College Picks

Kansas State over Texas by 2

Headquarters to General Brown: It didn’t work… repeat, did not work. The alarms continue to sound in Austin as Grandmaster Mack Brown’s latest chess move – Robinson to DC1 – failed to produce the desired results with the Longhorns’ defense. Yes, the Texas meltdown against Ole Miss (our False favorite Game of the Month play for late phone customers) was equally as stunning as their colossal failure against BYU. Having already replaced Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, Brown had to watch helplessly as the Rebels outscored his Horns 30-0 from the late stages of the second quarter out as the Texas rush defense dissolved for a second straight week. We don’t think it’s a stretch to say that allowing 822 yards on the ground in the last two games makes for an occasionally undependable favorite. Until it’s fi xed – and we have serious doubts that it can be – Bevo will sit atop our fade list for the time being. But even if Texas wasn’t in the midst of such sideline turmoil, the Lone Star boys could not keep up on the ATS scoreboard in this matchup. Ready? Kansas State has literally taken Texas to the cleaners in the series, going 8-1 ATS the last nine tries and 4-0 ATS the last four trips to Austin. The Manhattan Wildcats are also a spotless 6-0 ATS as Big 12 dogs of 6 or less points and 4-1-1 ATS in the season’s first road game. Why fi ght it? Bill Snyder and company own way too many good numbers to ignore against a foe that is stuck in quicksand. We may toss Bevo a lifeline – but our cash is going on the Cats.

Utah over BYU by 3

The Mormons from Provo sent the biggest shock wave through the state of Texas since the fall of the Alamo when they rushed for a Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not 550 yards in their stunning takedown of the Longhorns, 40-21. Now, after putting the Texas defensive coaching staff into a full-blown panic mode – and utilizing a bye week to rest and prepare – the Cougars take dead aim at their biggest rivals, the Utes from Salt Lake City. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall will be feeling the heat all week long after losing four of the last five throwdowns with Utah… and we’re right there turning up the wick. Besides being a SMART BOX recommendation, the Utes are 4-0 ATS as a dog of late and have cashed in three of their last four trips to LaVell Edwards Stadium. They’re also 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS as dogs off a SU favorite loss (fell in OT last week to Oregon State). Six of
the last eight rumbles between these two have been decided by 7 or less points; those that weren’t saw Utah roll big-time by margins of 24 and 44 points. Hey, when a deck is stacked this heavily in a rivalry dog’s favor, our tail begins to wag, too! The Clincher: The last twelve teams to have upset Texas are 4-8 SU and 2-10 ATS in their next game.

San Diego State over Oregon State by 3

Double trouble, baby! A pair of classic angles plays are at work in this game from Marc’s BLACK BOOK: ‘Working Overtime’, a play against the Beavers off their OT win at Utah last week, and ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’, a play against OSU as a porous defensive road favorite after yielding 30 or more points in its last game. Hey, if you’re not drooling now, you’re a good candidate for salivary duct surgery. However, if you’re into threesomes, here’s the missing piece from our well-oiled machine: Game Three 0-2 teams – yes, the Aztecs are winless – who were bowlers the previous season are 11-7 SU and 11-6 ATS in games off a loss of 28 or more points (SDSU pummeled, 42-7, by Ohio State two Saturdays ago). Granted, SDSU is off to a miserable start but HC Rocky Long has had an extra week to prep QB Quinn Kaehler, who took over when starter Adam Dingwell got the hook from Long after the Aztecs’ second offensive possession against Ohio State resulted in an interception. Long also boasts some proud stats of his own, going 7-3 ATS versus the Pac-10/12 and posting a solid 11-4 ATS mark as a dog off back-to-back losses – including 5-1 ATS versus a foe off a SUATS win. Sitting at 0-2 SU with 16 starters back from a squad that’s gone bowling each of the last three years, look for San Diego State to strike gold today. The Clincher: Rocky Long is 11-4 SU and 12-3 ATS with rest during the regular season, including 6-0 ATS as a dog of more than 6 points.


Baltimore over Houston by 8

We knew coming into the season that the Ravens would be cast into a magnitude of jaw-dropping roles as a defending Super Bowl champion. Offseason roster defections and a sloppy stat sheet last season dictated that notion. For openers, the 9 points the Ravens were offered at Denver to open the season was borderline ridiculous, even though the Broncos kicked butt. It’s another serious slap in the face for the Black Birds today as they dress up as home dogs, a role that has seen defending champs adopt only 12 times since 1980. The champs have responded with aplomb going 8-3-1 ATS, including 6-0-1 ATS in games in which they own a win percentage of less than .550 on the season. And speaking of defending champions, they are also 25-12-1 ATS as dogs in games against opponents off back-to-back wins since 1980. Enter the Texans, off a pair of season-opening wins, each decided on the fi nal play of the game (the first time in NFL history). As a result, Houston takes a 0-2 ATS log into this game, not a good omen considering that favorites off a pair of ATS losses are just 8-21-1 ATS when facing a foe off a win, including 0-6 ATS when the chalk is off a win in its last game. The whipped cream on the cake is the Ravens’ 43-13 loss at Houston last year, as it not only snapped
a 6-0 all-time mark for Baltimore in this series, but it also marked the WORST LOSS ever by John Harbaugh in a NFL game. We’ll take that to the bank in this rematch today. The Clincher: Baltimore is 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS at home under Harbaugh in games off one win-exact.

ATLANTA over Miami by 11

It appears it was money well spent by billionaire owner Stephen Ross when he opened the checkbook and signed free agents in excess of $100 million dollars this offseason. A 2-0 start looks promising – until one begins to dig into the numbers. For starters, the Fish won both games on the road, and were outyarded in both contests, not a good omen for teams playing in home openers in Week Three. That’s acknowledged by our well-oiled machine which notes: teams in this role are just 17-38-1 ATS when hosting a non-division foe since 1980, including 5-20-1 ATS in non-conference clashes. Adding to Miami’s woes is the fact that Atlanta enjoys tackling AFC East foes, going 5-1 SUATS in its last six contests. With Dolphin boss Joe Philbin still looking for his fi rst win as a favorite against an opponent off a win (0-2 ATS) and his counterpart, Mike Smith, a dazzling 16-4 SU and 15-5 ATS in inter-conference games, we’ll get down and dirty with these Birds when they hit South Beach on Sunday. The Clincher: Miami is 0-7-1 ATS in its last eight games versus Atlanta.

NY Giants over CAROLINA by 6

And speaking of Superman, Carolina’s version – Cam Newton – seems to be engulfed by kryptonite throughout the first half of the season in his NFL career. The slow starter that he is (4-18 SU and 9-13 ATS thru Game
Ten), he almost always hits the telephone booth and re-emerges later in the season (9-3 SUATS Game Eleven out). Thus, it’s no surprise to find the Panthers wallowing in a sea of red ink once again this year as they are
being outgained 127.5 YPG in 2013. Add to that Carolina’s woes against the NFC East (5-12 SU and 4-13 ATS as a host) and you can see why they are up against it here today. The Giants journey into Bank Of America Stadium off a dreadful effort last week against Denver, only to be preceded by a 6-turnover giveaway to Dallas on opening week. New York’s 6-1 ATS dog log in games off a loss as a dog gets our attention. As does Eli Manning’s 7-4 SU and 8-2-1 ATS mark as a dog in his last eleven frays. With both teams sitting 0-2, the alarm is on and the phone is ringing. Only Cam can’t hear it.