Thursday, November 08, 2012
College & Pro Upsets Nov. 8-12
Thursday, Nov 8
VIRGINIA TECH over Florida State by 1
With only Maryland left to deal with on the conference slate, a win tonight in Blacksburg will likely send the Seminoles to the ACC title game and keep their slim national championship title hopes alive. Speaking of the ACC title game, it was the Hokies who topped the ‘Noles, 44-33, in that same game two short seasons ago. But rather than revenge from the Sems, our PLAYBOOK.com database, AWESOME ANGLE on page 2 and TRIVIA TEASER (also page 2) calls for a repeat performance from the bewildered Hokies. Yes, Beamer’s boys are an unheard of 4-5 to date, but the veteran head coach is at his best when the opponent enters with the better record. The Techsters are also a near-perfect 9-0-1 ATS as home dogs off a SU loss and 5-0 ATS in Game Ten of the season, which fi ts like the Bowden Family in a Cracker Barrel (is there any way ol’ Bobby can
ever be left with one peg at that triangle game?) to FSU’s 1-6 ATS Game Ten log and 1-6 ATS mark as weekday chalk. And while we realize that most of those numbers can be attributed to their former coach – including a 5-11 SU and 4-12 ATS mark with regular-season rest and revenge (0-7 ATS away when the conference foe is not off a double-digit win), this still looks to be a jumbo road task for Jimbo and the current staff. Thus, we’ll grab the ridiculous two touchdowns as the Hokies put a second peg in the Seminoles’ loss column.
Saturday Nov 10
SYRACUSE OVER LOUISVILLE by 11
The ‘noose tightens’ for the undefeated Redbirds as they fi nd themselves in the worst of this week’s SMART BOX. Not only that, but Louisville is 1-7 ATS as road favorites off back-to-back SU wins and 1-5 ATS as chalk in this particular series, alone. In fact, this has completely been a dog of a series (both fi guratively and literally) with the pup covering eight of the last nine. It would also come as no surprise to see Louie’s lightweight schedule (lined foes are 17-45 SU this season) come back to bite them today in the Carrier Dome. Some may argue that 4-5 Syracuse falls into that category, but the truth of the mater is that the under-the-radar Orange gain 95 YPG more than it allows. Sooner rather than later, this translates into wins (see last week’s NC State/Virginia writeup when we ‘Alerted’ you to that same scenario). And while it’s all good that the hardtrying Orange need two wins in their fi nal three contests to go bowling for the second time in three years, the clincher to this writeup comes courtesy of our PLAYBOOK.com database as it notes: the ‘Cuse is 12-1 ATS as home dogs when allowing less than 27 PPG on the season versus undefeated opposition. Yep, Doug Marrone runs a ‘tight’ ship in upstate New York and the Cardinals are about to fi nd out just how tight. And there then were five (or maybe even four if you read our Upset Special fi rst) – unbeatens, that is! It’s a take as the Orange squeeze out the victory.
TCU over Kansas by 6
The big question mark here is the availability of Kansas State QB Collin Klein. The Heisman frontrunner spent the fi nal 25 minutes of Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State watching from the sideline after sustaining an ‘undisclosed injury.’ Don’t expect cantankerous HC Bill Snyder to shed any light on the situation: he’s sidestepped every inquiry about Klein and kept his own players confused about the severity of the situation. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen,” said wide receiver Tyler Lockett. “I think he’s going to be able to play, we just don’t know.” Here’s one thing we DO know – K-State’s prolifi c offense managed a mere 6 points with backup QB Daniel Sams calling signals in place of Klein. And while Snyder’s crew continues to charm enough computer programmers to remain in the 2nd spot in this week’s BCS rankings, the fact is they are a huge SMART BOX fade here and have showed signs of cracking lately (outgained in the last two games). TCU head coach Gary Patterson doesn’t have a lot of experience as a home underdog – the Frogs
haven’t taken points at Fort Worth since 2006 – but he makes the most of the role, going 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS, including fi ve covers in his last fi ve tries. This program expects to WIN every game, losing only four contests on the scoreboard in the four seasons prior to 2012. Not only has Patterson’s squad suffered three defeats already this season, they’ll be looking to snap a pair of back-to-back home losses when the Wildcats invade the lily pad this evening. With KSU QB Collin Klein wobbly at best, we’ll go for the jugular with the Horned Ones.
HOUSTON over Tulsa by 4
After last week’s puzzling no-show in Pirateland (blown out by ECU, 48-28), today’s game is a last-gasp chance for the Cougars to take down CUSA West division leaders Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane currently sits at
a perfect 5-0 in conference play while Houston trails at 3-2, so it really is a case of now or never. Like many others in this loop, Houey needs wins in two of its last three games to garner a bowl bid (at Marshall next
week before wrapping up against Tulane). Our AWESOME ANGLE on page 2 really likes their chances… and so do we. The series favorite just so happens to be 0-4 SUATS at Robertson Stadium of late and we have
little doubt that the Hurricane will be peeking ahead to its Judgment Day showdown with 5-0 East division-leading UCF in Tulsa’s regular season home fi nale. Cougars have won three of the last four against the
Hurricane (only loss by 3 points) and should dig down deep for 1st-year head coach Tony Levine. Put the dog collar on these Cats and hand ‘em over… we’re taking.
San Diego over Tampa Bay by 7
The Bucs seem to have caught fi re since their Bye Week, bringing a 3-1 SUATS mark into this fray. It’s not only caught the fancy of the linesmakers but the betting public as well. As a result, Tampa has been installed as the favorite against an opponent they’ve long struggled against, going 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS in their franchise history (favored once, lost the whole game by 17 points). Adding to the Bucs’ woes today is their 1-7-1 ATS record as a non-conference favorite, and a 1-8 SU and 0-9 ATS mark as a non-division host when facing an opponent off a SUATS win. On the fl ip side, the Bolts will contest a well-publicized 1:00 PM ET kick with the knowledge that they are 13-1 ATS as non-conference dogs during the 2nd quarter of the season (Games Five thru Nine). That, along with a defense that is 65 YPG superior, fi gures to be enough to extinguish any and all flames emanating from the locals at Raymond James Stadium today.
Tennessee over Miami by 6
Although the Dolphins are clearly one of the surprise teams in the league this season, something does not smell right. Behind rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, they’re 4-4 on the season, following a litany of failures the previous three years. A closer inspection, however, shows the party on South Beach may have reached its fever pitch. Not only are the Fish allowing 50 YPG more than they are gaining this season, they have also regressed 124 YPG in games played since October. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Miami has been outyarded in each of its last four games, making them a ‘leaking oil’ favorite – and we want no part of that. Not with the Dolphins a horrid 0-10 ATS as home favorites of 6 or more points. And not with Miami a distasteful 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS all-time as a host against teams from the AFC South division. The Dolphins have coughed up season-high yards in two of its last three games and the Titans’ 31-point loss to the Bears last week was much closer on the stat sheet (outyarded 358-333) than on the scoreboard. The Fish stink up the joint here today.
New Orleans over Atlanta by 11
Was the Saints’ satisfying win over the Eagles Monday night a buysign, or simply a cause for celebration? That’s arguable but what we know for sure is New Orleans has handled Atlanta with relative ease lately, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings between these two teams – including 7 of the last 8 games here in the Superdome. The Saints also love two-week stays on Bourbon Street where they are currently riding a 5-0 SUATS streak at home off a home game. Enter the high flying 8-0 Falcons who take a perilous 3-7 SU and 1-9 ATS mark into division games when playing off a pair of SUATS wins when tackling a .333 or greater opponent, including 0-4 SUATS if the foe is off a win into this contest. Granted, the Saints aren’t what they were perceived to be but after an ominous 0-4 start to the season, they bounced back to go 3-1 SUATS in their last four games and have the look of spoiler written all over them. Drew Brees agrees, sporting a 10-3 SU and 11-2 ATS career mark against undefeated opposition, including 7-1 SU nd 8-0 ATS when he is facing 3-0 or better challengers. Add Brees’ 26-10 SUATS career record in games against opponents off back-toback wins, including 18-3 ATS when not forced to lay more than 3 points, and just like that we’ve bought hook, line and sinker into
N’Awlins. The Dirty Birds are dead. Let the party begin
Detroit over MINNESOTA by 7
A quick glance at this week’s MIDWEEK ALERT newsletter tells us all we need to no about the right side in this contest. The mellow Lions, just 4-4 on the season, have outgained all but one opponent (the 49ers) on the
stat sheet this campaign, while the 5-4 Vikings have been outgained in each of their last three contests. As a result, Minny allows more YPG than they gain whereas Detroit gains 91 YPG more than it allows. Toss in a case of major revenge from a 7-point home loss in which the Lions dominated in the stats (341-227) and we’re on our way. The Vikes go yikes at home during the 2nd quarter of the season (Games Five thru Nine) when facing an avenging opponent, just 1-10 ATS. Minnesota is also a mournful 2-14- 1 ATS as chalk during the second half of the season in games against avenging division foes. Now, look to the left side of the odds and you’ll find the right side of this game.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping