Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Oct. 1--Oct. 6
UTAH STATE over BYU by 1
The first of seven non-conference tilts takes us out to Mormon country where this bitter 92-year-old rivalry finds the victors taking home the Old Wagon Wheel and the losers making wives jokes. And while BYU has garnered the ‘Wheel’ in 29 of the last 33 meetings, it’s been the Aggies that have grabbed the cash (5-1 ATS last six) and the punch lines (“your wives are so ugly they use them in prisons to cure sex offenders”). Well, we have a feeling the Old Wheel is heading back to Logan as Utah State is 9-0 ATS as dogs of 5 or more points, 4-0 ATS with rest and 5-1-1 ATS with non-conference revenge. Meanwhile, the Cougars are 0-3 ATS with rest over the past two seasons and a far-too-hospitable 1-9 ATS in a third straight home game. So whether it’s Chuckie Keeton under center or accomplished back-up Darell Garretson (6-1 as starter in 2013), we feel the Heisman buzz surrounding BYU signal-caller Taysom Hill may just turn into another Dangerfield joke. At least that’s what our INCREDIBLE STAT on page 3 thinks as it provides The Clincher: BYU is 0-12 ATS at home off back-to-back home games after scoring 14 or more points in its last game.
FLORIDA over Tennessee by 13
Okay, stop groaning. We know Tennessee did the best Lazarus impression we’ve seen in a long time against Georgia last Saturday. And while the Vols fought tooth-and-nail until the clock simply ran out on them, Florida didn’t have the juice for four quarters against Alabama (the Tide scored the game’s final 21 points). So why have we awarded the Gators the top spot in this week’s big three college picks? For openers, the reptiles hit the highway with the support of our AWESOME ANGLE and the SMART BOX, making this a 1-2 punch we can’t resist! Next, because they’ve had to replace their entire offensive and defensive lines this season, the Vols have been forced to play an FBS-high 22 true freshmen this year. Florida is also a profitable 6-2-1 ATS of late with rest and senior SR QB Jeff Driskel is 16-4 SU as a starter with UF in what is essentially a ‘pick’ game. But the biggest reason for tossing a chicken carcass to the Gators? We got a call from Jaybird The Bulldog. Flush with victory after last week’s Tennessee cover against Georgia, our SEC scout phoned in to say he’d bought a new pair of house slippers but was keeping the bulk of his winnings to put on this game. “Last week I had three letters for you, S-E-C. Now I got three more: L-I-F. Last week it was Rocky Top, this week don’t look for a Gator flop. You all saw what happened to the big boy, Mr. Weis… well, if Muschamp loses this game – and by the way the Gators have chomped ‘em nine straight times – he’d better start
packin’.” Such sentiments actually mesh well with Tennessee’s 1-3 ATS mark after rumbling with the Bulldogs and its 2-5 ATS effort versus a rested conference foe. But just to be clear… what does L-I-F stand for? “Let it fly, baby!” he Clincher: Florida is 18-3 SU and 14-7 ATS with rest in SEC games versus opponents who allow 17.5 or more PPG on the season, including 5-0 SUATS away.
ATLANTA over NY Giants by 6
After a yo-yo year that started out 5-0 in the preseason, then 0-2 to open the regular season, and now 2-0 in its last two games, Giants fans are badly in need of all the Maalox, Mylanta and Tums they can get their hands on these days. On the other side of the coin, Atlanta has played a steady game of win-lose-win-lose and will look to stay on course when they travel to MetLife Stadium this Sunday. Unfortunately for the G-Men, they fall into a rotten Game Five situation as 2-2 home teams, off a pair of wins, are just 7-16 ATS in non-division clashes since 1980. Making matters worse, the visiting Falcons are 17-2 ATS as pick or dogs in the 2nd of back-to-back away games when playing off a SU non-division loss. All of which only figures to worsen lousy New York’s 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS all-time mark as a host in this series. Grab the points with the better team.
The Clincher: Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is 16-3 ATS in his NFL career in games off a loss of 8 or more points, including 10-3 SU and 13-0 ATS if his squad’s win percentage is .400 or greater.
NY JETS over SAN DIEGO by 1
Look. Up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it really Superman? We’re not sure the Jets are the answer to any of the aforementioned questions. However, we’re sure Marc’s SUPER FIVE Betcha Didn’t Know
column on page 2 in this week’s newsletter fits right into the Flyboys like George Clooney does Amal Alamuddin. And it couldn’t come at a better time with the Jets running out of fuel following a season-opening win over
the Raiders. A 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS mark in games off three straight losses, along with a 7-1 ATS dog log in games versus AFC foes off a pair of SUATS wins, is surely an energy boost… as is San Diego’s sour 1-6 SU and 0-7 ATS mark in this series when playing off a win. Quick, someone contact Lois Lane and alert her to Monday’s headline in the New York Post: The Jets Win! The Jets Win!
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Sept. 24-29
Arkansas over Texas AM by 1
Remember the old Monkees’ hit, ‘I’m a Believer’? Well, we didn’t see too many Arkansas faces under their helmets but we’re certainly believers after seeing them go hog wild against Northern Illinois last week. In fact, there’s ‘not a trace of doubt in our mind’ (well, maybe a little) that they’re going to snap a nasty 13-game SEC losing skein. Yes, the Aggies shocked the Gamecocks in the season opener and have since sliced and diced Lamar, Rice and SMU, but they best not get caught looking ahead (Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama on the October slate) as Arky can run the ball. And if there’s one thing that these Agriculturalists don’t like is an overland attack as they are an ugly 7-30 ATS as chalk of 20 or less points in games where they allow 150 or more rushing yards, including 2-18 ATS when the rushing total reaches 230 or more yards. And remember – this game is taking place at Jerry’s World and it just so happens that Jerry Jones is an Arkansas grad. Now while we’re not implying that Mr. Jones may have a little influence on the outcome, we should point out that A&M is 0-4 ATS at neutral sites of late, 0-5-1 ATS in Game Five of the season and 1-8 ATS in this series since 1988. So while the novice handicapper may think that laying points is ‘more or less a givin’ thing’, we say
the more we gave, the less we got. Thus the points become the play tonight in Arlington and it’s confirmed by The Clincher: Razorbacks’ head coach Bret Bielema is 42-11 SU in his career in games off a win of more than 7 points, with only 2 of the 11 losses by more than 10 points... making him 51-2 ATS to this opening number.
WASHINGTON over Stanford by 6
While the Huskies won’t have the luxury of spotting the Cardinal a 14-0 halftime lead like they did last week at home against Georgia State before scoring 45 unanswered second-half points, we don’t feel that will be the case today in Seattle as head coach Chris Petersen – the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER – will have his sled dogs ready for this conference opener. As it is, UDub is 5-0 ATS in Pac-12 lid-lifters since 2009. They’re also 4-0 ATS as home pups of 10 or less points while Stanford is 2-9 ATS as favorites of 21 or less points with rest and an unlucky 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS before meeting the Irish when facing a conference foe off a SU win. And though the Cardinal are 9-3 ATS in their last dozen as road chalk, remember that Chris Petersen does his best work when getting points, including a perfect 7-0 ATS when the foe is off a SU win of 6 or more point as outlined in the teaser. This is a tricky spot for Stanford who, like this afternoon, were favored by 7 points on their last visit here in 2012 and left with a 17-13 defeat. What is it that they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results? Some call it insanity and so does. The Clincher: Petersen is 51-3 SU at home with no loss by more than 6 points – making him 54-0 ATS to this number!
Tennessee over Indy by 4
You may not want to remember the Titans but we’re bouncing right back with them despite the fact that they embarrassed us on these pages last week. Yes, that 33-7 loss in Cincinnati wasn’t very pretty but an 8-1 ATS log as dogs when they’re on the road in Game Three sure is. As is a 326-300 overall edge in the stats against the Bengals, courtesy of our MIDWEEK ALERT Yes, the Colts – who by the way are 0-6 ATS before battling Baltimore when taking on an opponent with revenge – got off the schneid with their big win in Jacksonville last week but as ‘Luck’ would have it, that sets the stage for a pair of juicy morsels. We’ll whet your appetite with this one: Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt is 22-10 SU and 25-7 ATS versus a foe off a SU double-digit win in his NFL career, including 10-1 ATS in division frays; and close it with The Clincher: NFL Game Four teams off their first win of the season are 3-18-1 ATS as home favorites since 1980.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Friday, September 19, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Sept. 19-22
Georgia Tech over VA TECH by 8
We’re going to put both feet in as our version of the ‘Hokie-Pokie’ has the revenge-minded Yellow Jackets (lost 17-10 last season in Atlanta as 6.5-point favorites) putting a sting on Beamer’s boys. We’re not sure if the Hokies are over the sting the Pirates handed them last week but it really doesn’t matter as the Techsters from Virginia have been a good dog/bad favorite proposition of late. Upset wins at Ohio State, Miami and Georgia Tech the past two seasons have been tainted by a recent 4-13-1 ATS mark as chalk, including 0-5 ATS the last fi ve. It also doesn’t help that the Hokies are just 1-3 ATS in conference home games of a SU home loss and 2-4 ‘ITS’ since the end of last season. The SMART BOX also attaches itself to the rushing juggernaut known as Georgia Tech as it fades the host in a damaging Game Four spot. As does recent history, which shows the series visitor checking in with a spotless 4-0 ATS log since 2010. So with the Square, series history and the revenge factor all on our side, there’s really not much more needed to ‘shake it all about’ and back a Ramblin’ Wreck squad that showed some moxie last week after blowing a 25-point lead before coming back to defeat Georgia Southern. But it sure doesn’t hurt having The Clincher: Paul Johnson is 17-2 ATS as a dog in his career in games versus an opponent off a SU loss.
Miami FLA over Nebraska by 6
Meet America’s phoniest 3-0 team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.Yes, they’re unbeaten and they’ve outscored foes by 30 PPG while outgaining them by a mind-boggling 300 yard per contest. But you shouldn’t be enamored with the Huskers’ perfect start: it’s come against the Sisters of the Poor – Florida Atlantic, McNeese State and Fresno State, teams that have gone a combined 1-7 SU so far this season. Our faithful database further undermines the hosts’ perceived superiority in this matchup, noting that Nebraska is just 1-4 SUATS against the Hurricanes (this will be the first meeting in Lincoln) and 1-4 ATS versus a non-conference foe before a Big 10 home game. The Canes are 5-2 ATS of late versus this league and while their current 2-5-1 ATS mark as non-ACC road dogs is cause for concern, we feel the program is very close to turning the corner with 4th-year HC Al Golden calling the shots. The vaunted Cornhusker rushing game (324 YPG) won’t find the going quite so easy against a bruising Miami defense that has limited foes to a measly 2.0 yards per carry. Nebraska HC Bo Pelini’s appearance in this week’s TRIVIA TEASER (see page 2) adds more fuel to the fire. To that we say take what you can get and enjoy the show. And while you’re at it, don’t forget about The
Clincher: the U’s Golden is 10-1 ATS as a dog off a SU win of more than 10 points, including 7-0 ATS versus foe off SU win.
Iowa over Pitt by 6
As expected, the Hawkeyes’ ride on the Cyclone last Saturday was a bit topsy-turvy but our SMART BOX expects them to throw Pitt for a loop this week and so do we as Kirk Ferentz’s squad continues to play to the level of their opposition. While the sagacious square suggests that Iowa will be a ‘good visitor’ to the Steel City, our database also reminds us that the Hawkeyes are 4-2 SU in their last six road openers and that Ferentz is 12-4-1 ATS in his career in games off a SU favorite loss, including 6-1 SUATS before Game Eight of the season. Add the Panthers’ 1-7 ATS mark as non-conference favorites of less than 7 points to the mix, as well as their 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS record versus a Big 10 foe off a SUATS loss, and you can see why this will be a trek worth taking for Captain Kirk and company. Don’t be deceived by Pitt’s 3-0 SU record out of the gate; they’re minus three in net turnovers thus far on the season (against the likes of Delaware, BC and FIU) and that sloppy play just won’t translate into ‘W’s against better competition. Beam us up as Iowa eyes the outright win.
NFL: Washington over Philly by 6
If you thought the greatest Eagles’ comeback ever was made by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, then you haven’t been watching the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles. With a little help from the zebras, the Eagles became just the fourth team in the last 30 years to win consecutive games in which it trailed by 14 or more points in the 2nd half – and first to start the season 2-0 after putting themselves in that precarious predicament. Well, don’t look for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson to ‘take it easy’ at the start – or the second half for that matter – as they’re seeking double-revenge from a pair of losses they suffered last season. In fact, their 9-1 ATS mark with
revenge before facing the Giants, along with a 13-2 ATS log with revenge on the road between two home games, suggest they ‘take it to the limit’ today in Philly – not to mention an 11-2 ATS mark on the division highway versus a .500 or greater foe and 10-2 ATS log in the first of back-to-back division tilts. Philly’s 1-6 ATS record at home off an AFC affair adds fuel to the fire. But if you want a ‘peaceful easy feeling’ check out
The Clincher: Philadelphia is 0-7 ATS at home between two road games versus a .500 or greater with revenge.
Tennessee over Cincinnati by 4
All we can say is we hope you have New England left in your survival pool as we feel the Bengals – along with Eagles and maybe the Saints – could be in for a long afternoon. The grass has been green for the 2-0 striped ones so far but with A.J. Green nursing his injured toe, this non-division AFC fray could find the visitors coming up roses. For starters, the Titans are 5-1 ATS as road dogs with single revenge off a non-division game and 19-5 ATS in the first of back-to-back roadies, including 13-2 ATS with revenge. That does not bode well for a Cincy club that is 0-5 SUATS after facing the Falcons, 1-7 ATS off a double-digit SU nondivision
win versus a non-division opponent with single-revenge and 4-17 ATS at home in Game Two of the season versus a nondivision opponent, including 1-8 ATS if that foe has revenge. So with apologies to Tom Jones, the Bengals will not be enjoying the ‘green, green grass of home’ as the series host falls to 1-4 SUATS. And though the old house (Paul Brown Stadium) looks the same, we’ll put the finishing touches in the hands of The Clincher: Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt is 16-1 ATS in games off a non-division contest when facing an opponent off a SU double-digit win.
Green Bay over DETROIT by 6
Thanks to an ill-timed time-out from the visiting sidelines, the Packers disaster at home against the Jets last week. This week they are out to avenge a 40-10 whipping suffered late November last season in the Motor City. It proved to be the worse loss by Green Bay in this series since 1973, and it came without the services of QB Aaron Rodgers who was on the DL with a shoulder injury. Not only are the Packers 8-1 SU – with only two ATS losses – since 1994 when playing with single-revenge against the Lions, they are also 11-1 ATS.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping