Friday, December 16, 2011
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets December 17-18
MARSHALL over Florida Int'l by 6
A bookend 3-0 start and fi nish propelled the 8-4 Golden Panthers to the postseason for a second straight year and now Mario Cristobal’s crew will look to build on last season’s 34-32 bowl win over Toledo. Not bad for a
team that was 17-52 SU between 2004 and 2009! The problem, though, is this year’s opponent has plenty of bowl class. Since becoming a lined-team in 1998, Marshall owns a 6-1 SU and ATS record on the alleys, including 4-1 SU and ATS when taking points. And speaking of class, while Doc Holliday’s squad was taking its medicine against West Virginia and Virginia Tech in non-conference affairs – as well as Houston and Southern Miss in leagueplay – the Panthers were facing the likes of Duke (a 31-27 loss) and Akron. In fact, the only non-conference team that FIU beat that had a winning record was a Louisville squad that also fell prey to Marshall. And while the Panthers did fi nish the season on that aforementioned 3-0 SU run, our MIDWEEK ALERT points out that they were outstatted in three of their final four games. Not so for Marshall, who closed out the regular season both 3-1 SU and ‘In The Stats.’ And from our classy PLAYBOOK.com database, which you will see plenty of this bowl season, here’s a trifecta that should garner a healthy return: 6-6 bowl dogs off back-to-back SU wins are 6-1 ATS while 6-6 bowl dogs versus an opponent off back-to-back SU and ATS wins are 7-1 ATS. In addition, sub .750 bowl favorites off back-to-back SU wins, with the last a revenge victory, are 6-28 ATS. With Cristobal 5-17 SU versus winning opposition in his career, we’ll back the team that closed like a race horse versus one that pulled up ‘ITS, ITS’ (In The Stats, In The Stretch). Grab the points as the wrong team is favored tonight in St. Pete.
WASHINGTON over NY Giants by 3
After riding a 4-game losing skid, the Jersey Giants awoke from the dead to steal a win at Dallas and now control their fate in the NFC East – despite owning the 3rd-worst defense in the league (392 YPG). With that comes thoughts of the origin of the Big Apple choke, or in this case ‘shoo fl y pie and apple pan dowdy.’ That’s because teams who upset the Cowboys are just 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS in their next game when facing a division foe coming off a loss. The Deadskins enter off a hard-fought 34-27 home loss to New England, the team’s 8th defeat in its last nine games, but their 3-0 ITS effort in the last three games tells us this bunch of native Americans has not tossed in the towel. Plus, you can rest assured that squinty-eyed head coach Mike Shanahan has not forgotten being embarrassed by the Giants at home in the season’s fi rst game, 28-14. We didn’t have to look long to find a treasure trove of numbers backing the visitors. Washington is 9-0 ATS away versus a division opponent off a road game, 12-1 ATS as December dogs off a loss when playing the role of avenging foe, and 5-1 ATS away from D.C. when taking on an NFC East adversary off a SU and ATS win. Need more? Coach Shanahan’s perfect 7-0 ATS mark as a dog of 6 or more points when his team owns a win percentage of less than .400 on the season cements it. You can call‘em red or you can call ‘em dead… but we think the ‘Skins are the play today.
San Diego over Baltimore by 10
Here we go, hopping back on the Chargers bandwagon. We realize that as long as Tebow is in the AFC West, the Chargers can’t win the division (as confi rmed by a higher power), but rest assured Philip Rivers won’t go down without a fi ght. Our NFL QB Club tells us that December has always been a month to remember for Rivers as he s a ‘Lexus’-like 22-1 SU and 16-7 ATS in the fi nal stanza of the year, including 3-0 SU and ATS as a dog. Our NFL Coaches League also reports that even Norv shines this time of year, posting a 5-0 ATS mark as a dog off back-to-back SU wins from Game Thirteen out in the regular season. The Bolts are also 9-0 ATS as dogs off back-to-back SU wins and 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six as home dogs. That ties in nicely to Baltimore’s 0-11 ATS mark as non-division road favorites off back-to-back SU wins versus .500 or less opposition. We may not have the catchy Christmas music that Lexus has but our AWESOME ANGLE can put a bow on this one as the Chargers make another patented ‘Stretch Run.’ In fact we’re skipping the small spot and heading right to the money line. We suggest you do the same.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping