Fool me once, Hoosiers – shame on you. But you won’t be fooling us twice after last week’s debacle as a 5* Best Bet in last week’s newsletter. Instead, we’ll be looking for a repeat of that lackluster performance against a very good 18-returning starter Bowling Green team that has posted a 10-2 SUATS record in its last 12 road games as a favorite or dog of less than 6 points. Indiana is just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in its last fi ve home games versus MAC opposition and 1-6 ATS over the last seven in the role of non-conference chalk. Of course, they’re not the only ones: our database confi rms that home favorites off a SU home loss when laying double digits are just 2-10 ATS in this role since 2000 when playing off exactly one loss. As is often the case, the well-oiled machine will often toss us a reliable counterpoint: 2-0 SUATS road dogs in Game Three are 24-11 ATS when facing a .500 or greater opponent. The Clincher: The Falcons are 5-1 ATS as an underdog against the Big Ten when coming off a win.
UCF over Penn State 10
And, right on cue, here come the underdog Knights. UCF has
opened 2-0 SUATS versus a pair of pancakes in Akron and FIU but the level of competition increases dramatically this week against a Penn State squad that just mauled Eastern Michigan, 45-7. Still, our database likes dogs that were favored by 3 or more TDs the last game, especially when they’ve won 10 of their last 12 games (with the losses coming by only 5 and 6 points). These Knights protect the ball like it’s the Holy Grail, committing just ONE turnover this season after ranking 16th in the FBS last year in turnover margin. And with head coach George O’Leary’s 7-2 ATS dog collar when his team is undefeated means the large throng at Happy Valley likely won’t intimidate the visitors. Can’t say enough about what a great job Bill O’Brien has done at State College since the passing of Joe Pa but the Lions have traditionally struggled in this role: just
1-7 ATS at home off a previous homer versus an unbeaten foe – including 0-5 ATS the last fi ve outings. UCF has a habit of playing to the level of its competition (last 11 SU defeats came by an average of just over 7 PPG), a characteristic that sometimes causes foes to underestimate their talent level. O’Brien won’t fall linto that trap but we don’t think it’s going to matter. The Clincher: road dogs off a shuout road win are 17-3 ATS since 1980 when facing a non-conference opponent. Ucf over PENN ST by 10.
MINNESOTA over Chicago by 6
The Bears got what they wanted on opening day… and the Vikings did not. Hence, an ideal setup for Minnesota in this already pivotal Game Two matchup. Our well-oiled machine agrees, too, noting that since 2000 new NFL coaches in a divisional Game Two matchup are just 5-9 SU and 4-9-1 ATS when off a win, including 2-7 SU and 1-7-1 ATS when the foe is off a loss. Minny’s mighty 6-0 ATS mark as a dog of 6 or less points against opponents off a win fi ts, too, as does its 4-0 ATS record in games after allowing 28 or more points during the fi rst four games of the season. New head coach Marc Trestman won’t like hearing this, but the Bears
are 1-8-1 ATS laying points at home off a home game. Nor the fact that his quarterback, Jay Cutler, is just 5-15-1 ATS as a home favorite off a win, including 2-10-1 ATS versus an opponent off a loss. The Clincher: Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier is 10-4-1 ATS as a dog in games against an opponent off a win, including 6-0
SUATS the last six.
NY GIANTS over Denver by 7
Manning Bowl III kicks off at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford this Sunday. If you haven’t got a ticket, you can likely forget about it (word is seats at midfi eld are going for over $6000 apiece). And if you don’t tune in this week you may have to wait until the next regularly scheduled rematch in 2017 (when Peyton will be 41). For now it’s Eli’s turn to shift the spotlight back on himself, and if hunger and motivation are deciding edges, then the Giants are in good hands. For openers, Eli took it on the chin in both previous meetings against Peyton – a 26-21 loss at Giants Stadium in 2006 and a 38-14 shellacking in Indianapolis in 2010. Today, Eli catches Peyton off a career-best 7 TD effort in a huge season-opening playoff revenge win over Baltimore, while the G-Men limp home off an agonizing 5-point loss at Dallas (New York dominated on the fi eld, winning the game by 147 yards in a 6-turnover marred effort). Eli brings a sterling 19-12 SU and 17-13-1 ATS mark at home in games off a loss, including 4-0 SUATS the last four, in his career. On the fl ip side, non-division road
teams in Game Two off a SUATS win in which they scored 40 or more points are 1-8 ATS when facing a foe off a loss. Oh brother, this one goes to the kid. The Clincher: Eli Manning is 33-21-2 ATS as a dog in the NFL, including 7-3 SU and 8-1-1 ATS the last ten.