Friday, September 21, 2012
College & Pro Upsets Sept. 21-24
Michigan over NOTRE DAME by 4
Last Saturday while viewing the Notre Dame-Michigan State game, we were struck by the incredible resemblance between Irish head coach Brian Kelly and Frank Sutton, the late actor who portrayed Sgt.Vince Carter on the ‘Gomer Pyle-USMC’ show. In fact, watching Kelly berate one of his players while his nostrils fl ared and eyes bugged out in exasperation, we were transported back to a time when Sgt.Carter would scream, “Pyle, you knucklehead! My old grandmother could do better than that!” However, if our powerful database could talk out loud, it might make the same observation regarding Notre Dame’s recent pointspread success in tonight’s role. While they HAVE held all three foes to season-low yards this year, the Dame is 0-6 ATS as a favorite after a SUATS win over a Big Ten foe when facing an opponent off a win of of 24 or more points. Wait, it gets worse. The Irish are 0-3 ATS after Sparty, 3-10 ATS as home chalk of 6 or more points, and 2-6 ATS as home favorites with revenge versus a Big Ten opponent. The hosts are also a deathly 0-6 ATS in their last six as chalk in games after knocking off an undefeated adversary – plus we know from experience that if things start to go south for the Irish, Kelly will aunch into his red-faced, exploding head routine. We say color the Wolverines dangerous here as our INCREDIBLE STAT OF THE WEEK on page 3 comes to their aid – along with a vicious 8-1 ATS effort as non-conference dogs of less than 13 points. The latest chapter in a series ruled by underdogs and upsets goes to… Michigan.
Syracuse over MINNESOTA by 6
Unlike Missouri or South Carolina, the Minnesota program is not suffi ciently evolved to survive the absence of a starting quarterback. However, that’s the situation in Minneapolis as the Gophers have lost star QB Marquies Gray for a few weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered in last Saturday’s win over Western Michigan. Jerry Kill’s squad will face a hungry Syracuse outfit playing better than its 1-2 record suggests: the Orange dropped a 1-point heartbreaker to Northwestern in Game One (Cats scored with 44 seconds remaining), then played the tits off USC before fading late in a 42-29 defeat. The ‘Cuse has a legitimate revenge factor here, too, losing to the Gophers in head coach Doug Marrone’s debut with the Orange back in 2009 (isn’t it a dish best served cold?). A trip to the ATS archives tells us today’s role favors the visitors, too, as Syracuse is 8-4 ATS off its first win of the season while the Gophers are an awful 0-3 SU before Big Ten openers the last three years (lost to North Dakota State in 2011). With zero shades of Gray in the huddle, no Minnesota for us!
MINNESOTA over San Francisco by 3
Burned twice by the Niners this season, we take off after them once again this week in a game fully loaded with value and handicap. For openers, Frisco enters 2-0 SU and ATS after knocking off a pair of playoff opponents and looking practically invincible. The Vikings are 0-2 ATS on the season, splitting a pair of 3-point decisions on thescoreboard, despite having outgained both opponents. Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier is 3-0-1 ATS in games off a SU favorite loss while the Vikes have cashed in 7 of the last 8 as host in this series. Minny’s mighty 15-3 ATS home dog log of more than 3 points against greater than .700 foes finds the Niners panning for fool’s gold. Our AWESOME ANGLE puts the wraps on this puppy.
CIncinnati over WASHINGTON by 10
It’s Superman III versus Supersoph when Robert Griffi n opposes Andy Dalton in the nation’s capitol today. Griffi n found life as a favorite in this league a bit hard to swallow – and his team’s defense Lacking – when the Skins fell, 31-28, in St. Louis last week while the Bengals outlasted the Browns in a 34-27 victory in the Queen City. And speaking of favorites, the Hogs dress up in the same role today sporting an 0-7-1 ATS record as home chalk in non-conference games. On the fl ip side, the Bengals are 7-1 ATS as road dogs off a win in the first four games of the season. The cement pours from our powerful database (the same angle that applied in the Cowboys game) noting that 1-1 favorites in home openers in Game Three of the season are a just 6-27-1 ATS if they won 12 or fewer game the previous season, including a mind-boggling 2-19-1 ATS when taking on a foe that won 9 or less games last year. With Washington’s defense missing two key starters, like a speeding bullet, we’re off to the betting window.
DENVER over Houston by 7
Could it be? Two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, both playing as dogs off losses, on the same weekend. Watch the line movement on this contest (pick at press time). Should the betting public become fully enamored with the Texans and drive Houston to the favorite, both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will fi t the bill in our opening statement. If enough bad Broncos stats start surfacing (i.e. - 0-5 ATS after Monday nights, 0-4 SUand ATS last four game before the Raiders) and enough good Houston numbers get bandied about (i.e. - 7-0 ATS after the Jaguars), it could happen. Instead, we’ll sink our teeth into some pretty Peyton numbers, such as: 11-2 ATS as a dog of less than 6 points versus a non-division foe off a SU and ATS win; 12-3 SU and ATS the last 15 home versus a foe off back-to-back SU and ATS wins. The Houston defense has really ratcheted up in 2012 (tops in the league, allowing 196 YPG) but it’s been against offenses the likes of Jacksonville and Miami. We like the Hall of Famer’s bounce-back ability today.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping