College Picks

IOWA ST over Texas by 6


With October knocking on the door, it’s time to get serious in the league where they run for fun (not to mention cars, houses for their parents and the hottest girls on campus) as no less than 41 conference games dot the Week 5 slate. It begins in Big 12 country as Tom Herman and the visiting Longhorns look to build on a promising effort they put forth two Saturdays ago in a 27-24 overtime loss at USC. However, we’re not fully hooked on Herman’s ‘Horns just yet, and certainly won’t be ‘feeling the love tonight’ for them with Marc’s BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW article going googly eyes over the Cyclones. Our well-oiled machine is also looking to court the hosts as it notes their 8-0-1 ATS mark as dogs of 16 or fewer points against sub .500 foes and 6-1 ATS log in weekday play. We should also point out that Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is 6-2 ATS as a home dog, including 3-0 ATS versus less than .800 opposition. Meanwhile, Texas is a ‘vagabond-like’ 1-4 SUATS in their last fi ve tries as conference road chalk. Worse, road teams playing with rest off an overtime loss are just 12-16 ATS all-time, including 0-3 SUATS against foes that scored 38 or more points in their last game. Still looking to back the wide-eyes wanderers? Better check out THE CLINCHER: Tom Herman is 0-7 ATS as a conference favorite when his team is not coming off a win of 29 or more points.


WASHINGTON STATE over USC by 8

While we didn’t show any love for the Cougars from Provo, the ones from Pullman are a different story. Like Iowa State, Mike Leach’s men take center stage in this week’s BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW article. Even if the restless warriors (1-6 SU in this series since 2006) didn’t garner that gossip (who needs the New York Post’s iconic Page Six when you have the Playbook’s Page Two?), we could certainly ‘Leach’ onto a squad whose coach is 15-5 ATS as a dog versus undefeated foes, including 9-1 ATS with Washington State, and a Top 10 ranked stop-unit that owns over 100 YPG the stingier defense. Our database also claws with the Cougars as Wash State is 6-1 ATS in Game Five of the season while the Trojans are 1-6 ATS in Game Five, an unprotected 1-4 ATS in weekday affairs and 3-7 ATS after clashing with Cal. All that and there’s still room for THE CLINCHER: USC is 7-26 ATS as a road favorite following a win against .500 or greater foes off a win, including 0-9 ATS the last nine.

PRO Picks


Baltimore over Pittsburgh by 11

Talk about a team with a chip on its shoulder – meet the Baltimore Ravens. After a 2-0 start to the season, they were little more than jesters in their game last week in London where they dropped the ball in a 44-7 loss as 3-point favorites to Jacksonville. Before jumping off the bandwagon, though, it should be noted that teams off a non-division spread loss of 40 or more points in which they surrendered 44 or more points in the loss are 10-2-1 ATS in follow-up affairs, including 8-0-1 ATS when seeking revenge against that day’s opponent. Toss in Pittsburgh’s 4-9 SU and 4-7-2 ATS in this series since 2011, including 0-3 ATS the last three games away, along with Baltimore’s 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in division games following the Jaguars, and it appears that ‘Chip’ should be coming to play today. And, by they way, there is also THE CLINCHER: NFL teams returning from London are 8-2 SU and 9-0-1 ATS since 2015.