OHIO State over Michigan by 6

Known as “The Game”, the stakes are high once again, and this year we have a real twist. In spite of the fact Ohio State has won six in a row (2-4 ATS) and 13 of 14 (10-4 ATS), the Buckeyes are home underdogs. That would end a streak of 51 consecutive contests in which Ohio State was favored. Nonetheless, Michigan is a bedrock solid 5-0 ATS with Big Ten revenge and 4-0 ATS versus .750 or greater conference opponents. The Maize-and-Blue is also 3-0 SUATS on their revenge our (Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State) this season and held those foes to an average of just 188 YPG. Urban Meyer gets to theplay the underdog card and he’s been a master at it. When Meyer puts on the (under)dog ears, he is amazing: 18-6 ATS catching points,and since donning the Scarlet and Gray colors, 6-0 SUATS with the Buckeyes and 4-0 SUATS as a home dog. When the coach is facing .800 or greater foes, his teams are 8-3 SU and 10-1 ATS. However, this is not all about the current Ohio State coach as the Buckeyes are 11-5 ATS as home dogs since 1982 (last time 2011 versus Wisconsin, won 33-29), 7-1 ATS as home dogs versus .900 or greater foe, and a perfect 8-0 ATS as home dogs of +2.5 or more points. For Michigan, this is all or nothing. Win and they should handle Northwestern a second time and reach the playoffs. A loss and it is a major move backward to a less rewarding New Year’s Day bowl. Remember, the line on this game in Las Vegas before the season started was Ohio State -9. With the pressure squarely on the Wolverines, we’ll abide by THE CLINCHER: Meyer is 102-10 SU at home on his career, with only four losses by more than 4 points



Washington over WASHINGTON ST by 10

Value galore here with UDub riding a 6-game ATS losing skein – but they are also 9-1 In The Stats their last ten games. Remember, behind a deeply experienced squad, the Huskies were an overwhelming choice to win the Pac-12 at the start of the season and perhaps make it to the CFB Final Four. While its playoff dreamshave since been dashed, Washington can fulfill the first part of the prophecy here, as the winner of tonight’s Apple Cup clash advances to the Pac-12 title game. Yes, the Cougars have been one of 2018’s
feel-good stories and we’ve been riding the “Ginsu” Train with QB Gardner Minshew II and head coach Mike Leach all year. But with the Huskies dressing up as a ‘DIA play’ (dominating Dog In Action, Doing It Again) with their season on the line, this is where we jump off the train. The landing will be a soft one: recent series results have seen Washington State go 0-4 SUATS the last four, 1-7 ATS as a favorite and 0-5 ATS at home. Along with our triple dip, we see that the Huskies are 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS weekday conference games, including 4-0 ATS versus .800 or greater opponents. Not to mention that the line on this game in Las Vegas before the season started was Washington -14.5. How bout them apples? We close our case with THE CLINCHER: Huskies head coach Chris Petersen is 5-0 ATS in his career as a dog of less than 12 points when facing .840 or greater opponents coming off a win of 6 or more points.


NFL


DENVER over Pittsburgh by 8

We loved QB Ben Roethlisberger’s comment about trash talking Jag Jalen Ramsey, who has taken potshots at Big Ben in the past, when he said after the Steelers dramatic come from behind win over Jacksonville last week: “They like to talk a lot before the game, during the game. But I’m carrying the game ball home.” Today the Steel Curtain takes their smoldering act to the Mile High city knowing they have struggled mightily in games against teams from the AFC West, going just 3-11 SU and 2-12 ATS as road chalk since 1980, including 0-9 ATS when favored by more than 3 points. Meanwhile, the Broncos return home on a 4-1 ATS and ITS run with a stellar 9-1 ATS home dog log against .500 or greater foes. With the Steelers having a bigger AFC West rival on deck with the playoff hopeful LA Chargers, and still reveling in their playoff loss revenge victory over the aforementioned Jaguars, we turn it over to THE CLINCHER: Denver is 14-3 SU and 15-1-1 ATS as a home dog since 1980 when coming off a division game.

Green Bay over MINNESOTA by 8


Aaron Rodgers has lost 7 straight regular road starts for the first time in his career, but as Marc alluded to in his USA TODAY SPORTS WEEKLY column this week: Rodgers is in a situation in which he has responded well in the past with the Packers going 21-8 SU and 18-10-1 ATS in games they play with a sub .500 record. In division games with a sub par record Rodgers has been superb, going 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS. And when not installed as a favorite of more than 6 points in these games Rodgers has gone a perfect 7-0 ATS. It ties directly with his sparkling mark outline in “THE CLINCHER” below. On the other side of the coin Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins is just 9-15-1 SU in division games in his NFL career, including 2-7-1 SU and 2-8 ATS the last ten games. With the Packers currently the No. 9 seed in the NFL playoff picture, and the Vikings the No. 6 seed, this becomes do-or-die
time for Mr. Rodgers. We say he does, with special thanks to THE CLINCHER: Green Bay QB Rodgers is 42-15-1 SU and 38-20 ATS in his career in division games, going 17-4 SUATS in division games when coming off a loss, including 6-0 ATS away.