College Picks

Boston College over VA TECH by 3

Our MIDWEEK ALERT informs us that the Eagles hit Blacksburg on this first Saturday in November with the better overall offense, the better rushing attack and the stingier defense. And ‘better’ yet – we find them on the right side of the page (i.e. dogs). That’s a combination we can’t pass up. Yes, we realize that Beamer’s boys will be looking for payback after dropping a 34-27 decision last season in Chestnut Hill but we also know that Eagles’ HC Steve Addazio is 4-0 SUATS as a dog versus a foe with revenge. And, yes, we’re well aware that the 4-4 Hokies – like in 2012 – still need two wins in their final four games to extend a 21-year bowl streak
under Frank Beamer. The Gobblers may have to find one of those wins at either Duke in two weeks or at home in its season finale against Virginia (the one at Wake Forest is a given) as we can’t see an offense that has been held to two meaningless touchdowns (both late 4th-quarter scores) in its last two games doing any damage against B.C.’s 8th-ranked stop-unit. An easy take as we may find ourselves in an Eagles’ nest come this ‘Midweek.’

AUBURN over Ole Miss by 4

Jaybird The Bulldog, our SEC scout, is living in high cotton these days. He’s enjoyed five good weeks in a row and has somehow emerged unscathed from the pointspread minefield known as the Southeastern Conference. Because of this success, we asked if he might have any tips for our readers regarding seldom-discussed topics like money management. “You know what I think of when I hear the words ‘money management’?” Jay said. “I’m going to pick out the best game on the board, then bet all the money I can manage to get hold of – and look to make a mint! That’s what I call money-manage-mint.” Okay, let’s forget about extraneous discussion and concentrate on this latest heavyweight slugfest in the SEC West. “Let me tell you,” he continues, “Ole Miss had their hearts ripped out at Death Valley last week. The Rebels’ pride and joy, their defense, ran out of gas and gave up a 13-play, 95-yard touchdown drive to lose the lead. Then, when they still had a shot at tying things up with a field goal, Mississippi lost 5 yards on a delay of game penalty… and decided to air it out instead. Bo Wallace got picked – game over. I don’t see how they’ll recover from that in a week.” Neither does our database, which points to the arrival of the dreaded ‘Bubble-Burst’ scenario for previously unbeaten Ole Miss. Our SMART BOX also likes the Tigers as a ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ underdog, a recommendation that works quite well with Auburn’s recent 4-1 SUATS series domination and its 6-2 ATS success as a conference dog of 7 or fewer points. Mississippi may be reeling but the Rebs don’t show up empty handed, boasting a solid 7-1 ATS mark when playing with conference revenge. Second straight time in this series that Aubbie’s been a dog (Ole Miss laid 2 points last year in a 30-22 loss) but we don’t mind, not with Malzahn sitting pretty in this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. So does Jaybird think the Rebels could lose outright in consecutive weeks? “Remember what General George S. Patton once said? All glory is fleeting.” Sounds like a take to us.

INDIANA over Michigan by 3

Where there’s Hoke, there’s fire. The Bunsen burner is set on ‘scorch’ in Ann Arbor these days as last week’s no-show in East Lansing was inexcusable. Don’t worry Michigan fans, we’ll ‘spear’ you all the gory details! But what we won’t leave out is the fact that the Wolves are dancing to a 2-10 SU record in their last 12 games versus .400 or greater opposition, including 0-3 SUATS as a favorite of 3 or more points. Sure, Brady’s bunch can hang their hats on a defense that has held six of eight foes to season-low – or 2nd low – yards this season, but that does little for a team averaging less than 16 PPG against fellow FBS opponents this campaign. Especially against a veteran, high-powered Hoosiers’ attack that ranks 33rd in the nation in total offense and is anxious to snap a six-year bowl drought (they’ll need to win three of their final five games to do that). Aside from the fact that we despise Homecoming chalk, our best guess is that this alumni affair will not be well attended – especially after the Maize-and-Blue supporters get a gander at The Clincher: 17 returning-starter underdogs with a sub .500 record (Indiana) off a pair of ATS losses are 33-6 ATS since 1990 when seeking revenge.


San Diego over Miami by 10

The Chargers bolt from Southern California to South Florida in this west-meets-east AFC showdown on Sunday. The coast-to-coast travel factor may not suit San Diego but if there is one team that has been able to overcome the early starts for left coast teams in east coast time zone games, it’s the Chargers, who are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight visits to eastern time zone cities, including 5-1 SUATS as dogs (see visit to Buffalo earlier this year). In fact, San Diego is 11-2 ATS from Game Six out away versus AFC East opponents, including 5-0 ATS with revenge. Meanwhile, Miami enters off an ‘inside-out’ win over the Jaguars (won the game but lost the stats) and has now been outyarded in four of its last six contests. They are also 2-14 ATS as home chalk between away games. The Dolphins upset the Chargers here as 3-point dogs last season in a game that saw Diego win the stats, 435-343. The bottom line is Miami’s last three wins have come against foes that are currently 4-19, while the Chargers’ losses this season have come against opponents that are 10-4 on the season. Back the better team as the dog here today. The Clincher: San Diego head coach Mike McCoy is 12-3-1 ATS (7-0 ATS last seven) in his NFL career against non-division teams, including 6-0 SUATS when facing .666 or greater opposition.


We’re not sure what was worse: being a Colts fan having to suffer through Pittsburgh’s 639 yard, 51-point outburst in a 17-point Indianapolis loss at Heinz Field? Or having to watch the Steelers for three and half hours while wearing their gaudy chain-gang convict throwback uniforms? We say toss that prison garb ASAP, thank you. Then again, you could have had the Ravens on your ticket last week, only to watch them gift-wrap a 3-point loss against the Bengals. All of which sets the table for this prime time Sunday night affair. It also sends remembrances of the Eagles and their ‘One Of These Nights’ hit tune playing in our head, an oldie from Marc’s 2013 Black Book as it tells us to ‘play against’ NFL home teams on Sunday nights if they are off back-to-back SU wins. That’s because these teams are 5-13 SU and 4-13-1 ATS in division games since 2006, including 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS when off a pair of ATS wins. That’s music to our ears next to the Black-and-Gold’s 1-10 ATS mark on Sunday nights – including eight straight losses since 1997 – when playing off a SU
win versus an opponent off a SUATS loss. And if that doesn’t do it, there’s always The Clincher: NFL teams at home in the 3rd of three straight home games off back-to-back SU wins are 3-15 ATS when facing a division opponent off a SU loss.