Thursday, November 08, 2012
College & Pro Upsets Nov. 8-12
Thursday, Nov 8
VIRGINIA TECH over Florida State by 1
With only Maryland left to deal with on the conference slate, a win tonight in Blacksburg will likely send the Seminoles to the ACC title game and keep their slim national championship title hopes alive. Speaking of the ACC title game, it was the Hokies who topped the ‘Noles, 44-33, in that same game two short seasons ago. But rather than revenge from the Sems, our PLAYBOOK.com database, AWESOME ANGLE on page 2 and TRIVIA TEASER (also page 2) calls for a repeat performance from the bewildered Hokies. Yes, Beamer’s boys are an unheard of 4-5 to date, but the veteran head coach is at his best when the opponent enters with the better record. The Techsters are also a near-perfect 9-0-1 ATS as home dogs off a SU loss and 5-0 ATS in Game Ten of the season, which fi ts like the Bowden Family in a Cracker Barrel (is there any way ol’ Bobby can
ever be left with one peg at that triangle game?) to FSU’s 1-6 ATS Game Ten log and 1-6 ATS mark as weekday chalk. And while we realize that most of those numbers can be attributed to their former coach – including a 5-11 SU and 4-12 ATS mark with regular-season rest and revenge (0-7 ATS away when the conference foe is not off a double-digit win), this still looks to be a jumbo road task for Jimbo and the current staff. Thus, we’ll grab the ridiculous two touchdowns as the Hokies put a second peg in the Seminoles’ loss column.
Saturday Nov 10
SYRACUSE OVER LOUISVILLE by 11
The ‘noose tightens’ for the undefeated Redbirds as they fi nd themselves in the worst of this week’s SMART BOX. Not only that, but Louisville is 1-7 ATS as road favorites off back-to-back SU wins and 1-5 ATS as chalk in this particular series, alone. In fact, this has completely been a dog of a series (both fi guratively and literally) with the pup covering eight of the last nine. It would also come as no surprise to see Louie’s lightweight schedule (lined foes are 17-45 SU this season) come back to bite them today in the Carrier Dome. Some may argue that 4-5 Syracuse falls into that category, but the truth of the mater is that the under-the-radar Orange gain 95 YPG more than it allows. Sooner rather than later, this translates into wins (see last week’s NC State/Virginia writeup when we ‘Alerted’ you to that same scenario). And while it’s all good that the hardtrying Orange need two wins in their fi nal three contests to go bowling for the second time in three years, the clincher to this writeup comes courtesy of our PLAYBOOK.com database as it notes: the ‘Cuse is 12-1 ATS as home dogs when allowing less than 27 PPG on the season versus undefeated opposition. Yep, Doug Marrone runs a ‘tight’ ship in upstate New York and the Cardinals are about to fi nd out just how tight. And there then were five (or maybe even four if you read our Upset Special fi rst) – unbeatens, that is! It’s a take as the Orange squeeze out the victory.
TCU over Kansas by 6
The big question mark here is the availability of Kansas State QB Collin Klein. The Heisman frontrunner spent the fi nal 25 minutes of Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State watching from the sideline after sustaining an ‘undisclosed injury.’ Don’t expect cantankerous HC Bill Snyder to shed any light on the situation: he’s sidestepped every inquiry about Klein and kept his own players confused about the severity of the situation. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen,” said wide receiver Tyler Lockett. “I think he’s going to be able to play, we just don’t know.” Here’s one thing we DO know – K-State’s prolifi c offense managed a mere 6 points with backup QB Daniel Sams calling signals in place of Klein. And while Snyder’s crew continues to charm enough computer programmers to remain in the 2nd spot in this week’s BCS rankings, the fact is they are a huge SMART BOX fade here and have showed signs of cracking lately (outgained in the last two games). TCU head coach Gary Patterson doesn’t have a lot of experience as a home underdog – the Frogs
haven’t taken points at Fort Worth since 2006 – but he makes the most of the role, going 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS, including fi ve covers in his last fi ve tries. This program expects to WIN every game, losing only four contests on the scoreboard in the four seasons prior to 2012. Not only has Patterson’s squad suffered three defeats already this season, they’ll be looking to snap a pair of back-to-back home losses when the Wildcats invade the lily pad this evening. With KSU QB Collin Klein wobbly at best, we’ll go for the jugular with the Horned Ones.
HOUSTON over Tulsa by 4
After last week’s puzzling no-show in Pirateland (blown out by ECU, 48-28), today’s game is a last-gasp chance for the Cougars to take down CUSA West division leaders Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane currently sits at
a perfect 5-0 in conference play while Houston trails at 3-2, so it really is a case of now or never. Like many others in this loop, Houey needs wins in two of its last three games to garner a bowl bid (at Marshall next
week before wrapping up against Tulane). Our AWESOME ANGLE on page 2 really likes their chances… and so do we. The series favorite just so happens to be 0-4 SUATS at Robertson Stadium of late and we have
little doubt that the Hurricane will be peeking ahead to its Judgment Day showdown with 5-0 East division-leading UCF in Tulsa’s regular season home fi nale. Cougars have won three of the last four against the
Hurricane (only loss by 3 points) and should dig down deep for 1st-year head coach Tony Levine. Put the dog collar on these Cats and hand ‘em over… we’re taking.
San Diego over Tampa Bay by 7
The Bucs seem to have caught fi re since their Bye Week, bringing a 3-1 SUATS mark into this fray. It’s not only caught the fancy of the linesmakers but the betting public as well. As a result, Tampa has been installed as the favorite against an opponent they’ve long struggled against, going 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS in their franchise history (favored once, lost the whole game by 17 points). Adding to the Bucs’ woes today is their 1-7-1 ATS record as a non-conference favorite, and a 1-8 SU and 0-9 ATS mark as a non-division host when facing an opponent off a SUATS win. On the fl ip side, the Bolts will contest a well-publicized 1:00 PM ET kick with the knowledge that they are 13-1 ATS as non-conference dogs during the 2nd quarter of the season (Games Five thru Nine). That, along with a defense that is 65 YPG superior, fi gures to be enough to extinguish any and all flames emanating from the locals at Raymond James Stadium today.
Tennessee over Miami by 6
Although the Dolphins are clearly one of the surprise teams in the league this season, something does not smell right. Behind rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, they’re 4-4 on the season, following a litany of failures the previous three years. A closer inspection, however, shows the party on South Beach may have reached its fever pitch. Not only are the Fish allowing 50 YPG more than they are gaining this season, they have also regressed 124 YPG in games played since October. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Miami has been outyarded in each of its last four games, making them a ‘leaking oil’ favorite – and we want no part of that. Not with the Dolphins a horrid 0-10 ATS as home favorites of 6 or more points. And not with Miami a distasteful 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS all-time as a host against teams from the AFC South division. The Dolphins have coughed up season-high yards in two of its last three games and the Titans’ 31-point loss to the Bears last week was much closer on the stat sheet (outyarded 358-333) than on the scoreboard. The Fish stink up the joint here today.
New Orleans over Atlanta by 11
Was the Saints’ satisfying win over the Eagles Monday night a buysign, or simply a cause for celebration? That’s arguable but what we know for sure is New Orleans has handled Atlanta with relative ease lately, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings between these two teams – including 7 of the last 8 games here in the Superdome. The Saints also love two-week stays on Bourbon Street where they are currently riding a 5-0 SUATS streak at home off a home game. Enter the high flying 8-0 Falcons who take a perilous 3-7 SU and 1-9 ATS mark into division games when playing off a pair of SUATS wins when tackling a .333 or greater opponent, including 0-4 SUATS if the foe is off a win into this contest. Granted, the Saints aren’t what they were perceived to be but after an ominous 0-4 start to the season, they bounced back to go 3-1 SUATS in their last four games and have the look of spoiler written all over them. Drew Brees agrees, sporting a 10-3 SU and 11-2 ATS career mark against undefeated opposition, including 7-1 SU nd 8-0 ATS when he is facing 3-0 or better challengers. Add Brees’ 26-10 SUATS career record in games against opponents off back-toback wins, including 18-3 ATS when not forced to lay more than 3 points, and just like that we’ve bought hook, line and sinker into
N’Awlins. The Dirty Birds are dead. Let the party begin
Detroit over MINNESOTA by 7
A quick glance at this week’s MIDWEEK ALERT newsletter tells us all we need to no about the right side in this contest. The mellow Lions, just 4-4 on the season, have outgained all but one opponent (the 49ers) on the
stat sheet this campaign, while the 5-4 Vikings have been outgained in each of their last three contests. As a result, Minny allows more YPG than they gain whereas Detroit gains 91 YPG more than it allows. Toss in a case of major revenge from a 7-point home loss in which the Lions dominated in the stats (341-227) and we’re on our way. The Vikes go yikes at home during the 2nd quarter of the season (Games Five thru Nine) when facing an avenging opponent, just 1-10 ATS. Minnesota is also a mournful 2-14- 1 ATS as chalk during the second half of the season in games against avenging division foes. Now, look to the left side of the odds and you’ll find the right side of this game.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Friday, November 02, 2012
College & Pro Upsets Nov. 2-4
Arizona State over Oregon State by 8
After allowing almost 30 points and 425 yards per game in 2011, it looked like fi rst-year HC Todd Graham had righted the defensiveship in Tempe as the Sun Devils held fi ve of their fi rst six opponents to 17 or less points this season. However, the Devils ‘D’ has been torched for 88 points the last two weeks but we’re just not sure that the defl ated Beavers will be able to take advantage. As it is, Mike Riley’s men have been held to 21 or fewer points in four games this campaign. Worse, a classic case of the dreaded ‘Bubble Burst’ is ineffect tonight in Corvallis as our database notes: teams off their 1st oss of the season, after starting 5-0 or better, who allow 16.5 or more PPG on the year, are 11-39-1 ATS as favorites of less than 28 points when facing an avenging foe since 1980. To boot, Riley is an un-Tony Robbins-like 1-7 ATS off his 1st setback of the season while his Beavers are 1-4-1 ATS as conference chalk of 7 or less points and 1-4 ATS as home favorites with conference revenge. That’s a far cry from Todd Graham’s 13-4 ATS log as a conference dog, including 10-1 ATS when taking 7 or less points. Oh, the life of Riley. We’re not sure if a 7-0 start will disintegrate into a poor fi nish (Stanford and Oregon are still on the docket) but we do know that the visitor in this series will improve to 4-0-1 ATS by the time Sunday morning rolls around. An absolute must take.
Oklahoma St over KANSAS ST by 1
If we had our way, both of these teams would play about 15 overtimes and collapse from exhaustion without either side winning the game. That’s because they sabotaged our late phones last Saturday with a pair of sterling second-half performances – the Wildcats outscored Texas Tech 42-14 while the Cowboys pitched a 27-0 shutout of TCU –and we don’t forgive and forget very easily. Still, we know many of you are anxious to pick a side and watch what should be a rock ‘em, sock ‘em affair from Big 12 country. In that case, we’ll side with the visitors from Stillwater… despite Kansas State’s strong series edge (6-2 ATS L8 / 7-1 ATS L8 home) and the Cats’ 6-1 ATS mark when playing with conference revenge. Simply put, we feel KSU (like Florida) will succumb to the pressure of being the No. 2 ranked team in the BCS poll. Plus, last week’s stomp job of the Red Raiders wasn’t as one-sided as the fi nal score indicated: Tech actually outyarded the Wildcats in the loss. Okie State Cowboys brings the nation’s top-ranked offense (586 YPG) into this contest, along with enough resilience to have rallied from 14-0 defi cit against TCU. With OSU coach Mike Gundy 39-16 SU in games in which his Cowboys own a .700 or greater win percentage, and a sterling 4-1 ATS as a dog of more than 6 points against undefeated opposition, the upset alert has been sounded.
Cincinnati over Denver by 7
To those who scoffed at the notion that Peyton Manning was fi nished… shame on you. Currently the league’s top rated passer (109.0), Manning and his Broncos rest atop a watered-down AFC West, the only division leader in the loop one game over breakeven. Today, however, is not a good role for the future Hall of Famer as he stands just 3-7 ATS away in his career against greater than .250 teams off back-to-back losses, including 0-5 ATS if the foe is off a loss of 7 or more points. Making matters worse, the Broncos are 1-10 ATS in games off back-to-back SUATS wins when facing a sub .500 opponent. Meanwhile, the Bengals’ trump card in this affair is a menacing 7-0 ATS mark when avenging a loss versus an AFC West opponent. Our database cements the play with this beauty: NFL home dogs riding a 0-3 SUATS exact losing streak who won nine or more games last season are 14-2 ATS since 1980 if they own a win percentage of more than .333 and are facing an opponent with a win percentage of .571 or greater. In closing, keep this thought in mind: the Broncos are 7-14 SU in their last 21 road games, favored In two of those contests – both straight up losses. No, this is not Peyton’s place. It’s Jungle land, as we take our stand.
Indianapolis over Miami by 2
Here we go again, riding another underdog role with Andrew Luck and the Colts. This week they fi nd themselves taking points from a 4-3 Dolphins squad as high as it has been since it last made the playoffs in 2008. That’s the last time the Fish owned a winning record. Forget the fact Miami’s four wins have come against teams that are only 12-18 on the season. They enter Nap town off a pleasing rout of arch-rival New York knowing they are 0-12 SU and 3-9 ATS in games after jousting with the Jets. Making matters worse was the manner in which they fl attened the Flyboys. It was clearly a special teams victory given the fact that Miami was outgained 127 yards in the foray. On the fl ip side, the 4-3 Colts return to Lucas Oil Stadium sporting a 5-1 SU and 6-0 SUATS record during the regular season off back-to-back SUATS wins versus a foe off back-to-back wins. Indy is also 15-2 SU and 14-3 ATS off a SU division road win. Ryan Tannehill or not, the ‘Chuck Strong’ run of the Colts continuesbehind their new good luck quarterback.
Pittsburgh over NY Giants by 10
Batten down the hatches. No, Sandy’s sister is not coming to pay a visit to the Big Apple. The Steelers are. And they are anything but a big bag of wind. The Steel Curtain has been reinforced and the Black and Gold is hitting the opposition harder these days than presidential antagonists during the fi nal week of a no holds barred election campaign. That’s because Pittsburgh enters today’s fray having held 6 of its 7 opponents to season low – or 2nd low– yardage marks this season, including No. 1 lows in three of its ast four contests. Our NFL Coaches League database is quick to remind us Mike Tomlin is 7-1 SUATS in his career as a dog during the regular season against opponents off a win. Tomlin is also 5-0 SUATS in Game Eight’s. Meanwhile, his counterpart, Tom Coughlin's riding a 1-7 SUATS streak in Game Nine’s and the Giants are just 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven scrapes versus AFC opposition when Laying 3 or more points. With 112 YPG the better defense and an mposing mark in games against their two common opponents, Philadelphia and Washington (the Steelers won both games and stats by 197 yards; the Giants split the two games and lost the stats by 151 yards), the second storm to hit the city leaves with a pile of cash in its wake today.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Friday, October 26, 2012
College abd Pro Upsets Oct. 26-29
MIAMI OHIO over Ohio U by 1
One game we will NOT be passing on takes place this afternoon in southwestern Ohio as the RedHawks look to reclaim the MAC East title from the Bobcats – who reclaimed it from them in 2011. Yes, the Bobbies are off to a 7-0 start and have cracked the BCS Top 25 for the first time in school history (which is a bit surprising to us considering their ridiculously weak strength of schedule: lined foes are 7-32 SU this season) but we will NOT be fooled. Not only do the road favorites arrive with a week of rust, err rest, they also enter Fred C. Yager Stadium severely ‘leaking oil’ as they have been outgained in each of their last three wins. Frank Solich’s squad is also an unlucky 0-13 ATS as a favorite of 4 or more points versus an opponent off a spread loss of 15 or more points. This doesn’t bode well against a Miami Ohio group that is 11-2 ATS as a conference dog of more than 3 points against winning opposition, including 3-0 ATS at home. It may be that time of year as the fall festivals are in full swing, but the only bobbing we’re doing today in Ohio is with the Oxford hosts. And yes, down go the Bobbies. RedHawks, outright!
California over UTAH by 6
We mentioned earlier that there was no ‘Burning Love’ for BC head coach Frank Spaziani in Chestnut Hill. Well, to quote the King again (no, not Victor King), it’s ‘Now or Never’ for Cal’s Jeff Tedford. Tedford will need wins in three of the Bears’ fi nal four games to become bowl eligible and possibly save his job. And with Oregon still on the itinerary, this undoubtedly becomes a must. The good news for ‘Teddy Bear’ is that 3-5 road teams in Game Nine of the season who allow less than 30 PPG are 17-4 ATS when facing a sub .333 opponent. It also doesn’t hurt that the wounded Utes have been outgained in fi ve of six lined contests this season. With Utah losing outright (27-20 at Utah State) in their only favorite role to date – and Cal having already squared off against lined foes who own a 34-14 SU record – this should seem like a walk in the park for the Berkeley bunch. Or as Elvis might say, grab the points ASAP because ‘tomorrow may be too late.’
Mississippi over ARKANSAS by 3
If you’re aware that Ole Miss has dropped fi ve straight ATS in this series on the road, you still shouldn’t get too riled up over the Hogs. That’s because the guy on the sidelines for Mississippi, Hugh Freeze, is like money in the bank of late. He cranked out a 9-3 ATS ledger with Arkansas State before coming to Oxford and he’s directed what many expected to be a mediocre team to a 5-1 ATS run so far in 2012. Then we have the Hogs, one of the season’s biggest train wrecks, though they have managed back-to-back wins to halt a four-game losing streak. But the victories came against SEC bottom feeders Kentucky and Auburn, so we’re not sure Arkansas is up to the task of laying points to a winning foe with the better record. Hey, the Rebels own the better offense, the better defense, AND the better record. They also own much the better stats in games against three common opponents – Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M: Rebs +144 net yards in those contests; Pigs -451 net yards. That’s math even Honey Boo Boo can understand! Throw in a SMART BOX fade of the Razorbacks and we’ve got a genuine live dog on our hands. You know what to do.
MARSHALL over Ucf by 3
This won’t be easy. On the plus side of the ledger, the Herd owns the nation’s No. 4 offense, averaging a thundering 568 YPG. But when it comes to stopping the rush, Marshall’s ‘D’ – currently ranked No. 111 – might as
well be in Pamplona for the running of the bulls. After an impressive start, the Knights are stumbling, covering just one of their last fi ve outings, and were actually outstatted in a win over Memphis (yikes!). With an SMU
revenger on deck, this visit to coal country could see the mineshaft poised to collapse on the Floridians. Marshall really roughed up Southern Miss last week, 59-24, and off back-to-back previous home losses on a field where they stand 118-24 SU since 1992, the Herd will have their lights on tonight.
INDIANAOPLIS over Tennessee by 6
Lots to like with each of these teams looking like winners of late. The Titans scratched and clawed their way to a 35-34 upset win in a shootout at Buffalo to lift themselves to 3-4 on the season while the Colts held off the Browns to pull even at 3-3. That combination opens a Pandora’s box for Tennessee. For openers, Indy brings a 5-1 SU and 5-0-1 ATS mark on to the road against an opponent off a SU underdog win. The Colts, owners of the better offense and the better defense in this contest, are also 5-1 SUATS when .500 exact off a win versus a foe off a win. The Titans need to overcome a terrible 2-9 ATS record in games after scoring 35 or more points, including 0-4 ATS when facing a foe off a win. In addition, the Nashville Cats are just 1-5 ATS in games off a SU underdog win under Mike Munchak. The clincher, though, is this beauty from our powerful database: 3-3 NFL teams in Game Seven of the season, facing an opponent off a SUATS win, are 22-5 ATS since 1980 if they did not lose the money in their previous game and the Over/Under total in this game is set at more than 41 points. The good luck ‘Chuck Strong’ run of the Colts continues here.
Miami over NY JETS by 4
An AFC East rematch fi nds the Fish on the road looking to avenge a 23-20 overtime loss suffered against the Jets in Week Three of the season. In keeping with the starting rookie quarterback dog theme this year (now
18-8 ATS and counting), Ryan Tannehill has thus far exceeded expectations in Miami. Although his 76.5 QB Rating ranks in the bottom fi ve of the league, it is still higher than that of Mark Sanchez. The Dolphins’ 6-1-1 ATS mark as division dogs of less than 7 points shows their intense effort in AFC East contests. So does Miami’s 20-7 ATS road dog log of late, including 13-3 ATS against foes off a loss. Meanwhile, Rex Ryan continues to pout in games as a favorite when playing off a loss, going 4-8-1 ATS in his NFL career (1-4-1 ATS inside the division). Jets grounded at LaGuardia.
Oakland over KANSAS CITY by 6
In some circles, the announcement that Romeo Crennel has decided to go with Brady Quinn as his starter is akin to a self-induced resignation. After all, the not-so-mighty Quinn is just 3-10 SU in his NFL career as a starting quarterback. He’s also 0-2 ATS when favored, which makes him a post-time maiden in this contest. For what it’s worth, Romeo either had to make the change or continue to run into the ground behind Matt Cassel, currently the worst ranked passer in the league with a QB Rating of 66.2. It all brings us to the Raiders who are the epitome of a good dog and a bad favorite if ever there was one, as the Black-and-Silver are
16-3 ATS as division road dogs since 2007. They are also 5-0 SUATS in their last visits to Arrowhead. With the Chiefs a bipolar opposite 1-9 SU and 0-10 ATS as division chalk, you know where our allegiance is in this contest.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping