The Owls got off the ‘ITS’ schneid last Saturday with a resounding 63-32 rout of Army as RB Montel Harris rushed for 351 yards and seven touchdowns. And though a win this afternoon in Philly would still fi nd them falling one game short of bowl aspirations, the Owls catch the Orange in a most undesirable role: that of a road favorite in a season fi nale off back-to-back SU underdog wins. Teams in this predicament are a mind-boggling 1-15 ATS since 1980. To boot, the ‘Cuse is 0-3 ATS as road chalk off a SU win versus a foe off a SU win while HC Doug Marrone answers the call as the frail favorite in this week’s TRIVIA TEASER. And when you add to the equation that the series host is 4-0 SU and ATS since 2001, and that the satisfi ed Orange clinched a bowl berth with a victory last Saturday in Mizzou, you have the makings of another Montel mash. No, you don’t need ‘Owl’ to spell bowl this year but all the sign language still points to a Temple victory. Can you say juicy money line!
Arizona State over Arizona by 7
With bowl tickets already in hand and no shot at the Pac-12 South title, this game is all about bragging and recruiting rights between new head coaches Rich Rodriguez and Todd Graham. And we have a feeling that recruits will quickly fi nd out Rich-Rod is 8-18-1 ATS as a conference home favorite, including 3-10-1 ATS versus an opponent with a winning record, while the well-traveled Graham (4th team in six years) is 4-0 ATS as a dog versus a foe off a SU dog win. Yes, Graham may not be around by the time a freshman gets his redshirt but at least he’s not 10-14 SU and 7-16 ATS from Game Eleven out like his Grand Canyon state counterpart. His 150-YPG superior stopunit has also not allowed season high – or 2nd high – yardage in five of its last seven games. Rich-Rod’s ‘D’ has had holes bigger than the aforementioned canyon at times this season (allowed 38 or more points in fi ve games) and that should help the Sun Devils make amends for last season’s 31-27 loss in Tempe as double-digit chalk. We could say that’s ‘Grand’ but our vocabulary is more in line with slam, bam, thank you Graham.’ Either way, the prized recruits will be donning maroon and gold – and not red and blue – when this one is in the books. Points are optional.
Rice over UTEP by 6
Like ten other teams on today’s card, the Owls are in mandatory need of a win to become bowl eligible. And after delivering a 4* Late Phone winner for us last Saturday, we’ll give David Bailiff’s birds another shot at capturing some pointspread prey here. They’ve kept the Miners underground in this series of late, posting a sweet 6-2 SU and 8-1 ATS record – including 4-0 SUATS off a SU win. UTEP gets the shaft again, dropping all four games as chalk this year and struggling to a 1-7 SU mark against .250 or greater foes in 2012. Perhaps our strongest support comes from Miners head coach Mike Price himself, decribing freshman QB Blaire Sullivan’s play in Saturday’s narrow decision over Southern Miss. “Blaire threw some really crucial perfect passes,” said Price. “And then a couple of other ones… well, I’m glad it’s not duck-hunting season right now because he would have got a couple of those shot out of the air.” This just in: after a 31-year career notable for two Rose Bowl bids at Washington State and a drinking binge that cost him the Alabama job before he ever coached a game, Mike Price will hang it up after today’s game.
FLORIDA INT’L over La-Monroe by 1
Our second ATS fade of a Louisiana-hyphen school today. With previously injured QB Kolton Browning back in the lineup last week against North Texas, the Warhawks rolled past the Mean Green, 42-16, to assure
themselves of their best record since moving to the FBS. Not so for the Panthers who close the books on one of the most disappointing campaigns in the program’s 9-year FBS history. However, Mario Cristobal’s team has yet to quit and they’ll look to capture a 3rd straight win here to build some positive momentum for next season. The line is defi nitely out of kilter: at the beginning of the season, the Warhawks would have been a 6-point dog in this spot. Though they have gone 5-1 ATS on the road in 2012, they’ve NEVER been favored here, making this too much of a leap forward in terms of the spread. FIU’s outstanding 7-1 SU and ATS mark in the final three games of the season the last three years says the Panthers will take care of business in their home finale this evening.
OAKLAND over Cincinnati by 1
Quick. Look at your watch. It’s 1:00 PM ET on a Sunday in the NFL and we’re prepared to fade the dreaded West coast time zone jinx with a litany of numbers design to stop time right in its tracks. Enter the Raiders on a 0-3 SUATS slide, a role in which they stand 4-0 ATS the last six years. The Black-and-Silver also happen to be 9-4 SU and 12-1-1 ATS as road dogs off a pair of losses during the 3rd quarter of the season (Games Nine-Twelve) dating back to 1980. On the fl ip side, the Bengals return home sporting a gaudy 0-8 ATS record as home favorites of 4 or more points versus opponents off a double-digit loss, dropping fi ve of the eight games in straight-up fashion. Meanwhile, our PLAYBOOK.com NFL Coaches League (see inside the Betting Tools section of the site) reports Marvin Lewis is 1-9 ATS as home chalk in games against foes off a loss of 10 or more points in his NFL career. While it’s been said that time stands still for no man, we figure it’s up for the Bengals here today. Upset in the Queen City.
Kansas City over Denver by 1
If ever a struggling team needed to host a hated division rival, it would be the Chiefs this week. The Featherheads have fed the tribe scalping the Broncos at Arrowhead as home dogs, going 10-4 SU and 10-3-1 ATS. They also benefi t from Denver’s recent hot hand, now grabbing doubles in the teepee. While on the subject of large numbers, we bet you didn’t know NFL home dogs of 8 or more points are a jaw-dropping 22-2 ATS over the last three years. Speaking of the Broncos, whether he starts this game or charts from the sidelines, KC QB Brady Quinn knows the intricacies of the Denver offense, having spent the previous two seasons with the club. Meanwhile, the Peyton Manning-led Broncos have tallied 30 or more points in each of their last fi ve contests. Not a good proposition for teams off a win as they have managed to beat the spread in only 11 of 31games in this role since 1980. Given Denver’s dour 1-10-1 ATS mark in division games against .250 or less opponents, and Romeo Crennel’s 6-1 ATS career mark in games off a loss versus opponents off a pair of SUATS wins, it’s upset city in Missouri on a day most suicide pools die.