VIRGINIA over Miami Fla by 3

The Canes came up with a game effort against the ‘Noles, holding a 23-7 lead in the opening half over the defending national champs. But in the end, Miami didn’t have enough talent, discipline, experience or whatever it takes to pull off a watershed upset. In fact, FSU’s first lead of the game came with just 3:05 to play, and while Miami’s freshman QB Brad Kayaa had a great first half, his late 4th down interception ended Miami’s last-gasp attempt at the win. The question now is whether ‘The U’ can get back up off the mat in this tricky spot against a foe desperately in need of a pair of season-ending wins to earn a bowl ticket and save HC Mike London’s job. We believe if you ask Al Golden, he’ll tell you he just wants to get out of Charlottesville with a win. Good luck with that as the Canes’ 2-6 SUATS mark in their last eight road games makes this a dicey proposition. Our MIDWEEK ALERT also alerts us that Virginia has outyarded the Hurricanes in all three games where these two coaches have met, including last season when the Cavs held a 483-304 advantage in a 19-point loss. Finally, if you’re having difficulty stepping in front of this Hurricane, our well oiled machine suggests you remember The Clincher: Miami is 0-7 ATS as a favorite in games off a SU Florida State loss since 1996.

USC over UCLA by 11

Southern Californians are by nature laid-back folks, but this historic rivalry carries with it an epic passion. Now, add the fact that the Pac-12 South race has been thrown into chaos (five of six division teams rank in the Top 25) thanks to Arizona State’s loss to the Beavers late Saturday night, and there will be a crazy vibe at the Rose Bowl this weekend. USC actually leads the division by a half-game over the two Arizona teams and the Bruins, but all four schools have two conference losses right now, which makes this an elimination game of sorts, along with the one on Black Friday between the Cats and the Sun Devils. The Trojans have been able to exploit the Bruins’ defense when that stop unit is not up to snuff, evidenced by UCLA’s 0-7 SU record and 2-5 ATS mark when allowing 27.9 or more PPG on the season, which is right where their 78th-ranked defense sits right now. Southern Cal QB Cody Kessler ranks 12th in the country in passing yardage, while his favorite target, Nelson Agholor, ranks in the nation’s Top 10 in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches. Finally, the hard-working database has gone the extra mile for this marquee matchup, giving us not just one, but two punch-outs in honor of this double-revenge scenario: The Clinchers: The Bruins are 0-8 ATS as home favorites off a win of more than 10 points when facing a conference opponent seeking double revenge-exact, and the Trojans are 6-0-1 ATS off a SU win of 8 or more points when playing with double revenge-exact.


NY GIANTS over Dallas by 10

Uh oh. Here we go again. The shrinking Giants as a stinking best bet? We can hear the moans and groans all the way from New York City down to our offices in South Florida. Didn’t Eli Manning just toss 5 interceptions last week? And isn’t Tony Romo back behind center for the Cowboys? The answers are clear and simple: yes and yes. But the deeper we dig, the more we dig this play. For openers, Manning is 5-2 SU and 6-0-1 ATS
in his career in this series when Dallas arrives off a SU win with a win percentage of less than .750. On the flip side, Romo is 1-7 ATS in his NFL career in division games in which the opponent is off a pair of SU losses, including 0-2 ATS against the Giants. And then there is Dallas’ 0-6 SUATS mark in games when favored versus a division opponents playing with triple revenge-exact. Not to mention the fact that favorites off a win in London are 0-5 ATS all-time in division games upon their return to the mainland. And if you’re still not convinced, we offer up The Clinchers: The Giants are 8-1 SU and ATS on Sunday nights off a pair of SU losses, while the Cowboys are 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS on Sunday nights versus an opponent off a pair of SU losses.

DETROIT over New England by 7

Leave it to the Brady bunch. Put them in a prime-time game, dress them up as underdogs and watch them put on a show. Such was the case last Sunday night when the Patriots pummeled the Colts, increasing their record to 4-0 SUATS as a dog this season. All good and well... until the next game, that is. That’s when the Patriots fall apart at the seams like a Salvation Army suit in games off a SU underdog and double-digit spread win when facing a .500 or greater opponent off a loss – where they are 1-10 SU and 0-11 ATS since 1980. Whew! In addition, the well-intentioned database informs us: 3-0 SUATS teams who beat the spread by 20 or more points in each win are 1-5 ATS in non-division games since 1980 when not favored by more than 7 points. Better yet, it also supplies The Clincher: NFL teams who scored 42 or more points in each of their last
two games are 0-8 ATS since 1980 when facing an opponent off a SU loss of 6 or more points.

CINCINNATI over Houston by 10

Houston QB Ryan Mallett’s debut with the Texans was impressive, for sure. He not only led his team to a 16-point win in the Dawg Pound, he put them one game back of the Colts for the AFC South lead. We’ll see how he responds in his second start today when he faces the rejuvenated Bengals. For openers, Houston is 1-6-2 ATS at home in games off one win exact. In addition, Mallett will need to overcome Houston’s lethargic 0-4 ATS record in home games off a SU away win. And speaking of SU away wins, the Bengals check in sporting a 6-0 SUATS record in non-division games off a road win. With QB Andy Dalton back on the beam, and the Bengals back atop the AFC North, Cincy will turn to the red-headed rifle’s sparkling 10-2 SUATS mark in his NFL career in games versus an opponent off a SU underdog win, including 8-1 SUATS in non-division contests. And then there is always The Clincher: Cincinnati is 18-3-1 SU and 17-4-1 ATS in its last 22 games off one win-exact, including 15-1-1 SUATS when the Bengals are off a SUATS win.