Friday, October 24, 2008
Marc Lawrence College Upsets for October 25
Wake Forest over MIAMI FLA by 8
Deacons have not been living the Life of Riley since QB Skinner went into the tank three weeks ago by throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble in Wake’s surprising home loss to Navy. And even though the Deacs rebounded to stop Clemson the following week, Skinner stunk it up again (14-of-30 passing) in last Saturday’s puzzling defeat at Maryland, Jim Grobe’s first-ever shutout since he arrived in Winston-Salem seven-plus seasons ago. Miami awoke from a first half slumber in Durham to outscore Duke 35-14 in the second stanza en route to a convincing 49-31 that puts the Canes back in the thick of the ACC race. But a full-fl edged QB controversy is brewing at Coral Gables between mistake-prone starter Robert Marve and Jacory Harris, not good news when we take a gander at the Hurricanes’ recent ATS results. Miami is just 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS as conference favorites under Randy Shannon and has failed to cover a single game in eight straight tries after winning and covering as road chalk. Wake’s pointspread numbers inspire much more confidence: the Deacs are 6-0 ATS in Game Seven of the season and the aforementioned Grobe stands 9-2 SU and 10-0-1 ATS as a dog of 5 or less points with the Demons. Despite the visitors gaining just 219 total yards last week versus the Terps, we’ll ride the Wake Forest elevator ‘up’ this week as Skinner returns to form by deflating the Hurricanes.
The Tar Heels return to Chapel Hill off an immensely frustrating loss to Virginia at Charlottesville. North Carolina controlled the game defensively for 58 minutes but could not prevent Virginia from driving 82 yards for a tying touchdown in the final two minutes of regulation. Then, after regaining the lead with a field goal in overtime, the Cavs needed just four plays to punch in the game-winner, dropping UNC to 1-2 in the ACC race. Wait, it gets worse: Carolina is a woeful 1-9 ATS as a single-digit conference home favorite and has covered just once in five tries as chalk in the first of BB homers. Boston College makes the trip south following an impressive win over Virginia Tech and the Eagles bring along a bankroll-building 10-1 ATS mark as road dogs of less than 10 points. BC is also just one of five remaining teams to own a perfect ‘In The Stats’ record this year – the mirror opposite of UNC’s awful 1-5 ITS effort. The clincher is BC’s defense, allowing a mere 13 PPG this season. That ties nicely into Butch Davis’ dastardly 3-19 ATS mark as a college head coach in games when he is favored and his team fails to score 30 points. As we’ve said before, home favourites playing off an OT loss are not our cup of tea, so we’ll be flying with the Eagles against the downtrodden Heels today.
FLORIDA over Kentucky by 10
With a week off to bask in the glow of their 51-21 dismemberment of LSU, Urban Meyer and his Gators had to be disappointed to see their one-loss team land at #10 in the season’s initial BCS rankings released on Sunday. And as we all know, the only way for a squad to make any headway in the polls these days is to run up the score whenever possible while hoping the higher-ups somehow falter. If you think this looks like a great opportunity for Florida to give the scoreboard a workout, you’d better think again: Kentucky’s rugged defense has yielded a season-high of just 24 points, less than the spread on this matchup! Still buoyed by their stirring come-from-behind win over Arkansas, the Wildcats own all the ATS edges here. Ready? UK has consistently cashed in the series, going 5-1 ATS in the last six games (3-0 ATS at The Swamp), they’re 6-2 ATS as SEC dogs of 14 > points and head coach Rich Brooks stands 8-1 ATS as a double-digit dog when his Cats are .500 or greater. Florida doesn’t scare anyone with its feeble 2-11 ATS record as conference favorites of 14 or more points and our powerful database tells us that a team who beat the defending National Champs are just 6-21 ATS when facing an opponent that won 7 or more games the previous season, including 3-18 since 1990! With a monster revenger against Georgia waiting in the wings for UF, we’ll gladly oblige and grab the hefty points.
MICHIGAN over Michigan St by 6
BOTH teams were rudely reminded last week that they’re no longer part of the 2008 Big 10 elite. Michigan blew a 17-7 lead at Penn State and got chased out of Beaver Stadium, 46-17, while their in-state rivals were being beheaded by Ohio State, 45-7, before a horrified home crowd at East Lansing. A tough setback for Michigan State’s program but NOTHING compared to the Season From Hell that has engulfed Ann Arbor (yeah, Lloyd Carr couldn’t beat Ohio State but how does 9 wins a year and a bowl game look NOW)? After allowing 37 unanswered points in the 2nd half to Penn State last week, the Wolverines need to bag a win here or their 33-year consecutive bowl record will be history – a distressing scenario for those who shelled out the big bucks to nab Rich Rod. Believe it or not, home dog Michigan has been favored in 32 of the 33 previous dukeouts with MSU and the only time the Wolves were taking points, they won the whole game. Good for the Maizeand - Blue, too, that Sparty is playing its 9th straight game with no rest this year because the heat under Rodriguez is reaching blast furnace proportions. Rich Rod needs this game like O.J. needed a new glove at his last trial and as Tom Petty noted, “Baby, even the losers get lucky sometimes”. Michigan fans enjoy a rare moment in the sun.
Last Week: 1-3 Season: 17-9
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping