Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Nov. 8-13
Duke over Georgia Tech by 8
Yes, despite a 4-1 SU mark, the Blue Devils’ lackluster performance against the Canes has them dropping from everyone’s radar – and yes, they really haven’t played anybody besides Miami. It’s also true that the Dukies have taken it on the chops each of the last six meetings in this series (ever since David Cutcliffe came aboard in Durham). But Cutcliffe is also 8-2 SU and 6-2-1 ATS off his initial loss of the season – including 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS on the road – and he’s 5-1-1 ATS as an avenging road dog of less than 8 points in an ACC contest. We think it’s a little premature to write off a team that went to the conference championship game last year. In addition, the SMART BOX reminds us the Yellow Jackets are indeed another ‘5-0 Fat Cat’ and in this case, one that is 0-5 ATS when riding a win streak of five games or more. Paul Johnson is 7-11-1 ATS in the second of consecutive home games, including 0-5 SUATS in that role the last five times out. As usual, our well-oiled machine supplies The Clincher: College football Game Five conference road dogs off their first loss of the season are 16-2 ATS since 1980 when facing a winning opponent off a SUATS win.
Miss State over Auburn by 8
At first glance, this SEC head-on collision in Starkville between No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 Mississippi State may not be for the faint of heart but with Marc’s powerful Betcha Didn’t Know ‘BADLANDS’ article and the SMART BOX in full agreement, this is a crossfire that we understand. In fact, thanks to the same old played-out scenes, we’ve got our facts learned real good right now: Auburn is 0-5 ATS in Game Six, 0-5 ATS
away versus conference revenge and 1-4 ATS as chalk off a SU win over LSU versus a .500 or greater opponent. We also know that the dog in this series is 3-0 ATS of late. So the question then becomes can the Bulldogs rise to the occasion for a third straight week or will the Tigers be able to keep up the defensive intensity they showed last week against an LSU squad that handed them their only loss in 2013? We have a notion, a notion deep inside, that it’s the former but since we’ve made this a BEST BET, we should keep pushin’ till it’s understood. And for that we bring in The Clincher: Game Six undefeated dogs who played in a bowl game the previous season are 9-0-1 ATS since 1991 when playing off a spread win of more than 9 points.
ARKANSAS over Alabama by 1
How do we top last issue’s ‘Upset Special’ when we called for 21-point dog Utah State to get the outright win in Provo against 18th-ranked BYU? How about asking an Arkansas squad that is riding a 14-game SEC losing skein and has lost to Alabama by identical 52-0 scores each of the past two seasons to knock off the 7th-rated Tide. Hogwash, you say? Well, while we do agree that the Razorbacks are off a painful overtime loss to A&M in this building two weeks ago, our well-oiled machine informs us that OT losers with a week off have actually developed instant amnesia of late, going 12-6 ATS in followup affairs. Arkansas is also 6-2 ATS as home dogs of more than 5 points but the truth is this is more of an anti-Bama call than a pro-Arky play. You see, the Tide could well enter today’s tilt in a ‘bubbly sort of way’ (as in bubble burst) and it’s a role in which Nick Saban has struggled with in his college career as he is just 7-9 SU and 3-11 ATS in games after tasting defeat for the first time in a season. Alabama is also just 1-8 ATS off a SU favorite loss versus .750 or less opposition, 1-7 ATS as conference road chalk of less than 14 points and 2-6 ATS away versus a conference foe with rest. To make matters worse, another 10-point effort from the offense (they scored 7 on defense) and the ‘Nic-tator’ could put Lane in a coffin as the Tide had been held to less than 20 points just twice in the past six seasons. So if you still can’t understand why we feel there may be asylum in Arky just after 9:00 ET, maybe the INCREDIBLE STAT Of THE WEEK on page 3 can do the trick as it provides The Clincher: The Alabama Crimson Tide is a jaw-dropping 3-6 SU and 0-8-1 ATS in lined games off its first loss of the season since 2003.
Chicago over Atlanta by 8
At first glance, this looks like a tough call as both the Falcons and Bears figure to hit the Georgia Dome hungrier than a rabbi on Yom Kippur after they’ve each dropped their last two contests. But a deeper look shows the Bears going 9-0 ATS as non-division dogs off back-to-back SU losses and the Falcons an uncomfortable 1-5 ATS in their last six at home off back-to-back roadies. Yes, we realize that Atlanta HC Mike Smith owns a 16-4 ATS record off a double-digit SU loss but the Dirty Birds and their 29th-rated defense has yet to stop anyone but Tampa Bay. And just like that, there’s a knock a the door as the Geek Squad delivers this noteworthy piece of advice from the never-questioned database: non-division road dogs off back-to-back SUATS losses are 20-6 ATS if they allowed 30 or more points in their last loss – provided they’re facing an opponent they defeated in their last meeting that is off a SU loss. So instead of fasting (which we could never do unless that meant eating pizza rolls and potato chips) on this mediocre NFC tilt which should find the winner reaching respectability and the loser likely digging a hole too big to climb out of, we’ll put our trust in The Clincher: Chicago is 17-3 ATS as a dog in its fourth road game of the season, including 10-1 ATS off a non-division tilt.
Buffalo over New England by 7
The Patriots are back. The Patriots are back! That was the sound bellowing throughout Boston Monday morning following New England’s 26-point destruction of previously unbeaten Cincinnati last Sunday night. The fact of the matter is they may be back... but not to the degree everyone thinks. Remember, we’re talking about a team every Joe Fan in America was looking to bet against last week, to the point they kicked off as 3-point home dogs to the Bengals. Today they take to the road sporting an 0-5 SUATS mark in their fourth road game of the season. Granted, the Hoodie has made Buffy his bitch of late with wins in each of the last five matchups. However, when it comes to quintuple revenge-exact, Buffalo holds all the cards as they are a super-sharp 6-1 ATS mark in these games when they have it, while the Kraft clan is a near-mirror opposite 1-7 ATS when they are going into it. In addition, the Bills are 7-1 ATS in their last Game Six scenarios. And the MIDWEEK ALERT agrees with it all, too, pointing out the Bills’ 4.0 Yards Per Rush offense fits like peanut
butter on a jelly sandwich with the Pats’ 4.4 Yards Per Rush defense. In conclusion, the well-oiled machine steps in to confirm our assertion with The Clincher: NFL division road favorites off a SU home underdog win facing an opponent off a SU win are 4-13 SU and 3-14 ATS since 1980, including 0-7 SUATS the last seven.
Oakland over San Diego by 6
We can hear the groans all the way down to South Florida. The rotten Raiders as a Best Bet! WTF? Rest assured, though, like our American Express card, we wouldn’t leave home without assurances from our trusted database – and in this case it’s adamant we take this stance. Remember, unlike most football fans, the all-knowing machine simply puts tape over the names of the teams and spits out what it finds. For openers, what it found here is that teams returning to the States after losing in London are a glossy 4-0-1 SU and 5-0 ATS all-time in their first game back when off a loss of 7 or more points. In addition, NFL winless dogs playing with a week of rest from Game Five out are 20-14 SU and 26-7-1 ATS since 1980. And then there’s the Chargers’ anemic 0-5 ATS mark in Game Six when toting a 4-1 SU or better record into the game. Finally, we close it out
with the return of Tony Soprano, err Sparano, the new interim coach of the Raiders – and his sterling 7-4 SU and 8-3 ATS mark as a division dog, including 4-0 ATS when taking more than 5 points. But that’s not all as the former Miami godfather also supplies The Clincher: Sparano is 5-0 SUATS in his NFL career in division games when his team is playing off a loss of more than 10 points.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Oct. 1--Oct. 6
UTAH STATE over BYU by 1
The first of seven non-conference tilts takes us out to Mormon country where this bitter 92-year-old rivalry finds the victors taking home the Old Wagon Wheel and the losers making wives jokes. And while BYU has garnered the ‘Wheel’ in 29 of the last 33 meetings, it’s been the Aggies that have grabbed the cash (5-1 ATS last six) and the punch lines (“your wives are so ugly they use them in prisons to cure sex offenders”). Well, we have a feeling the Old Wheel is heading back to Logan as Utah State is 9-0 ATS as dogs of 5 or more points, 4-0 ATS with rest and 5-1-1 ATS with non-conference revenge. Meanwhile, the Cougars are 0-3 ATS with rest over the past two seasons and a far-too-hospitable 1-9 ATS in a third straight home game. So whether it’s Chuckie Keeton under center or accomplished back-up Darell Garretson (6-1 as starter in 2013), we feel the Heisman buzz surrounding BYU signal-caller Taysom Hill may just turn into another Dangerfield joke. At least that’s what our INCREDIBLE STAT on page 3 thinks as it provides The Clincher: BYU is 0-12 ATS at home off back-to-back home games after scoring 14 or more points in its last game.
FLORIDA over Tennessee by 13
Okay, stop groaning. We know Tennessee did the best Lazarus impression we’ve seen in a long time against Georgia last Saturday. And while the Vols fought tooth-and-nail until the clock simply ran out on them, Florida didn’t have the juice for four quarters against Alabama (the Tide scored the game’s final 21 points). So why have we awarded the Gators the top spot in this week’s big three college picks? For openers, the reptiles hit the highway with the support of our AWESOME ANGLE and the SMART BOX, making this a 1-2 punch we can’t resist! Next, because they’ve had to replace their entire offensive and defensive lines this season, the Vols have been forced to play an FBS-high 22 true freshmen this year. Florida is also a profitable 6-2-1 ATS of late with rest and senior SR QB Jeff Driskel is 16-4 SU as a starter with UF in what is essentially a ‘pick’ game. But the biggest reason for tossing a chicken carcass to the Gators? We got a call from Jaybird The Bulldog. Flush with victory after last week’s Tennessee cover against Georgia, our SEC scout phoned in to say he’d bought a new pair of house slippers but was keeping the bulk of his winnings to put on this game. “Last week I had three letters for you, S-E-C. Now I got three more: L-I-F. Last week it was Rocky Top, this week don’t look for a Gator flop. You all saw what happened to the big boy, Mr. Weis… well, if Muschamp loses this game – and by the way the Gators have chomped ‘em nine straight times – he’d better start
packin’.” Such sentiments actually mesh well with Tennessee’s 1-3 ATS mark after rumbling with the Bulldogs and its 2-5 ATS effort versus a rested conference foe. But just to be clear… what does L-I-F stand for? “Let it fly, baby!” he Clincher: Florida is 18-3 SU and 14-7 ATS with rest in SEC games versus opponents who allow 17.5 or more PPG on the season, including 5-0 SUATS away.
ATLANTA over NY Giants by 6
After a yo-yo year that started out 5-0 in the preseason, then 0-2 to open the regular season, and now 2-0 in its last two games, Giants fans are badly in need of all the Maalox, Mylanta and Tums they can get their hands on these days. On the other side of the coin, Atlanta has played a steady game of win-lose-win-lose and will look to stay on course when they travel to MetLife Stadium this Sunday. Unfortunately for the G-Men, they fall into a rotten Game Five situation as 2-2 home teams, off a pair of wins, are just 7-16 ATS in non-division clashes since 1980. Making matters worse, the visiting Falcons are 17-2 ATS as pick or dogs in the 2nd of back-to-back away games when playing off a SU non-division loss. All of which only figures to worsen lousy New York’s 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS all-time mark as a host in this series. Grab the points with the better team.
The Clincher: Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is 16-3 ATS in his NFL career in games off a loss of 8 or more points, including 10-3 SU and 13-0 ATS if his squad’s win percentage is .400 or greater.
NY JETS over SAN DIEGO by 1
Look. Up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it really Superman? We’re not sure the Jets are the answer to any of the aforementioned questions. However, we’re sure Marc’s SUPER FIVE Betcha Didn’t Know
column on page 2 in this week’s newsletter fits right into the Flyboys like George Clooney does Amal Alamuddin. And it couldn’t come at a better time with the Jets running out of fuel following a season-opening win over
the Raiders. A 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS mark in games off three straight losses, along with a 7-1 ATS dog log in games versus AFC foes off a pair of SUATS wins, is surely an energy boost… as is San Diego’s sour 1-6 SU and 0-7 ATS mark in this series when playing off a win. Quick, someone contact Lois Lane and alert her to Monday’s headline in the New York Post: The Jets Win! The Jets Win!
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Sept. 24-29
Arkansas over Texas AM by 1
Remember the old Monkees’ hit, ‘I’m a Believer’? Well, we didn’t see too many Arkansas faces under their helmets but we’re certainly believers after seeing them go hog wild against Northern Illinois last week. In fact, there’s ‘not a trace of doubt in our mind’ (well, maybe a little) that they’re going to snap a nasty 13-game SEC losing skein. Yes, the Aggies shocked the Gamecocks in the season opener and have since sliced and diced Lamar, Rice and SMU, but they best not get caught looking ahead (Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama on the October slate) as Arky can run the ball. And if there’s one thing that these Agriculturalists don’t like is an overland attack as they are an ugly 7-30 ATS as chalk of 20 or less points in games where they allow 150 or more rushing yards, including 2-18 ATS when the rushing total reaches 230 or more yards. And remember – this game is taking place at Jerry’s World and it just so happens that Jerry Jones is an Arkansas grad. Now while we’re not implying that Mr. Jones may have a little influence on the outcome, we should point out that A&M is 0-4 ATS at neutral sites of late, 0-5-1 ATS in Game Five of the season and 1-8 ATS in this series since 1988. So while the novice handicapper may think that laying points is ‘more or less a givin’ thing’, we say
the more we gave, the less we got. Thus the points become the play tonight in Arlington and it’s confirmed by The Clincher: Razorbacks’ head coach Bret Bielema is 42-11 SU in his career in games off a win of more than 7 points, with only 2 of the 11 losses by more than 10 points... making him 51-2 ATS to this opening number.
WASHINGTON over Stanford by 6
While the Huskies won’t have the luxury of spotting the Cardinal a 14-0 halftime lead like they did last week at home against Georgia State before scoring 45 unanswered second-half points, we don’t feel that will be the case today in Seattle as head coach Chris Petersen – the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER – will have his sled dogs ready for this conference opener. As it is, UDub is 5-0 ATS in Pac-12 lid-lifters since 2009. They’re also 4-0 ATS as home pups of 10 or less points while Stanford is 2-9 ATS as favorites of 21 or less points with rest and an unlucky 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS before meeting the Irish when facing a conference foe off a SU win. And though the Cardinal are 9-3 ATS in their last dozen as road chalk, remember that Chris Petersen does his best work when getting points, including a perfect 7-0 ATS when the foe is off a SU win of 6 or more point as outlined in the teaser. This is a tricky spot for Stanford who, like this afternoon, were favored by 7 points on their last visit here in 2012 and left with a 17-13 defeat. What is it that they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results? Some call it insanity and so does. The Clincher: Petersen is 51-3 SU at home with no loss by more than 6 points – making him 54-0 ATS to this number!
Tennessee over Indy by 4
You may not want to remember the Titans but we’re bouncing right back with them despite the fact that they embarrassed us on these pages last week. Yes, that 33-7 loss in Cincinnati wasn’t very pretty but an 8-1 ATS log as dogs when they’re on the road in Game Three sure is. As is a 326-300 overall edge in the stats against the Bengals, courtesy of our MIDWEEK ALERT Yes, the Colts – who by the way are 0-6 ATS before battling Baltimore when taking on an opponent with revenge – got off the schneid with their big win in Jacksonville last week but as ‘Luck’ would have it, that sets the stage for a pair of juicy morsels. We’ll whet your appetite with this one: Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt is 22-10 SU and 25-7 ATS versus a foe off a SU double-digit win in his NFL career, including 10-1 ATS in division frays; and close it with The Clincher: NFL Game Four teams off their first win of the season are 3-18-1 ATS as home favorites since 1980.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping