VIRGINIA TECH over Notre Dame by 6

> Don’t look now but the Irish currently reside in the 5th slot to in the CFB Playoffs at the Westgate SuperBook (12/1 behind Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia). Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is 500/1 – a value proposition we are playing. All the Hokies need to do is win this game, then beat Clemson in the ACC title game, and without an unforeseen slip-up… you never know. The bottom line is the gap between these two teams is not as wide as Vegas implied Tech bounced back last week from that puzzling road loss at Old Dominion in startling fashion by dominating a pretty good Duke team in a dramatic 31-14 win in Durham (Marc’s 5* College Game of the Month). Backup QB Ryan Willis, who started in parts of two seasons at Kansas and was the ACC’s most experienced backup, stepped in for starting QB Josh Jackson (suffered a broken fibula versus ODU) and responded by going 17-for-26 for 332 yards with 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. Besides, the Irish are a 5-0 Fat Cat SMART BOX fade this week… and they’re taking on a Hokies team that is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 appearances as a home dog. In closing, we turn it over to THE CLINCHER: Virginia Tech is 48-3 SU in its last 51 home games against non-conference opposition – with only ONE LOSS by more than a touchdown.

TEXAS over Oklahoma by 6

The latest chapter in one of college football’s most endearing rivalries, the Red River Rivalry, takes place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, with the game appropriately starting at high noon ET. The Sooners entered this game off a loss last season, a situation in which they were 28-0 SU and 21-7 ATS in conference games (they responded with a 29-24 win). This year, though, they enter off a 33-point win-and-cover knowing they are just 4-11 ATS in this series when coming off a pointspread win. Not only that, but both OU head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Kyler Murray are making their inaugural appearance as a 5-0 Fat Cat SMARTBOX fade – and we don’t think they’ll like what the sagacious square has to saThe last four in this series have been decided by a touchdown or less, and the Horns hold a 5-0 ATS series advantage in the last five meetings. Texas is 10-2-1 ATS in Game Six, including 5-0 ATS the last five, and 6-1 ATS as a single-digit underdog. Currently riding a 4-game win streak (their longest since 2013), a win on Saturday vaults the Longhorns past the Sooners atop the Big 12 standings.THE CLINCHER: Texas head coach Tom Herman is 8-4 SU and 11-1 ATS as an underdog, including 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS with a winning record.


> BUFFALO over Tennessee by 6
Titans hit the road after last week’s come from behind OT win over the Eagles and the MIDWEEK ALERT notes that 3-1 Tennessee has coughed up season-high yards in half of their games thus far. Furthermore, this from the well-oiled machine: away teams are just 13-41 SU and 16-38 ATS since 1992 after having upset the defending Super Bowl champions in their previous game. Not good news for the Titans today. Meanwhile, the Bills enter off an embarrassing 22-0 whitewash loss against the Packers knowing they are 6-1 SU in games after having been blanked. Better yet, NFL teams coming off a shutout loss who were in the playoffs the previous season tend to bounce back as home dogs the following games, going 8-1-1 ATS since 1990 when taking 3 or more points.

SEATTLE over LA Rams by 4

The Rams are coming off an NFL record-setting effort in last Thursday’s win over Minnesota when QB Jared Goff tossed for 465 yards and 5 TDs, establishing a new watermark in Thursday games. Goff is also the fi rst NFL QB to pass for 400 yards and 5 TDs on 3 days of rest. With it, the Rams are now 4-0 for the first time since 2001 when they went to the Super Bowl (and lost) and – like the 4-0 Chiefs – they have surrendered season-low yards in three games this campaign. That’s not good news for a recent record-setting team that is 0-9 ATS as favorites of 7 or less points against avenging division opponents. Granted, things are not pretty in Seattle where disgruntled DB Earl Thomas fl ipped off the Seahawks bench while being carted off with a broken leg last week. The good news for Seattle is its 8-1 ATS mark as a dog when coming off a win and facing an opponent coming off consecutive wins. Furthermore, the savvy machine reminds us that 2-2 NFL teams in Game Five coming off consecutive wins are 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in this role since 2013. We seal the deal, though, with THE CLINCHER: Seattle is 11-4 SU and 13-2 ATS as a home dog of more than 2 points under Pete Carroll, including 9-2 SU and 11-0 ATS the last eleven games.