NORTH CAROLINA by Duke by 8

Backing a third straight road favorite is not in the offing in Chapel Hill as Marc’s Betcha Didn’t Know column on page 2 has us clicking our ‘Heels’ today on Tobacco Road. In addition to that juicy 23-4 SU and 18-3 ATS tightener outlined in the ‘Help!’ article, Duke’s 1-3 SUATS record in their last four ACC openers also has us believing that the hosts will right the ship and make amends for a pair of season opening home losses to Cal and Louisville. History also doesn’t favor the Durham Devils as they are an overconfident 0-4 SUATS when given the favorite label in this series and 1-3 SUATS in this building since 2009. And besides the Beatles’ Help, another reason we feel the Tar Heels will have a Fab (Game) Four comes courtesy of THE CLINCHER: North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora is 7-0 SUATS following a win in games in which his teams own a losing record.



IOWA over Penn State by 1

The latest AP Poll finds the Lions fl ip-flopping with USC and moving into the all-important cleanup spot (#4) but softball season (Akron, Pitt, Georgia State) is over and hardball is on the horizon for James Franklin and company with Michigan and Ohio State dotting the October slate. With that, expect a few curve balls along the way starting tonight in Iowa City. Sure, the Lions are 5-1 ATS as conference road favorites of more than 6 points and No. 2 in the nation in turnover (+2.33) margin per game. However, the ball seems to bounce Iowa’s way at Kinnick Stadium as the Hawkeyes are +6 in net TO’s at home each of the previous two seasons. They are also 9-3 ATS with conference revenge, 5-1 ATS as home dogs of 4 or more points and 8-2 ATS in Game Four of the season. HC Kirk Ferentz is probably not on the boosters’ good side after taking a knee on the final play of the game from the 2-yard line last week against North Texas, denying backers the cover. However, his 9-2 ATS log as a conference home dogs of more than 7 points, including 7-1 ATS with revenge – along with a 4-0-1 ATS mark at home with triple revenge-exact – figures to pay dividends this week. As does THE CLINCHER: Ferentz is 19- 5-1 ATS when playing with personal loss revenge with the Hawkeyes, including 10-0-1 ATS the last 11 games.

MICHIGAN STATE OVER Notre Dame by 10

If you feel Notre Dame finally awoke in last week’s blasting of Boston College then you need to know that as a favorite in this series, the Fighting Irish are just 2-9-2 ATS. They rushed for 515 yards on 51 attempts in a beat-down of the Eagles last week, and for 422 yards in the opening week against Temple, but against a good defense (Georgia), they managed just 55 yards on the ground. Now they head to East Lansing to take on the nation’s 3rd-ranked stop unit. Also, Brian Kelly is 8-16-1 ATS when favored off a win of 18 or more points and facing a .500 or greater opponent. On the Spartans’ side, HC Mark Dantonio has all the rushing weapons of a year ago at his disposal (L.J. Scott, Gerald Homes, and Madre London), so there will always be fresh legs in the contest. Sparty looks like the mission team we thought they’d be this season and the all-knowing database comes calling with this nugget: 2-0 undefeated home teams in Game Three, playing with a week of rest and are off an ATS win of 7 or more points, are 14-6 SU and 15-5 ATS since 1980. It also notes that home teams in Game Three of the season in a 4-game season opening home stand are 18-9 SU and 19-8 ATS when hosting a foe off a SUATS win.


PRO PICKS


DETROIT over Atlanta by 11

The Falcons have yet to fall prey to the Super Bowl loser-curse, opening the 2017 season on a 2-0 SU winning note following last Sunday night’s convincing win over the Packers (boo). There is still plenty of time for the dreaded curse to take hold and it’s our best educated guess it begins here as Super Bowl losers who have opened the season 2-0 are just 3-7-1 ATS in Game Three since 1980, including 0-5 ATS following a spread win of 7 or more points. In addition, defending Super Bowl losing teams are 27-47-5 ATS as away favorites in non-division games. In addition, the Dirty Birds are 0-5 ATS following Sunday night game when facing a non-division foe, while the under-the-radar Lions are 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games versus NFC South opponents. Toss in Jim Caldwell’s sterling 9-4 SUATS mark during the opening month of September in non-division duke-outs and the table has been set.

SEATTLE over Tennessee by 10

The upstart Titans proved Vegas right last week when they gouged Jacksonville, 37-16, to even their record on the season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks appeared sluggish for a second straight week in a 12-9 snoozer over San Francisco as the Seattle offense has yet to find the end zone this season. So why are we on Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson like the Washington Post on Trump today, you ask? Simple. For openers, Carroll is 13-2-2 ATS in his last 17 games as a dog off a win, and Wilson is simply 13-3-1 ATS as an underdog in his NFL career, including 9-1-1 ATS following a win. And don’t forget the Seahawks’ sterling 5-1 ATS mark against AFC opponents, and its 8-1 ATS record in games following the 49ers. Meanwhile, the Titans are 0-6 ATS in their second home game of the season when hosting an avenging foe, and 1-5 ATS at home following the Jaguars. And last but not least, there is THE CLINCHER: Tennessee is 4-17 SU and 3-18 ATS in games following a SU win as either a dog or a favorite of less than 3 points, including 0-7 ATS at home.