Thursday, October 17, 2013
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets Week 7
N CAROLINA over Miami Fla by 3
Okay, pipe down. We know the clueless Tar Heels look like they can’t find their way out of the briar patch right now but the ATS gods have seen fi t to make an appearance here and lead UNC down the path. It won’t be easy, not with the Hurricanes moving into the AP Top 10 poll this week for the first time since 2009 thanks to their 5-0 start. Revenge players will also be out in force to back Miami after Al Golden’s team lost to Carolina last year as +7.5 home dogs, 18-14. However, the Canes have dropped four straight to the number as conference road chalk of 7 or more points, plus they’re a not-so-intimidating 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS in regular season Weekday games. At 1-4 SU and 0-4-1 ATS in 2013, the home-dog Heels need all the help they can get, and their previous efforts as point-spread pups at Chapel Hill speak volumes: 4-2 SU and 6-0 ATS as ACC home underdogs off consecutive losses, and 4-0 ATS as home dogs of 7 or more points. In addition, two of Marc’s ‘Betcha Didn’t Know’ Black Book angles – TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT (2013) and RUBY TUESDAY (2010) – are at work AGAINST the Canes today. Toss in last week’s SMART BOX ‘5-0 Fat Cats’ and it’s a triage too tough to pass up! The Clincher: the Tar Heels are 11-2 ATS in games off three straight losses, including 6-0 ATS the last six.
SATURDAY October 19
ARMY over Temple by 8
The Cadets pounded the ground for 511 yards as they doubled up on Michigan in a 50-25 win last week. Army was led by junior RB Terry Baggett, who rushed for a school-record 304 yards on 18 attempts (16.9 YPR) and tallied 4 TDs, including a 96-yarder. The Black Knights travel to Philly this week to take on a winless Temple team that has covered the last fi ve meetings in this series, including a 63-32 romp at West Point last season. Thanks in part to that woodshed beating, the Owls have been installed as small favorites. Unfortunately, Temple has been favored only twice since last season, and promptly lost both games SU. Complicating
matters, this year’s Temple edition has been outgained in every contest, making them a ‘leaking oil’ favorite. For clarification, our friendly neighborhood database notes that winless favorites who were underdogs of 20 or more points in their last game are just 21-41-1 ATS when playing off a double-digit loss. Ride Army’s ground attack as they ‘run for cover’ and show no brotherly love at the Link. The Clincher: teams with a record of less than .750 that rushed for 500 or more yards in their last game are 19-2-1 ATS when facing an opponent off a loss of 3 or more points.
CLEMSON over FLA State by 10
This could be one of the season’s most exciting games, a battle of unbeatens meeting in this ‘COLLISION COURSE’ clash (see Marc’s BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW piece on page 2 for more on this). And with Clemson coming in off a lethargic 10-point look-ahead win over Boston College, and FSU whitewashing the Terps 63-0 before their bye week, everything fi ts like a glove. Add to that the Noles’ 1-8 ATS mark off a SU win of more than 35 points, their 1-6 ATS road record with rest, and Jimbo Fisher’s 1-4 SUATS record on the road against .700 or better opponents, and you can see we’re really building a case. As Freddie Mercury once sang, “Don’t stop me now, we’re havin’ such a good time…” Okay, we’ll keep going: Marc’s ‘TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT’ article in the 2013 Black Book which warns us of the problems undefeated teams incur when playing on the road with a week of rest, and his famous ‘KICK IN THE ASSETS’ treatise (from the 2007 Black Book) outlines the failures of unbeaten road favorites off a SUATS win when facing winning opponents. Toss in FSU’s ‘5-0 Fat Cat’ status from last week’s SMART BOX and this looks like a literal visit to Death Valley for the Seminoles. With the Tigers having covered four straight in this series, we add The Clincher: Clemson is 6-0
SUATS at home with Dabo Swinney versus ACC foes who won 10 or more games last season.
West Virginia over Texas Tech by 7
The Mountaineers showed the real strength of this field with their stunning upset of Oklahoma State (as 19.5-point dogs) in the last game here – where only two losses in the last 54 home games have come by more than 5 points (think about for a moment). Add to that the fact that WVU HC Dana Holgorsen is 4-0 ATS in his career off a loss in which his team allows less than 30 PPG and is facing a .700 or greater opponent. The revenge factor is present as well, courtesy of the Red Raiders’ 49-14 win last season in Lubbock… as 3-point underdogs. Making matters worse for rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Raiders’ next five games – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas, the final five games of season – are all TTRR revengers. Meanwhile, Tech is 1-6 ATS coming off a SUATS win versus a rested opponent. In addition, the Mounties are 4-1 ATS as home dogs of more than 6 points and 9-3 ATS off a SU loss of more than 21 points. An even closer look shows that the hillbillies’ FBS opponents stand 19-9 SU on the season while the Raiders’
FBS foes have gone just 10-17. So let’s see… rest, revenge and a strong home-fi eld advantage all point to a West Virginia victory, and with that we’ll fade Kingsbury’s kids in only their second game of the season outside the state of Texas. If you’re still not convinced, flPRO Picks Sunday October 20 back to page 3 and check out this week’s INCREDIBLE STAT for The Clincher.
PRO Picks Sunday October 20
Cincinnati over DETROIT by 3
To their credit, the Bengals refused to buckle under challenging conditions in their overtime win at Buffalo last week. Keyed by a 3-touchdown effort from slumping QB Andy Dalton, Cincy put 483 yards on the Bills to secure the top spot in the AFC North. The key to their success this season, though, has been a defense that ranks No. 8 overall in the league, and therein lies the difference in this contest as they go up against Detroit’s 393-yard stop-unit. Knowing of their love for Motown music, It’s hard to wipe the smiles off their faces and their melodic moves, as the Bengals have danced all over the Lions in the Motor City where they stand 4-0 SUATS since 1984. Making matters worse for Detroit, they take the fi eld as a ‘leaking oil’ favorite, having lost the stats in each of its last three games. We like the sound of that tune and we like the dog in this dance off.
TENNESSEE over San Francisco by 6
It wasn’t supposed to work this way. Following a three-game slippage last season, Mike Munchak’s insistence on overhauling the offense was supposed to pay immediate dividends, benefitting QB Jake Locker and RB Chris Johnson. Instead, Locker is nursing an injured hip and Johnson can’t find the end zone. Through it all, the Titans have battled to a surprising 3-3 start thanks to an offense that somehow manages to protect the ball (5 turnovers). What Munchak has excelled at is performing in games off back to-back defeats where he is 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in his career with the Titans, including 4-0 SUATS in non-division battles. Meanwhile, the Niners enter on a 3-0 SUATS run, despite the fact they have been outyarded in four of their last five contests. Frisco is also 1-8 ATS in its last nine games off a win when facing a foe off a pair of losses. Can’t blame the Niners for being distracted with a trip overseas to London up next on the docket. And can’t blame us for grabbing the points with a blue-collar dog that has dominated this series, going 6-1 ATS the last seven, including 3-0 ATS in Nashville. It’s what we’re supposed to do. The Clincher: NFL road teams are 0-3 SUATS in games before playing in London, England.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping