MISSISSIPPI over Texas by 1
Shame on us for counting on a ‘green’ Miami team to exact revenge last week and deliver an outright upset of Kansas State. Especially when you consider that our 4* Top Late-Phone release of UCLA was a home dog that garnered Incredible Stat of the Week honors. Yes, hindsight is 20-20 but we won’t make that mistake again. Thus, we’ll grab a home dog this week where the double-digits look like pure gravy. It appears as if the hiring of Hugh Freeze is already paying dividends in Oxford as the Rebels are 2-0 for only the second time in 10 seasons, outstatting both foes by a combined 1,103 yards to 658. And though we can’t expect them to put up 550 yards today, we do know that they won’t be intimated by Texas as the Rebs’ last two bowl wins have come against Big 12 opposition (Texas Tech in 2008 and Oklahoma State in 2009). In fact, it may be UT that tries to tiptoe through this venue as they have not fared well against the SEC, posting an overall 3-8 ATS mark, including 0-3 ATS on the road and 0-5 ATS when the SEC enters off a SU win. Even ‘ol Macky Brown is a (sukey) tawdry 1-6 SU and ATS in his career versus .700 or greater SEC opposition. And when you toss in the SEC’s 16-12 ATS mark when taking points against the Big 12 (including 4-1 ATS as home dogs) along with UT’s 2-7 ATS mark as non-conference road chalk of 13 or less points and 2-5 ATS log before dealing with Oklahoma State, you can why the points become a must. So in the only meeting between the SEC and Big 12 this regular season, we say take ‘em, not hook ‘em. And don’t forget about that juicy +300 on the money line either!
Kansas City over Buffalo by 10
Both teams came up empty on opening week, but it was the Bills that provided arguably the biggest disappointment. After an offseason of major upgrades to its defense – thus being billed as the team to watch in 2012 – Buffalo allowed the listless New York Jets their highest output in 66 games in a 48-28 wipeout loss. Now allowing more than 34 PPG over the last nine games, the Bills today take on a team they whacked, 41-7, in last year’s season opener at Kansas City. That was before Romeo Crennel stepped in to help solidify a KC squad in disarray. Crennel takes the fi eld knowing he is 7-1 ATS in his NFL career against non-division opponents off a double-digit loss. In addition, the Chiefs bring a 5-0 ATS record into the contest as nondivision dogs when playing off a double-digit defeat. The clincher: Game Two road non-division dogs are 20-5 ATS when playing with revenge in a matchup of two winless teams. With the Bills still bleeding, it’s the Chiefs in a payback.
SEATTLE over Dallas by 3
Talk about a 180-degree role change, this is it. The Cowboys surprised most of the football world (not us) with its opening week upset win against the Giants while the Seahawks disappointed many (not us) when they failed an opening week road favorites at Arizona. The shoes are on the other feet today with both teams changing roles. It’s never been a good situation for Dallas, who is 6-19 SU and 7-18 ATS away in games off a SU underdog win since 1980. Seattle, on the other hand, relishes this role, going 7-5 SU and 10-2 ATS as a home dog over the same span when playing off a SU favorite loss. Toss in the Boys’ lethargic 6-15 ATS mark in games after a SU and ATSwin over the Giants and just like that Russell Wilson realizes the benefi ts of taking points, rather than laying them, in the NFL.
ST. LOUIS over Washington
Here we go again, another road favorite fresh off an upset underdog opening week win, only this time it’s a freshman quarterback changing clothes with Robert Griffi n III donning the cape of favorite for the first time in his pro career. Granted, RG3’s exploits were impressive in last week’s takedown of the Saints in New Orleans but, like his rookie cohort Russell Wilson, he now tries on life as a road favorite in the league and to that we say “good luck.” Aside from the Skins’ problems as favorites of 3 or more points against NFC foes (1-6-1 ATS last eight), they have struggled of late in this series (2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS). As we cited earlier on these pages, Rams boss Jeff Fisher is the NFL kingfi sh when it comes to taking points – now 55-72 SU and 76-50-1 ATS. Look for a big effort in Fisher’s home debut as Griffin shows why he is not yet ready to assume Superman’s shawl.