Thursday, October 03, 2013
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets Week 5
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3
IOWA ST over Texas by 1
The Longhorns’ tense 31-21 win over Kansas State two weeks ago temporarily halted the ‘Mack Must Go’ talk around Austin but the furor will begin anew if Texas doesn’t defl ate the Cyclones here (UT won the last two meetings by margins of 26 and 23 points). Brown is hoping an extra week of prep time keeps his squad in a winning stateof mind… especially with this year’s Red River Rivalry game against hated Oklahoma looming on the horizon. Tonight’s role has served Texas well in the past as its second road game of the season has been like money in the bank, going 14-0 SU and 13-1 ATS. However, the problem with THIS second away game is that Bevo runs right into ISU’s cry for ‘HELP’ (see Marc’s Betcha Didn’t Know article on page 2). In fact, we expect the Cyclones to be quite a handful here as our Golden Rule is to always back a winning ‘angle’ over a winning ‘trend’. Besides, it’s our belief that an extra week of rest is simply not enough to cure what ails Mackie’s program right now. Iowa State may be off to a 1-2 start but the ‘Clones are actually just two scores away from being undefeated this season (lost by 6 to Iowa and 8 to Northern Iowa), plus they did hold Iowa to season-low yards. The ISU rush ‘D’ is also superior to the Longhorns stop unit by 83 YPG – while giving up a full yard less per carry than the visitors. From the database: Big 12 home dogs off a win are 9-3 SU and 11-1 ATS when facing a .500-or less conference opponent since the formation of the Big 12. With the Cyclones coming off an impressive 38-21 road win at Tulsa, look for the hosts to blow away the Horns’ attempt at climbing over the .500 mark in 2013. The Clincher: ISU coach Paul Rhoads is 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS as a dog when .500 or less versus a .666 or less opponent.
Notre Dame over Arizona St By 1
So Todd Graham literally put a fork in Lane Kiffi n’s career… now what? Well, if you liked those giant pitchforks on one side of the Sun Devil helmets last weekend, you should love the fl aming helmets they’ll be wearing this week against the Irish (fi rst, the Hokie stone helmets last week worn by Virginia Tech, now these… there’s no question that college football helmets are giving multi-colored bowling balls a run for their money!). Anyway, back to basics and we feel this game at Cowboys Stadium is a tough one to pick. So, when the going gets tough, the tough start crunching numbers. Golden Domers are 22-6 SU and 21-6-1 ATS in Game Six, including 17-3-1 ATS versus an opponent coming off a win, not to mention 9-3 ATS as an underdog of less than a TD against the Pac-12. Brian Kelly teams have also been dangerous dogs off a loss, going 11-4 ATS, including 6-1 ATS when getting 5.5 points or more. Of course, the Fighting Irish will need to keep their dukes up from the opening bell after fi nding themselves on the canvas down by 14 early against the Sooners. Meanwhile in Tempe, ASU had another big offensive game with 612 yards, but allowed nearly as many (Trojans gashed them for another 542, including nearly 250 yards on the ground). The Irish haven’t covered a game yet this season, but here’s an opportunity to win back their fans with a register-ringing effort today. Cha-ching!
FRIDAY October 4
BYU over Utah State by 3
Utah State is another team that’s just a few plays short of perfection, losing two games to USC and Utah by a grand total of 7 points. Not a bad debut for Matt Wells, who was last year’s OC before taking over as head coach following the departure of Gary Andersen to Wisconsin. With dynamic QB Chuckie Keeton hitting 71% of his passes in 2013 while throwing for a mind-boggling TD/INT ratio of 17-to-1, the Aggies look like a safe bet to go bowling for a third straight year. One of USU’s two remaining roadblocks are the Cougars from Provo, a team that’s beaten the Aggies on the scoreboard in five of the last six get-togethers. In fact, BYU has gone 22-2 SU against their fellow Mormons from Logan – despite being favored in all 24 games. With Utah State now taking on the chalk role, this matchup becomes what is known in handicapping circles as a ‘step-up game’. We’re not certain that the Aggies are ready to dress up in these clothes, not when the visitors are 4-1 ATS on the road versus an avenging foe and 4-1 ATS off a 3-games-or-more home stand. And even though USU is on a dynamite 12-2-1 ATS run, the hosts own a weak 2-6 ATS record as chalk off a SU win against an opponent with revenge. Those numbers and more make Bronco Mendenhall’s boys a dominating dog (we call them DIA DIA’s – dominating dogs in action, doing it again) tonight… and until the Aggies ‘step up’ in just such a scenario, we’ll continue to back the dominating dog. B-White-U takes the latest round in this Beehive State slugfest.
BALTIMORE over Miami by 6
Miami’s fall from grace was swift after being exposed as a 3-0 ‘phony’ to open the 2013 campaign in a one-way rout Monday night at New Orleans. Today the Fins will hope to overcome a scary 0-6 ATS mark as
a favorite in games against the AFC North and an equally depressing 0-6 ATS record as home chalk during the 2Q (Game Five tru Eight) of the season. Enter the defending Super Bowl champs, sitting dead even
at 2-2 on the season after last week’s choke-job at Buffalo. The good news for the Black Birds is they are 11-3-1 ATS as dogs against the AFC East, including 5-0 ATS off a loss. In addition, QB Joe Flacco – off last week’s 5-interception laced performance – is 5-1 ATS in his NFL career in games off a SU favorite loss. With defending SB champions 17-8-1 ATS in games as a dog after being tripped up as a favorite the prior game, we’ve got a taste for some grilled mahi-mahi today. The Clincher: the Dolphins are 3-18 ATS as home favorites in games in which they own a win percentage of .454 or more on the season.
OAKLAND over San Diego by 8
Thanks to the MLB playoffs, this game has been moved back to 11:35 PM ET instead of the originally scheduled 4:25 PM kickoff to accommodate the field crew at the O.o Coliseum as they transition the field from baseball to football. Yes, the Raiders are the only NFL team that shares a stadium with a MLB team. They are also the only team in the league with a losing record that has managed to hold two opponents to season-low yards this year. On the other side of the ball, the Chargers’ defense, better than only the Eagles and the Redskins, has surrendered season-high yardage in two of their four contests. Through it all, San Diego enters tonight’s fray with a 3-0-1 ATS mark on the season. Hence, the combination of name and reputation brings this line in at an attractive, playable range. We love he fact that San Diego finds itself dressing up as a favorite for the first time this season, a role in which they’ve struggled (7-11 ATS) the previous two years. Meanwhile, Oakland finds itself sitting pretty at 7-1-1 ATS as a home dog of late in games off a SUATS loss, and 7-4 SU
and 9-2 ATS in this series when playing off a pair of losses. While Bud Selig may have got his way today, the Chargers are caught looking a tan array of bad numbers. The Clincher: the Chargers are 0-7 ATS as road chalk in games off a spread win of 7 or more points.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping