Cincinnati over CENTRAL FLORIDA by 1

Whereas those aforementioned 4-5 favorites don’t fare well in Game Ten of the season, 4-5 dogs of 3 or more points, off those same two losses-exact, do just fi ne (7-2-1 ATS) if they also went bowling the previous campaign. In order to be a player this postseason, the Bearcats obviously need this one like Trump needs Florida and Ohio. And it looks like their head coach is following in the footsteps of the Donald. Following last Saturday’s ugly 20-3 home loss to BYU, Tommy Tuberville got into it with a heckler who told him to stop stealing money from the university by responding “go to hell, get a job” (if elected, Trump promises there will be jobs down there). Tubs is now taking heat and we’ll look for him to take out his frustrations on a UCF team that is leaking more oil than the Exxon Valdez (0-5 ‘ITS last fi ve). We realize that the 5-4 Knights are still one win shy of bowl eligibility and becoming one of the feel-good stories of the year (they were 0-12 last season), but we just don’t trust them as double-digit chalk.

MINNESOTA over Nebraska by 7

Reality has set in for Nebraska. A promising 7-0 start quickly faded after a double dose of reality: an OT loss at Wisconsin and a 62-3 humiliation at Ohio Stadium, where the Huskers saw starting QB Tommy Armstrong carted away to a Columbus hospital. While Armstrong did return to the sidelines before game’s end, he is nonetheless following ‘concussion protocol’ this week and may not start (or even play) this evening. No matter; we’ll go with the Golden Gophers here, even if Minnesota RB Rodney Smith can’t answer the bell. While the Cornhuskers might still be reeling from that demoralizing beatdown by Ohio State, the Gophers should be completely focused. Tied at 4-2 atop the Big Ten West division with Wisconsin and Nebraska, Minnesota actually controls its conference destiny whereas Nebbish does not. The Gophers have somehow managed to stay under the radar while putting together a 7-2 record (lost to Penn State by 3 points and Iowa by 7), but they’re a bonafi de ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ SMART BOX dog here with their super 8-1 ITS mark this season. Minny also claims most of the ATS edges in this matchup, going 5-0 ATS away when playing with conference revenge and 8-2 ATS as a Big Ten dog of 10 or less points. By comparison, Nebraska is a weak 1-5 ATS versus conference revenge and just 1-4 ATS in the fi rst of consecutive Big Ten home games. And while revenge from a 48-25 loss as small home chalk last year should serve the Gophers well today, the fi nal nail in the Huskers’ coffi n comes courtesy of THE CLINCHER: Double-Bubble Burst teams from Game Ten out on the season, off their initial two losses of the season, are 0-7-1 ATS since 1980 as home favorites when facing an opponent with a winning record.


JACKSONVILLE over Houston by 10

Somehow, despite being outscored and out-yarded on the season, the Texans enter this contest with 5 wins, and a game-and-a-half lead in the AFC South... to which we say poppycock. Yes, we realize Houston is 5-0 SUATS away against losing division opponents, and the favorite is 27-11-2 ATS in games under Bill O’Brien. But there comes a time when numbers like those begin to dissolve and they almost always occur in circumstances like those outlined above. The Jaguars’ season has not been rewarding, for sure. Expected to contend for division honors behind a plethora of young talent, Jacksonville has disappointed. A buy sign, though, came last week when they limited the Chiefs to a season-low 231 yards in a 5-point loss that was directly attributable to a 4-0 defi cit in turnovers. (FYI: the Jags are on the short end of a 10-0 TO margin in the four games since their bye). Meanwhile, the Texans are 1-4 ATS in division games following a bye week, while Jacksonville is 7-2 SUATS following the Kansas City Chiefs, including 4-0 SUATS at home. We close it with THE CLINCHER: .250 or greater NFL home dogs off a pair of away games, with a pair of away games on deck, are 8-4 SU and 11-1 ATS since 1980 following a loss of more than 3 points when facing a winning foe off a win.

LA RAMS over NY Jets by 8

This initially looks like an ugly dog that’s hard to wrap our hands around. But thanks to our sister publication, the MIDWEEK ALERT, we can feel the love and warmth pouring through. For openers, the Rams have lost their last four games but won the overall stats in each game. A 9-1 defi cit in turnover margin in those games was the main culprit. The turnover-prone Jets fi gure to help cure that ill. New York is 0-5 ATS following a loss when facing NFC South opponents, and 5-20 SUATS following a loss to the Miami Dolphins. On the other side of the coin, the Rams are 8-3 SU and 9-2 ATS in this series, including 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS in games in which the Jets own a win percentage of .333 or greater. Furthermore, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher thrives in roles like this as he famously supplies THE CLINCHER: Fisher is 22- 9-2 ATS as a road dog against losing opposition, including 8-1 SUATS when taking less than a field goal from a sub .444 foe.