If you don’t think ‘Mission Dog’ Texas is hell-bent on making amends for last year’s 5-7 travesty, look no further than the last two weeks.UCLA and Iowa State outscored the Longhorns, 62-33, in wins during the 2010 season and have paid the price with an 86-34 combined throttling this year. However, the stampede is just getting started and it takes on an entirely different level this afternoon as the ‘Horns well remember last year’s 28-20 Red River Rivalry setback. Ol’ Mackie’s 15-30 ATS log versus undefeated foes is a negative for sure, but his cattle have branded a 21-8 SU record in their last 29 tries against Top 15 ranked opposition – and this year’s bunch have held three of four opponents to season-low yardage. The Sooners themselves haven’t fared well against undefeated opposition, posting a 3-8 ATS mark from Game Five out, and arrive to the Cotton Bowl with a 1-4 ATS log off back-to-back home games. And while series history (4-1 ATS last five) and Okie’s 2-8 ATS mark before walking with the Jayhawks further supports UT’s ‘Mission’, the clincher comes from our ol’ reliable database as it notes: ‘Big Game’ Bob is 0-6 ATS as a favorite off back-to-back SU wins versus greater than .750 conference foes with revenge off a SU and ATS win. Even with that being said and a deal-sealing 88% AWESOME ANGLE on page 2, the bottom line is the Oklahoma ‘D’ is not of BCS caliber while the Texas stop-unit is.Nearby Arlington saw a barnburner last week (Arkansas/A&M) and we expect another one in the ‘House that Doak Built.’ No points necessary as the ‘Horns hook ‘em -– outright!
Following losses to Sacramento State (?), Wisconsin, UCLA and ASU, the Beavers are looking to put the bite on someone and the visiting desert rats could be the victims. The Wildcats fall into our famous ‘leaking oil’ category (favorites who have lost the stats in each of its last three games) and that’s not a good sign against a team that has had their number for some time. Since 1999, the Beavers have won 10 of the 12 contests both SU and ATS, including a 29-27 decision last season as 8.5-point dogs. Yes, the Beavers are 0-4 SU on the season but they are 3-1 ‘ITS’ this year, even holding the bruising Badgers to season-low yardage. We’ve had Beaver Fever all season long and damned if we’re going to stop now. We were finally rewarded last week in Tempe with the cover and that competitive showing suggests they’re ready to turn the corner this week and notch the SU ‘W’. Just do it!
NORTHWESTER over Michigan by 8
The Wolverines are off to a 5-0 start but that’s nothing new… even of late. Heck, Rich Rod got off to a 4-0 run in 2009 and came out of the gates 5-0 in 2010 before collapsing both seasons. We’re not saying that Brady Hoke and this year’s Wolverines will suffer the same fate but this fi rst game outside of Ann Arbor has trouble written all over it. For starters, the Wolves are 2-11 ATS in Game Six road openers and 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS away off a shutout win. They also haven’t fared well as road chalk of late (0-6 ATS last six) and we can’t see that changing this week with a 0-3 ATS log before dealing with the Spartans staring them straight in the face. And while he may be no ‘Choke’ Rod, even Brady Hoke owns a dismal 2-7-2 ATS record as a favorite off a SU win versus a conference opponent off a SU loss. In most writeups that would be enough, but this is our 5* Best Bet so it gets much worse for the Michigan faithful. Not only does our INCREDIBLE STAT OF THE WEEK and its 0-14 ATS angle join the fray but so, too, does Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Fitzy is a well-prepared 8-2 ATS (8-0 last eight) as a dog off back-to-back losses in his career and the dog in his games on the Evanston sidelines owns a money-making 40-21 ATS log. Series history (3-0 ATS last three) is just icing on the cake as conference home dogs taking on 5-0 Fat Cats is ‘Hope Above Hoke.’ (Not to mention the sort of games where major upsets occur). You know what to do.
Fla Atlantic over NORTH TEXAS by 3
Jeez, maybe Howie’s Hooters aren’t so bad after all. Seemingly scattered to the four winds after season-opening losses to Florida, Michigan State and Auburn (FAU outscored 115-17), the Owls were back in their comfort zone last week versus Sun Belt foe La-Lafayette, taking the Cajuns all the way to the final gun before losing on a fi eld goal with no time remaining. Three straight ATS wins doesn’t cover up the fact that North Texas is a poor 1-4 ‘In The Stats’ this season and will be dressing up as chalk for the fi rst time in 2011 – and just the sixth time since 2007. In fact, the Mean Green have posted a dismal 1-10 SU and ATS mark the last 11 times they’ve had the minus side next to their name! We have no problem fading that and neither will FAU as the improving Owls can’t shake the memory of last year’s 4-point home setback as double-digit chalk. Schnellenberger’s boys also own a recent 4-1 ATS series edge and have grabbed the green in four straight trips to Denton. With the North Texas ‘D’ allowing 183 YPG more than its sputtering offense gains, the Floridians get the call in today’s Lone Star shootout.
CINCINNATI over Jacksonville by 10
The Bengals rallied late to bring home the bacon last week and we’re ordering up another slab of the same this week. The Jaguars dress up as favorites for the fi rst (and possibly last) time this campaign with a squad that has surrendered 71 YPG more than they’ve gained. On the fl ip side, the striped Cats enter having gained 64 YPG more than they have allowed this season. By our math, that’s a 135 YPG advantage to the visitor. The Jaguars’ 1-5 SU and ATS record in its last six battles against the AFC North sets the table. Toss in Cincinnati’s 7-0 ATS mark as a puppy in games off a SU underdog win and we have ourselves a Cat with some bite. Jack Del Rio’s 0-6 ATS career mark as a favorite in games off a SU and ATS loss versus an opponent off a SU and ATS win clinches it. With that, we’ll feast behind the league’s No. 1 ranked defense (yes, you read that right) here today. Bon appetite!
TAMPA BAY over San Francisco by 7
Like the Giants, the phony 3-1 Niners have been outstatted in EVERY contest this season and we just can’t muster up the courage to lay points in this situation – especially to a team that does its best work on the road. Under HC Raheem Morris, the Bucs are 13-3 ATS on the NFL highway, including a spotless 8-0 ATS when playing off a SU win, and 7-0 ATS whenever his team is .500 or greater on the season. The new sombreros are also 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS as dogs off a SU win against NFC West opposition. That ties in nicely to San Fran’s 1-4 ATS log versus a foe off a Monday nighter. And while we say take what you can get, we don’t think you’ll need any points as San Francisco hasn’t exactly been a treat in Game Five of the season, logging a 1-5 SU record. Do we hear money line? Now that’s a sound we can get used to. You know what to do.
ATLANTA over Green Bay 6
While we thought that the Packers might lose their fi rst game of the season two weeks ago at Soldier Field, we didn’t use them as a Best Bet. We’re so confi dent that the Packers WILL suffer their fi rst loss tonight in Atlanta that we will make the Falcons a 5* BEST BET. For starters, Green Bay is just 1-7 ATS in the regular season against the NFC South. More concerning, however, is the fact that defending Super Bowl champs are 7-19 ATS when they are undefeated and playing on the non-division road. And while those numbers are strong, the truth of the matter is we just can’t trust the league’s 28th-rated defense laying this many points away from home. Especially to a coach who is 10-2 ATS at home off a non-division game and a quarterback who is 21-3 SU and 16-8 ATS in his own building, including 7-0 SU and ATS versus a foe off a SU win of seven or more points. Throw in the fact that Mike Smith is 7-2 SU and 9-0 ATS versus .750 or greater opposition and you can see why ‘Matty Ice’ should play nice this evening in the Georgia Dome as the Dirty Birds make amends for last year’s playoff loss. Falcons outright!
DENVER over San Diego by 1
Our anti-Norv/Zook parlay went 1-1 last week as the Illini didn’t beat the spread while the Chargers barely pulled out the cover against the Dolphins. This week they both take to the road as favorites and we’re already counting that 13 to 5 payout. The Chargers are 0-5 ATS off a double-digit non-division win and 1-4 SU and ATS in their second road game of the season while Turner, himself, is 1-10 ATS off a double-digit win versus a foe off back-to-back road games. That doesn’t bode well against a longstanding quality home dog like the Broncos. It doesn’t happen often but Denver is 18-8-1 ATS in this role since 1983. The ponies are also a solid 10-2 ATS at home in October versus a foe off a double-digit SU win. All ood numbers, for sure, but the clincher comes from our PLAYBOOK.comdatabase as it notes: 1-3 teams in Game Five off a SU and ATS loss are 19-9 SU and 23-5 ATS when facing a division foe off a SU win. Oh and one more thing: the Broncos have faced opponents that have gone 11-5 on the season; Chargers’ foes are just 4-11. Parlay that