College Picks

PITTSBURGH by Penn St by 3

Nittany Lions could still be hyperventilating after they needed a 16-yard TD pass with less than minute remaining to force an overtime and eventual win over gutty Appalachian State last week. Penn State was out-statted by ASU and trailed for 4:43 in the game. That’s noteworthy considering out of the 780 minutes they playedlast season, the Nits trailed for ony 37 minutes and 42 seconds (less than 5% of the time). Heisman hopeful QB Todd McSorely is having to adapt to life with RB Saquon Barkely and TE Mike Gesicki first and second round picks in this year’s NFL draft) and even though he struggled last week, he delivered when his team needed him the
most. Now Penn State must head to steeltown to take on one of its fiercest rivals, Pittsburgh. The Panthers didn’t show much in their 33-7 drubbiing of Albany last week but they actually outgained the Lions in a 33-14 loss at Happy Valley last season. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi is putting special emphasis on the run game this year,which could go a long way in pulling the rug out from underneath PSU tonight. Not much to support the Lions in recent ATS history as they’re an awful 1-8-1 ATS as road favorites of less than 14 points, and just 3-9 ATS off a SU non-conference home win. Pitt brings an impressive 9-2 ATS log to the fray when playing with non-conference revenge, plus the black cats have cashed a ticket in 5 of the last 6 series meetings with PSU (5-0-1 ATS). We’ve got more if you want it but for the sake of brevity, we’ll go directly to THE CLINCHER: The Panthers are 11-0-1 ATS as home dogs of 8 or more points.

Kansas State over Mississipi State by 8

Don’t bash Kansas State too bad for having to come from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat South Dakota in this season’s opener. After all, the Coyotes made it to the semifinals of the 2017 FCS Playoffs. On second thought, go ahead and let the purple cats have it: they lost the turnover battle 4-0, the offense failed to score atouchdown until the final period and new OC Andre Coleman’s much-hyped offensive schemes failed to translate into yards and points. As is usually the case, Grandpa Snyder took one for the team by saying, “I just didn’t have them prepared to play, which is my responsibility.” Well, if we know G-Pa (and we think we do), he should get a lot more wild out of his Cats today. New Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead’s debut was much better than his former team’s lid-lifter (Penn State) last Saturday when the Bulldogs bullied S.F. Austin, 63-6. The problem today, though, is new coaches are just 9-67 SU away in Game Two of the season when facing an unbeaten non-conference foe coming off a win. Gramps is at his best in this role, going 87-49-1 ATS at home in his career, including 20-6 ATS against foes that scored 42 or more points in their previous game (8-1 ATS as a dog). If that’s got you reaching for the Geritol, remember that KSU is the best team in the nation over the last 19 seasons in non-offensive TDs, netting more than 2.5 per season than the yearly average. The Manhattan Cats also played more underclassmen than any FBS team during the last two years,and the defense held their last 8 opponents in 2017 under their scoring average. Our database shares that the Starkville Bulldogs have covered just once in their last 6 tries as a favorite or dog of 4 or less points, while Kansas State has gone a perfect 7-0 ATS in the second of 3-plus home games and 4-1 ATS in its last 5 at home when tackling a non-Big 12 adversary. We wrap it all up with THE CLINCHER: Snyder is 37-3 SU at home when undefeated and facing non-conference foes, with only ONE LOSS by more
than 7 points.


Cincy over Indy by 10

How much does Andrew Luck’s presence in the lineup mean to the Colts? They were double-digit dogs against the Bengals in 2017, and were favored in only two games without him last season. The fact of the matter is Indy is 46-30 with Luck and 10-16 without him. For Luck to win today, though, he’ll need to shake off some serious rust
behind a new coaching staff. And he’ll need to do so knowing he is just 1-4 SUATS in Colts’ season openers in his NFL career. Enter the mad-as-hell Bengals, a team that has missed the playoffs the past seasons. The good news is Cincinnati is 17-7-3 ATS away during the month of September under head coach Marvin Lewis, including 11-
2-3 ATS in non-division contests. And as our NFL guru Mike Mains, the author of the NFL preview in the PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine, so astutely points out: Bengals QB Andy Dalton is 1-9 SU and 3-7 ATS against Houston, Pittsburgh and New England since 2015. He is 22-12-1 SU and 22-11-2 ATS against everyone else.
With a huge edge in coaching experience in this contest to the visitors, we turn it over to THE CLINCHER: Bengals QB Dalton is 8-2-1 ATS as a dog in September in his NFL career, including 5-0-1 ATS in non-division games.