Arizona over USC by 10
We knew it was coming. And though it might have been more compassionate for AD Pat Haden to take Lane Kiffi n out for dinner first before dropping the ‘Donald Trump’ bomb on his head, most of Trojan nation probably agree that Haden’s airport ambush was more than Kiffi n deserved. Do the math: 7 losses in the last 11 games is UNACCEPTABLE at Southern Cal. Former Ole Miss boss Ed Orgeron was named the interim head coach but we’ll be surprised if he can staunch the fl ow of blood. In addition to the chaos of a mid-season coaching change, the loss of superstar WR Marquis Lee is crippling for a USC program that was already coming apart at the seams. Orgeron ain’t no Pete Carroll – he’s only 1-6-2 ATS as a pick or favorite in his coaching career and a stomach-churning 0-7 SUATS in games in which his team sports a .400 or greater record. Hey, even when better men strode the sidelines for the Trojans, Arizona was still able to give them fi ts. The desert Cats are 7-1 ATS in the previous eight series meetings, 8-0 ATS as underdogs and have covered four straight at the Coliseum. However, unlike traditional Rich Rodriguez teams, this year’s Arizona squad can play a little defense, holding three of their four foes to season-low yards in 2013. Rich Rod, who is 8-1 SUATS away versus a winning foe off a loss, has also had an extra week to goad his Wildcats into action by making them watch fi lm from their 31-13 no-show at Seattle. It’s our polarizing database, though, that once again comes up with the deciding factor: since 2000, there have been only THREE interim coaches that took over an FBS program for a coach that was fi red before the end of September. Collectively they are 5-18 SU overall, including 1-16 SU in games versus .300 or greater opponents. Yikes! Yes, regardless of how temptingly low the pointspread may appear, it’s imperative to avoid the Trojans in this current stage of shell-shock. The Clincher: our INCREDIBLE STAT on page 3 cements it.
NY Giants over Chicago by 3
Who would have imagined: Eli Manning 0-5, easily off to the worst start of his career. This week Eli fi nds relief in the spread on today’s game, as he is 14-6 ATS in his NFL career as a dog of 5 or more points. In addition, Manning is 3-0 ATS in his career in games off a pair of losses when battling the NFC North. Meanwhile, the Windy City boys return to the scene of the crime where they dropped an 8-point turd here last week to the Saints. Not good news for Bears-backers considering Chicago’s stinky 0-6 ATS mark as home favorites of more than 2 points when playing off an immediate home loss, and its 0-4 SUATS mark the last four games as a host in this series. At 0-6, Eli’s out of the mix. We’re betting he stays alive at 1-5. The Clincher: Chicago QB Jay Cutler is 6-11 SU and 2-15 ATS as a NFL non-division home favorite in games where his team owns a winning record.
Saturday October 12
W MICHIGAN over Buffalo by 1
We’ve all heard of the infamous Sports Illustrated ‘cover curse’, but what about this? New Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck, the nation’s youngest FBS head man at 32-years-old, was proclaimed ‘Best New Hire Of 2013’ by SI before the season got underway. But after an 0-5 start where WMU has been outscored by 23.2 PPG and outgained by 119 YPG, it’s apparent someone got some bad information. The Broncos have fallen on hard times, for sure, but what better spot for a Homecoming win than with a double-digit dog who has been the underdog only three times in the last 15 meetings in this series? Our tireless database also goes to bat for the Broncos, noting that visiting Buffalo has been favored eight times against avenging opponents since becoming an FBS team, and has stumbled to a 1-7 ATS mark in those games. Nonetheless, the Bulls are starting to get some attention, recovering from an 0-2 road start against powerhouse teams Ohio State and Baylor to hit the trifecta with home wins over Stony Brook, UConn and Eastern Michigan. Despite that momentum, this is not a good scheduling spot for the Bulls: they’re 1-16 SU in their last 17 road games and are now forced to lay doubles on the highway today (or as Charlie Brown would put it, “Good grief!”). And with a lot of Buffy’s players penciling in the automatic win over today’s chump foe, we’re betting they get caught looking ahead to a trio of revengers with Kent State, Ohio U and Toledo waiting in the wings. As far-fetched as it sounds, look for the series dog to improve to 5-1-1 ATS after Western Michigan springs the upset. The Clincher: see Marc’s BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW ‘Desperado’ article on page 2.
SUNDAY October 13
SAN DIEGO over Indy by 13
A spinoff from Marc’s ‘AH HA’ Best of the Black Book theorem brings a juicy Monday night play that zooms right to the top of the Best Bet page this week. It involves Monday night home teams that were away (A) last week, hosting a foe off a home (H) win. These 180º site changes (HA) have been ultra benefi cial for Monday night non-division hosts who are either favored or a dog of less than 3 points, going 11-0 SUATS since 2004. In addition, like a Tesla pulling out of a Supercharger station, the Bolts charge up under the Monday night lights, going 11-2 ATS in non-division tilts, including 6-0 ATS when playing off a loss. On the other side of the coin, the Colts check in off Sunday’s upset win over Seattle, handing the Seahawks their fi rst loss of the season despite being outgained by over 100 yards in the contest. That’s magnifi ed by the fact San Diego outyarded Oakland by 124 yards in its Sunday night loss to the Raiders… making this a double 100-yard ‘inside-out’ stat affair. Making matters worse, Indy is 0-7 ATS in this series when arriving off a SUATS win in its last game. With the Chargers 9-1 SUATS at home with a .400 or greater record when playing off a SU favorite loss, and NFL teams a sour 4-16-2 ATS when either pick or favored after skirmishes with Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, look for the Colts to toss a shoe tonight. The Clincher: San Diego is 21-3-1 ATS all-time in games versus the AFC South.
BALTIMORE over Green Bay by 8
The Ravens return home off last week’s moneymaking visit to Miami knowing they are 5-0 ATS at home behind head coach John Harbaugh in games off a SU underdog win. The Black Birds are also 4-0 SUATS all-time on this fi eld against NFC North opponents. Enter the Packers, off last Sunday’s victory over the depleted Lions, sporting a lousy 1-4 SU franchise mark in games on the AFC North road. And then there’s the defense, the one of which Baltimore owns that has held two foes to season-low yards this year, and the other of which Green Bay possesses that has surrendered season high yards on two different occasions this campaign – and will likely be minus the services of all-world LB Clay Matthews. We like better defensive dogs with winning records. And we like Baltimore again today. The Clincher: defending Super Bowl champions are 5-0 ATS as non-division dogs off a SU underdog win since 1980.