Wednesday, October 10, 2012
College & Pro Upsets Oct.13-16
PITTSBURGH Over Louisville by 8
The Cardinals may be 7-2 ATS with rest but they are a 5-0 ‘Fat Cat’ fade from last issue’s SMART BOX, the same scenario that saw FSU lose outright at NC State and Ohio not cover against Buffalo. Only the Oregon Ducks managed to escape the wrath of the ‘Box’ last weekbut we don’t see similar results for the Redbirds this morning (11:00 AM start) in the Steel City. Nope, not only are the Panthers a live Homecoming dog that has dominated the series of late (4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS since 2007), they don’t fear a conference opponent seeking revenge as they are a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven against these foes. They are also 6-1 ATS off a weekday tilt. Strong numbers indeed (and not as in Louisville HC Charlie Strong) but the clincher comes from our PLAYBOOK.com database and it’s as good as it gets: Game Six or later undefeated road teams playing with rest turn to rust as these squads are 11-24 SU and 5-30 ATS since 1999. That means that more than two-thirds of these teams have seen their dreams of a perfect season dashed in this dangerous role. Wow – is that amazing stuff, or what? We want no part of that nor do we want any part of a Louisville team that has yet to cash away from home this season (0-2 ATS). We’ll prowl with the Panthers as Louie goes Kapooie.
IOWA STATE over Kansas State by 6
Marc’s ‘Kick in the Assets’ article on page 2 packs quite a wallop against the unbeaten Wildcats and suggests they are ‘gonna come down’ today in Ames. Even if you think that wily head coach BillSnyder can keep his ‘Cats from looking ahead to next week’s battle at unbeaten West Virginia, both our PLAYBOOK.com database and Midweek Alert think it’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ for the men from Manhattan. For starters, K-State is just 5-9 SU and 3-11 ATS in their last 14 as road chalk, including 0-5 ATS versus a foe off a SU win, while the dog-lovin’ Cyclones are 8-1 ATS in their last nine when taking points, including fi ve SU wins. Series history also favors the points as the pup has cashed in four of the last fi ve meetings. And from a strength of schedule standpoint, the Cyclones have taken a ride against lined foes that own a 12-5 SU record this season while the Wildcats’ opposition checks in with a 6-10 SU mark. That’s all good reason to ‘listen to the old man’ (Marc) as he’s been telling us for years that ‘the dogs of society howl.’ So if you want to stay planted in your penthouse, you know what to do – not only grab the points, but take a look at that juicy money line, too!
If these aren’t Heisman Trophy numbers, then there aren’t any. West Virginia QB Geno Smith this season: 81.3% pass completions on 166-of-204, 1,996 yards, 24 TDs and 0 Ints. Wow! But here’s something you may not know – Texas Tech’s defense ranks No. 3 in the land, allowing only 210 YPG. The Mountaineer coaches would probably kill for numbers like that: WVU gave up 45 points in last week’s win over Texas, 108 points in its two Big 12 games, and the stop unit ranks No. 104 overall, ripped for a whopping 460 YPG. We can be a bit more forgiving with the Mounties lack of defense considering the offense can score so quickly and so often. One thing we don’t like, though, is seeing the Mountaineers go from 7-point road dogs to road favorites off the nationally-televised rumble with the Longhorns. Red Raiders QB Seth Doege is adept at exploiting the weaknesses in any defense and after facing ferocious pressure from Oklahoma last Saturday, he’ll fi nd things much more to his liking here. TTRR improves to 8-1-1 ATS in the second of back-to-back at Lubbock by ambushing the stump-jumper.
South Carolina over LSU by 6
The Gamecocks’ punishing defense grounded “Gurshall” last Saturday night in Columbia, holding Georgia’s freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall to 76 yards combined in South Carolina’s impressive 35-7 smackdown of the Dawgs (our SEC scout, Jaybird The Bulldog, apparently put so many bettors on UGA that he had to fl ee Vegas for his own safety). The victory gives ‘the other USC’ a 10-game win streak, the most in school history – as well as the longest current skein in the FBS. But with LSU throwing down the gauntlet this week and the Gators next, it doesn’t get any easier for the Ol’ Ball Coach, who by the way, is the 3rd oldest active FBS coach on the sidelines these days (we’ll need to change Ol’ to Old sooner rather than later). Even so, we think Spurrier may have a legitimate contender in the race to unseat Alabama from the college football throne. Gamecock QB Connor Shaw may not get mentioned along with Geno Smith or Matt Barkley but the junior has won 13 of his 14 starts with Carolina. He’ll get to face an LSU squad that saw its ‘Bubble Burst’ in a major last week at The Swamp. The Tigers have also fl oundered in today’s role, going 2-7 ATS as a home favorite of 10 or less points and 2-6 ATS at Death Valley in between road trips. From the database: LSU head coach Les Miles is 10-15 SU and 9-14-2 ATS in conference games in his career against foes that own a better record than his team. Hey, with the TRIVIA TEASER and BUBBLE BURST at work here, we’ll taking
anything The Man is offering. Is that the phone? Yep, it’s Jaybird, calling from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. “Don’t jump, Bird!” we yelled. “I’m not gonna jump,” he said. “I’m here to make a point about LSU this
week: hang on tight, Tiger fans, cause it’s a long way DOWN.”
WASHINGTON ST over California by 1
Looks like Cal HC Jeff Tedford got the message loud and clear last week when his Bears assaulted the Bruins, 43-17, as 3-point dogs. However, this week they change roles and go out as road favorites – not a good thing for Tedford who is 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS in his career in games off a SU dog win, including 0-4 SUATS when laying points. Our database also chips in with this nugget: college RF’s off a SU home dog win who scored 36 or more points in the victory are just 8-24 ATS when facing a foe off an ATS win. In direct contrast, WSU’s Mike Leach owns a stellar 9-1 ATS dog log off a SU loss, including 6-0 SUATS as a dog of fewer than 15 points. At fi rst glance, the much-maligned Cougars defense looks to be another hapless unit ike those fi elded under the Paul Wulff regime, but they’ve actually held their last two foes to season low – and 2nd low – yardage marks. It’s the offense – Leach’s calling card with Texas Tech – that can’t seem to get into a rhythm. But Leach is a master tinkerer and he’ll fi t the pieces together sooner rather than later. Both teams sit at 2-4 SU and despite the Bears’ 43-point breakout against UCLA, they’re not ready to lay a touchdown on the Pac-12 road. Cougars re-heat Tedford’s seat with an upset today.
Tex-San Antonio over RICE by 4
The first question we’d pose to the Vegas linemakers in this contest is: why are the Owls favored? They tried it last week and were upended by notso-mighty Memphis, scoring a feeble 10 points and losing outright as 5.5
road favorites. But UTSA bears little resemblance to the underachievers in Memphis. The Roadrunners have sprinted to a 5-0 SU and ITS start to the season, covering both lined games. Head coach Larry Coker, formerly of Miami Fla, has lined a few pockets in this situation recently, compiling an 8-3 ATS mark as an underdog. Rice has had trouble beating college football’s bottom feeders so, as you might expect, they can’t handle winning opponents, going 22-108 SU in that role. The fact that San Antonio fields the better ‘D’ by a whopping 238 YPG seals the deal. Remember the Alamo!
St. Louis over Miami by 7
It’s strange how the NFC West has so quickly gone from peasants to ‘king of the hill’ of the NFL but such is the case this week as the division is the only one in the league to feature four teams with winning records at this stage of the season. Today’s game pairs Jeff Fisher against the team he spurned in favor of the Rams, thus adding to the drama of the contest. Miami returns home off a satisfying road win at Cincinnati dressing up as favorites for the fi rst time in the Ryan Tannehill era. That presents a problem considering that starting rookie quarterbacks are not only 0-5 ATS as favorites this season, but also 0-5 SU as well. That magnifi es next to Miami’s 0-9 SU mark in Game Sixes and its recent 0-5 ATS record as home chalk during the 2nd quarter of the season (Games Five-Eight). Given the Rams’ 7-1 ATS log in games off a win versus opponent’s off a SU underdog win in similar 2nd quarter contests, look for Fisher – the king of underdogs – to continue his magic in the Magic City today.
NY Giants over San Francisco by 10
Yes, we realize the Niners are the hottest thing since the launch of the new IPhone. And they will take to the fi eld with revenge on their minds from a loss suffered to the Giants in the championship game on this field last postseason behind the league’s top rated passer in Alex Smith. So why is it we’re willing to throw back a kamikaze and take them on, you say? It’s simply not because we’re contrarians by nature. Nor is it the fact that defending super bowl champions excel as underdogs. No, we’re locked into our database and it’s screaming Giants. For openers, favorites in this league that have allowed 3 or fewer points combined in their last two games are just 3-11 ATS since 1990, including 0-7 ATS when facing a foe that scored 17 or more points in its previous game. In addition, since 1988 only three teams n the league have managed to beat the spread by 30 or more points in back-to-back games. All three lost the next game straight up. The clincher is the fact that defending Super Bowl champions are 13-6 SU and 14-4 ATS as road dogs versus opponents off back-to-back SUATS wins, including 8-1 SU and 8-0-1 ATS if the foe is off a win of more than 17 points. Now, get on the phone and tell Siri to listen up as the Niners fall to 2-12 SU in Game Sixes here today.
Denver over San Diego by 11
A battle for supremacy in the AFC West kicks off under the Monday night lights when Philip Rivers and the 3-2 Chargers host Peyton Manning and the 2-3 Broncos in San Diego. It’s not often you will fi nd Manning’s teams taking the fi eld with a losing record but when you do you can count on them, as evidenced by his 17-8 SU career mark in these games, including 3-0 SUATS when facing a foe off a SUATS loss. In addition, Monday night football fi elds have been Peyton’s place where he is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in his career as a favorite or dog of less than 3 points. On the other side of the coin, Rivers is 0-2 SUATS as a favorite in games off a loss on Mondays. More important, Charger head coach Norv Turner lumps up at home in division games where he stands 17-31 ATS in his NFL career, including 0-5 SUATS when favored by a fi eld goal or less. With the visitor 5-1 SUATS the last six games in this series, look for Peyton to pull his team even with the Chargers here tonight. Broncos kick up their heels at Qualcomm.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping