 last 14 away. Titans
have won and covered their first 6 TY! Tech edge-“Over” and
slight to Titans, based on “totals” and team trends.
MIAMI at DENVER...Dolphins have covered last 5 meetings, and
Denver hasn’t covered a reg.-season game at home vs. Miami since
1968, a 21-14 win in old AFL days (Broncos did win and cover at home
in playoffs in ‘98, however, by 38-3 count). Denver no covers last
4 TY, but note Shan is 6-1-1 vs. line in last 8 games following a Bronco
DD loss. Broncos “under” last 2 at home but “over” 13-4 last 17 at
Invesco Field at mile High. Tech edge-“Over” and slight to
Broncos, based on “totals” and Bronco humiliation bounceback
ATLANTA at OAKLAND...Raiders 12-30-1 vs. number last 43 as
host. Tech edge-Falcons, based on Raiders’ extended home
DALLAS at NY GIANTS...Giants 19-6 their last 25 on board, Dallas
3-10 last 13 on board since late ‘07. Cowboys “over” 8-4 last 12
away, G-Men “over” 8-4 last 12 as host. Tech edge-Giants and
slight to “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
PHILADELPHIA at SEATTLE...Eagles 11-3 vs. line last 14 away.
Philly also “over” first 3 on road Y and “over” 7-1 last 8 as visitor. Tech
edge-Eagles and “over”, based on team and “totals” trends.
NEW ENGLAND at INDIANAPOLIS...Colts have now covered the
last 4 series meetings. Belichick 15-6 vs. line last 21 as visitor, 2-1
TY with Matt Cassel at QB. Pats also “over” 10-5 last 15 away. Dungy
just 6-8 last 14 as chalk. Tech edge-slight to “over”, based on
PITTSBURGH at WASHINGTON (Monday, November 3)...Steel
“over” 8-3 last 1a since late ‘07. Steel has covered its last 2 away
TY but still only 7-12-1 vs. line away since ‘06. Tech edge-slight
to Skins and “over”, based on team and “totals” trends
NFL SYSTEM PLAYS THIS WEEK
NFL COACH AS UNDERDOG-GREEN BAY over Tennessee, NEW
ENGLAND over Indianapolis.
FAMILIARITY-CLEVELAND# over Baltimore, ST. LOUIS over Arizona.
NFL BLOWOUT BOUNCEBACK-DENVER over Miami.
NFL BLOWOUT LETDOWN-No plays this week.
SCORE 40 LETDOWN-DETROIT over Chicago, HOUSTON over
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
I missed some of Power Sweep
Saturday Games - BOWLING GREEN 27 Kent St 24 - Last time KSU visited BG (‘06) they won by 35 pts, largest road win S/‘73. LY BG won on the road 31-20 with Kent St being SOD at the BG3 twice. The visitor is 3-0 SU/ATS winning by 19 ppg. The tms’ off rankings are almost identical (KS #80-81), but BG does have the D edge (#80-100) despite playing the tougher schedule (#72-111). BG covered as a 7 pt AD LW, but was outFD’d 19-10 and outgained 278-168 as NI kept the BG offense off the field with a 17:14 TOP edge. BG is 2-11-1 ATS at home. For a 2nd straight week BG entered the 4Q with a lead but was held scoreless and lost. BG QB Sheehan is avg 220 ypg (65%) with a 12-5 ratio. Their top 2 rushers are Turner (318, 4.8) and Bullock (298, 4.5). Kent St beat Miami 54-21 the wk after Miami beat BG 27-20. Kent St came off a bye and finally played up to their potential as they outgained Miami 468-318, were +6 TO and led 47-7 at the end of 3Q. QB Edelman is avg 141 ypg (55%) with a 9-8 ratio and is the top rusher with 781 (5.9).
Central Michigan 31 INDIANA 28 - CM is 0-3 all-time vs Indiana but nearly won in their last gm in ‘05 (20-13 loss, +7). CM HC Jones is 1-4 ATS as an AD vs BCS tms. FYI non-BCS tms that are favored over BCS teams are 6-4 SU but just 3-7 ATS TY. Minus QB Lewis (ankle) for a 2nd straight gm, Indiana broke a streak of 6 straight IA ATS losses (incl an outright loss to MAC member Ball St) with a 21-19 upset of NW (+7’), which kept the Hoosiers’ bowl hopes alive. Those same hopes should mean IU will give CM their full attention in this B10 sandwich. CM is also in a conf sandwich and with the goal of their 3rd straight MAC Championship determined in their final 3 games they may protect QB LeFevour. LeFevour missed the WM game and was knocked out for a few series vs Toledo. He is avg 231 ypg (67%) with an 11-3 ratio and leads the team in rushing with 329 (3.7). CM has the off edge (#40-74) but Indiana has the D edge (#85-99) despite playing the tougher schedule (#58-85).
Air Force 20 ARMY 13 - AF is 17-2 S/‘89 holding Army to 7 or less 11x’s. Last trip here we used a Fri Nite Play on AF (-4’) and they blew out Army, 43-7. AF has covered 5 in a row at West Point. Army is 1-9 in Michie Stad finales with the avg loss by 16 ppg. AF became bowl eligible with its win over NM on Thurs night. It was tied at 10 at the half (NM 10 pts off TO) before AF rolled 23-10 despite being held to a ssn-low 227 rush yds with just 3 pass att. Since taking over as the st’r, Jefferson has thrown for 196 ttl yd (75%) with a 2-0 ratio (0 att LW) and has 218 rush yd (4.6). Fr RB Clark has 260 (4.5) the L/3. AF has covered 6 of 8 away from home vs non-conf and is 2-1 ATS as an AF under Calhoun. LW Army beat LT 14-7 thanks to Ian Smith, who scored his 1st 2 TD. QB Bowden moved to 5-0 ATS as the st’r and Army finished with 12-9 FD & 235-152 yd edges. Bowden is the #2 rusher (412, 3.3) and has 138 ttl pass yd (1st TD pass LW). The top rusher is Mooney with 874 (6.0). Army is 2-8 ATS as a HD (2-0 TY) and while they’re getting better at running the wishbone every wk, AF has done this for yrs. Army still has a chance for the CIC Trophy but AF is out (33-27 loss to Navy).
Louisville 37 SYRACUSE 17 - LY was one of the biggest upsets in college football history as UL all’d 465 yds & 38 pts to a Syr tm that ranked near the bottom in every off category and lost 38-35 as 37 pt favs! Syr is 4-3 SU & 5-2 ATS in the series and has covered as DD dogs vs UL the L3Y. LW UL upset #14 USF 24-20. NFL prospect QB Cantwell hooked up with WR Long (ret from inj) for 2 long TD’s and ran in another. The ground game has emerged avg 196 ypg (4.8) led by rFr Anderson avg 104 ypg (6.4) with 6 TD’s. They now face a Syr run D all’g 212 ypg (5.3). Syr is off a bye after their 17-6 loss to WV, a game in which they led into the 4Q. The bright spot for the Orange offense has been RB Brinkley who has rushed for 733 yds (5.6). The UL D is all’g 75 ypg rush (2.7). UL has large edges on off (#41-102) & D (#58-106) while Syr has a huge ST edge (#20-96). Teams tend to tune up on Syracuse & this will be an opportunity for the Cards (now 5-2 ATS) before a tough EOY stretch.
Miami, Fl 24 VIRGINIA 20 - Legitimate revenge for UM as Virginia crushed them 48-0 in the Canes’ final game in the Orange Bowl LY. The home shutout was the 1st S/’74 & worst home loss S/’47. The dog is 4-0 ATS in this series with 3 outright upsets. Miami is 4-9 SU on the road while Virginia is 34-8 SU at home. UM has a bye next. Both teams need just 1 more win to become bowl elig. UVA started the season losing 3 of 4 gms but won their 4th straight and took over the #1 spot in the Atl Div LW as they rallied from an early 14-3 deficit to upset GT 24-17 (+14). UVA has now won 8 gms as a dog over the L2Y RB Peerman started off the season slow (inj’d) but has rushed for 541 yds (5.7) incl 118 LW. QB Verica is avg 183 ypg (67%) with a 5-9 ratio. UM has the edge on both sides of the ball (off #51-76, def #30-44). UM won their 3rd straight LW, a 16-10 win vs WF and 2nd consec Atl Div win for the1st time in 2 yrs. QB Marve, who is avg just 113 ypg (55%) with a 7-9 ratio, passed for 153 yds LW. RB Cooper has 476 rush yds (5.3). UM was embarrassed LY in front of dozens of former star Canes’ players who where in attendance and redeem themselves here.
Iowa 24 ILLINOIS 23 - Iowa has won the L/5 & has held the Illini to 7 or less in 3 meetings under Zook. LY IL was off 2 straight wins over ranked teams & HD Iowa (+4’) won 10-6. Iowa is off a bye & both teams last played Wisky. The Hawks won 38-16 (-4’) in Iowa City with a 254-158 rush yd edge thanks to Greene’s 217 yds & 4 TD while IL (-2) lost 27-17 in Madison as Juice Williams threw 3 int & the Illini were outrushed 163-88. Williams (271 ypg, 59%, 18-10 ratio) still leads the conf in pass eff & total offense. WR Benn’s (46 rec, 16.1) school record 4 gm 100 yd receiving streak was stopped LW when he was shutout in the 2H. Illini are allowing 152 rush ypg (3.9) and Zook has hinted at lineup changes with vets not producing. Hawks QB Stanzi is #3 B10 pass eff avg 174 ypg (66%) with a 5-2 ratio in conf play. Greene (1154, 6.5) is the only IA player to start the year with 8 straight 100 yd gms. Hawks are #24 in pass eff D (192, 54%, 5-14 ratio). IL has home & off (#15-44) edges and is 4-4 with no gimmes left while Iowa has big D (#12-48) & ST (#22-89) edges.
MINNESOTA 24 Northwestern 21- LY the Cats rallied from a 35-14 3Q deficit to win 49-48 in 2 OT as the Gophers missed a 2 pt conv for the win. These tms have avg’d 70 ppg the L/6. NU last won in the dome on HC in 2000, 41-35 on a Hail Mary TD pass. After finishing 1-11 LY, Minny is 7-1 & ahead of OSU in the B10 standings after LW’s 17-6 win at Purdue in which they outgained their 1st conf opp 321-226 (KO’d QB Painter 2Q). UM had been outgained by 115 ypg in B10 play prior. QB Weber (228 ypg, 67%, 10-3 ratio) has the conf’s top target in WR Decker (#3 NCAA-66, 12.6). Gophers lead, the NCAA in TO margin at +15. Cats were upset 21-19 at Indy as they lost 5 TO’s and QB Bacher (leg) and RB Sutton (wrist) were both KO’d. Sutton (776, 5.0), is scheduled to have surgery TW and it’s unknown when/if he will return while the struggling Bacher (#91 NCAA pass eff with 10-11 ratio) is ?. Cats are tied for conf lead in sacks (24). This is rare air for the Gophers who have covered their L/5.
Duke 21 WAKE FOREST 20 - LY WF led by 25 but let Duke rally back as they barely pulled out the 41-36 win. WF has won 8 in a row SU by an avg of 34-20. Duke has nearly pulled upsets their L/2 visits here coming up just short 24-22 (+17) in ‘04 (Duke 423-410 yd edge). In ‘06 Duke had a 234-82 yd edge at half and WF needed a TD with 1:28 left to lead 14-13 (-20) and then blk’d a Duke 28 yd chip shot FG on the last play. Duke is 25-11 ATS as an AD incl their Big Dog POW upset LW, 10-7 (+10’) over Vandy. QB Lewis is #2 in the ACC avg 189 ypg (58%) with a solid 10-3 ratio. WR Riley has 38 rec (11.0). These 2 matchup nearly even on off (Duke #87-93) but WF has a solid D edge (#11-65). WF is 6-15 as a HF under Grobe and they have just 2 offensive TD’s in 4 ACC gms TY. Since LY WF has had 3 gms in which they rushed 50+ times and lost incl their 16-10 loss to UM LW. QB Skinner is #1 in the ACC avg 192 ypg (64%) with a 7-4 ratio. WR Boldin has 39 rec (11.1). Duke has kept it close the last few yrs but may finally get over the hump to pull the upset with a much improved team.
OKLAHOMA ST 48 Iowa St 13 - ISU is 5-3-1 SU & 6-3 ATS and won the last meeting in ‘05 37-10 (-14) at home. OSU won the last time here (#25 in ‘04, 36-7, -17) and the HT is 5-1 ATS. Cowboys are 15-6 as a HF incl 4-0 ATS TY with the avg cover by 8 ppg. OSU suffered its first loss of the ssn LW vs #1 Texas (7-1 SU & 8-0 ATS) and is 9-2-1 ATS off a SU loss. QB Robinson is avg 211 ypg (69%) with a 15-4 ratio. OSU blasted the Horns rush def LW (came in all’g just 48 ypg) with 217 (5.9) and Hunter leads all B12 backs with 1,116 yds (6.6). WR Bryant has 51 rec (17.3). ISU is 10-18 as an AD and dropped its 6th straight LW but amassed 574 yds (gave up 509). QB Arnaud is avg 196 ypg (60%) with a 9-4 ratio (career high 371 pass yds LW). Both tms have played BU and A&M with OSU going 2-0 SU/ATS outgaining them by 126 ypg as ISU was 0-2 SU/ATS being outgained by 57 ypg. OSU has big edges on off (#10-85), def (#26-97) & ST (#11-61) and the last time the Cowboys were in a tough sandwich spot (TTech on deck) they waxed Baylor 34-6 (-17) holding them to a def ssn best 204 yds.