Friday, November 21, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets Nov. 22-Nov. 24
VIRGINIA over Miami Fla by 3
The Canes came up with a game effort against the ‘Noles, holding a 23-7 lead in the opening half over the defending national champs. But in the end, Miami didn’t have enough talent, discipline, experience or whatever it takes to pull off a watershed upset. In fact, FSU’s first lead of the game came with just 3:05 to play, and while Miami’s freshman QB Brad Kayaa had a great first half, his late 4th down interception ended Miami’s last-gasp attempt at the win. The question now is whether ‘The U’ can get back up off the mat in this tricky spot against a foe desperately in need of a pair of season-ending wins to earn a bowl ticket and save HC Mike London’s job. We believe if you ask Al Golden, he’ll tell you he just wants to get out of Charlottesville with a win. Good luck with that as the Canes’ 2-6 SUATS mark in their last eight road games makes this a dicey proposition. Our MIDWEEK ALERT also alerts us that Virginia has outyarded the Hurricanes in all three games where these two coaches have met, including last season when the Cavs held a 483-304 advantage in a 19-point loss. Finally, if you’re having difficulty stepping in front of this Hurricane, our well oiled machine suggests you remember The Clincher: Miami is 0-7 ATS as a favorite in games off a SU Florida State loss since 1996.
USC over UCLA by 11
Southern Californians are by nature laid-back folks, but this historic rivalry carries with it an epic passion. Now, add the fact that the Pac-12 South race has been thrown into chaos (five of six division teams rank in the Top 25) thanks to Arizona State’s loss to the Beavers late Saturday night, and there will be a crazy vibe at the Rose Bowl this weekend. USC actually leads the division by a half-game over the two Arizona teams and the Bruins, but all four schools have two conference losses right now, which makes this an elimination game of sorts, along with the one on Black Friday between the Cats and the Sun Devils. The Trojans have been able to exploit the Bruins’ defense when that stop unit is not up to snuff, evidenced by UCLA’s 0-7 SU record and 2-5 ATS mark when allowing 27.9 or more PPG on the season, which is right where their 78th-ranked defense sits right now. Southern Cal QB Cody Kessler ranks 12th in the country in passing yardage, while his favorite target, Nelson Agholor, ranks in the nation’s Top 10 in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches. Finally, the hard-working database has gone the extra mile for this marquee matchup, giving us not just one, but two punch-outs in honor of this double-revenge scenario: The Clinchers: The Bruins are 0-8 ATS as home favorites off a win of more than 10 points when facing a conference opponent seeking double revenge-exact, and the Trojans are 6-0-1 ATS off a SU win of 8 or more points when playing with double revenge-exact.
NY GIANTS over Dallas by 10
Uh oh. Here we go again. The shrinking Giants as a stinking best bet? We can hear the moans and groans all the way from New York City down to our offices in South Florida. Didn’t Eli Manning just toss 5 interceptions last week? And isn’t Tony Romo back behind center for the Cowboys? The answers are clear and simple: yes and yes. But the deeper we dig, the more we dig this play. For openers, Manning is 5-2 SU and 6-0-1 ATS
in his career in this series when Dallas arrives off a SU win with a win percentage of less than .750. On the flip side, Romo is 1-7 ATS in his NFL career in division games in which the opponent is off a pair of SU losses, including 0-2 ATS against the Giants. And then there is Dallas’ 0-6 SUATS mark in games when favored versus a division opponents playing with triple revenge-exact. Not to mention the fact that favorites off a win in London are 0-5 ATS all-time in division games upon their return to the mainland. And if you’re still not convinced, we offer up The Clinchers: The Giants are 8-1 SU and ATS on Sunday nights off a pair of SU losses, while the Cowboys are 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS on Sunday nights versus an opponent off a pair of SU losses.
DETROIT over New England by 7
Leave it to the Brady bunch. Put them in a prime-time game, dress them up as underdogs and watch them put on a show. Such was the case last Sunday night when the Patriots pummeled the Colts, increasing their record to 4-0 SUATS as a dog this season. All good and well... until the next game, that is. That’s when the Patriots fall apart at the seams like a Salvation Army suit in games off a SU underdog and double-digit spread win when facing a .500 or greater opponent off a loss – where they are 1-10 SU and 0-11 ATS since 1980. Whew! In addition, the well-intentioned database informs us: 3-0 SUATS teams who beat the spread by 20 or more points in each win are 1-5 ATS in non-division games since 1980 when not favored by more than 7 points. Better yet, it also supplies The Clincher: NFL teams who scored 42 or more points in each of their last
two games are 0-8 ATS since 1980 when facing an opponent off a SU loss of 6 or more points.
CINCINNATI over Houston by 10
Houston QB Ryan Mallett’s debut with the Texans was impressive, for sure. He not only led his team to a 16-point win in the Dawg Pound, he put them one game back of the Colts for the AFC South lead. We’ll see how he responds in his second start today when he faces the rejuvenated Bengals. For openers, Houston is 1-6-2 ATS at home in games off one win exact. In addition, Mallett will need to overcome Houston’s lethargic 0-4 ATS record in home games off a SU away win. And speaking of SU away wins, the Bengals check in sporting a 6-0 SUATS record in non-division games off a road win. With QB Andy Dalton back on the beam, and the Bengals back atop the AFC North, Cincy will turn to the red-headed rifle’s sparkling 10-2 SUATS mark in his NFL career in games versus an opponent off a SU underdog win, including 8-1 SUATS in non-division contests. And then there is always The Clincher: Cincinnati is 18-3-1 SU and 17-4-1 ATS in its last 22 games off one win-exact, including 15-1-1 SUATS when the Bengals are off a SUATS win.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets Nov.13-17
LSU over Arkansas by 11
The first question that came to mind when we saw this openingl ine was who died and made Arkansas Boss Hog? The Razorbacks a favorite? Really? Don’t forget, the piglets were taking 28 points in this matchup less than a year ago, and 12 points at home in 2012. And the last time we looked, these same Hogs were riding a 17-game conference-losing streak. We know one thing for sure: had the Tigers prevailed last week over Alabama, there would be no plus-sign next to their name. And since we suddenly don’t have to worry about points tonight in Fayetteville, check out these doozies: the Tigers are 14-0 SU after angling with Alabama and 13-1 SU away versus sub .500 conference opposition. Meanwhile, Razorbacks’ head coach Bret Bielema is 3-12 SU in his last 15 games versus a foe that owns a better win percentage and Arkansas is just 2-7 ATS with rest. Sure, the Hogs have covered six of the last seven in the series but on all but one of those occasions they were taking points. Call us crazy and throw in a straitjacket, but we’re not going to Arky Asylum tonight – not with the ‘Mad as Hell’ Hatter the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER – and providing us with the Clincher: Les Miles is 22-1 SU with LSU in games off a SU loss, including 3-0 SUATS as a dog.
VA TECH over Duke by 6
Much like in 2012 when the Hokies needed two wins in their fi al three games to keep Frank Beamer’s 21-year bowl streak alive, they need déja vu all over again to accomplish the same goal this
season. Virginia Tech lost, 13-10, as a 12-point home favorite in this series last year, snapping a 12-game series SU win streak. And with Tech getting an extra week to prepare, we expect an all-out
effort from Beamer’s boys to drive out any and all demonic spirits.Speaking of the Blue Devils, they fi nally won the stats in a game, but only by a mere 40 yards, in a 27-10 victory at Syracuse (Duke
was still being outgained, 211-171 through three quarters). We realize Duke is riding a 16-1 SU regular season skein and the Devils are clamoring for respect in the talk of 1-loss consideration teams,
but the feeling here is that talk will be over at the conclusion of this game. Our MIDWEEK ALERT reports the Dukies are -23 YPG in the stats against fellow FBS foes this season, where the Hokies
are +5 YPG in similar games. As with Tennessee, a SU loss will not keep the Gobblers home for the holidays, but they would dearly love to spoil the 1-loss record of a Duke team that’s stolen a lot of
Virginia Tech’s thunder over the past two seasons. The Clincher: HC Beamer is 18-6 SU and 18-4-2 ATS in his career as either a favorite or a dog of less than 10 points with revenge versus an opponent off back-to-back wins.
SOUTH CAROLINA OVER Florida by 3
What’s happened here? An early CFB GOY line posted at the Golden Nugget before the season started had the Gamecocks as 6-point favorites in this contest. Yes, we realize that the Ol’ Ball Coach’s squad is down but they’re not out of post-season contention as they need two wins in their final three games to keep a 6-year bowl streak alive. Remember – they were the pundits’ pick to win the SEC East when the season started. And let’s not forget that Spurrier is 10-3 ATS as a dog in games off back-to-back SU losses, including 6-0 ATS when his team’s win percentage is .555 or less. Sure, the Gators are now playing with renewed confi dence behind FR QB Treon Harris but we’re not sold on them just yet. They’re just 4-13 SU and 5-12 ATS from Game Six out versus winning opposition under Muschamp, including 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS as chalk. The bottom line is what have they done since taking 15.5 points last season in Columbia to warrant a 21-point line swing? Call us collect if you figure it out. Better yet, save your money – we’re chomping at the bit to grab the points. An absolute must take.
New England over Indianapolis by 7
A rematch from last year’s playoffs in which the Pats sent the Colts packing in a decisive 21-point win in Foxboro is on tap this Sunday night. That sets the table for tonight’s fi ght, as our welloiled
machine notes Indy is just 7-14 ATS home on Sunday nights, including 0-7 ATS with revenge and 0-5 SUATS when off a SUATS win. On the other side of the coin, the Pats are on a 4-0 SUATS run
in their last four Sunday-nighters while also standing a staggering 7-2 SU and 9-0 ATS all-time under the Sunday Night lights as a pick or dog of 3 or less points. While Andrew Luck has been nothing
short of brilliant in his young NFL career (29-15 SU and 28-15-1 ATS in all games), he has struggled in tonight’s role, just 2-7 SUATS with revenge in non-division bouts when off a SU win, including
0-5 SUATS from Game Eight out. And for those of you insistent on drinking the intoxicating Luck Kool-Aid, our INCREDIBLE STAT OF THE WEEK delivers a sobering antidote, noting the Colts are
1-14 ATS since 1980 as home favorites against New England. Whoa Nellie! All this and we haven’t even touched on The Clincher: Patriots QB Tom Brady is 28-8-1ATS in his NFL career as a pick
or dog of 3 or less points, including 18-3-1 ATS before Game Eleven of the season.
HOUSTON over Carolina by 10
It’s amazing what a new coach and a new attitude can do to a floundering program. Mike Pettine’s arrival in Cleveland has been a saving grace as, for fi rst time since 1994, the Browns are in sole
possession of fi rst place in the AFC North. This seismic shift finds fans, and the betting public, delirious with playoff fever, especially knowing pro bowlers WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron,
are due back next week. The talk of playoffs has even enthralled Pettine, who says, “We’re not going to hide from it... I think it’s OK.” To that we say hold your horses. They will fi rst need to get
past a Houston Texans team that is 4-1 SUATS the last four meetings in this series, and one that is 4-0 ATS away in games against doublerevenge-minded foes. Our all-knowing database passes along this gem: 4-5 NFL away teams in Game Ten of the season are 14-8-1 ATS since 1980, including 5-0 ATS when facing a foe off a SU doubledigit win. With the Texans anxious to rally around QB Ryan Mallett in his fi st NFL start, we close it out with The Clincher: Winning teams at home in Game Ten of the season that won 4 or fewer games last year are 1-10-1 ATS when hosting a nondivision opponent.
Written by John Pricci
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Oct. 30 - Nov. 3
Boston College over VA TECH by 3
Our MIDWEEK ALERT informs us that the Eagles hit Blacksburg on this first Saturday in November with the better overall offense, the better rushing attack and the stingier defense. And ‘better’ yet – we find them on the right side of the page (i.e. dogs). That’s a combination we can’t pass up. Yes, we realize that Beamer’s boys will be looking for payback after dropping a 34-27 decision last season in Chestnut Hill but we also know that Eagles’ HC Steve Addazio is 4-0 SUATS as a dog versus a foe with revenge. And, yes, we’re well aware that the 4-4 Hokies – like in 2012 – still need two wins in their final four games to extend a 21-year bowl streak
under Frank Beamer. The Gobblers may have to find one of those wins at either Duke in two weeks or at home in its season finale against Virginia (the one at Wake Forest is a given) as we can’t see an offense that has been held to two meaningless touchdowns (both late 4th-quarter scores) in its last two games doing any damage against B.C.’s 8th-ranked stop-unit. An easy take as we may find ourselves in an Eagles’ nest come this ‘Midweek.’
AUBURN over Ole Miss by 4
Jaybird The Bulldog, our SEC scout, is living in high cotton these days. He’s enjoyed five good weeks in a row and has somehow emerged unscathed from the pointspread minefield known as the Southeastern Conference. Because of this success, we asked if he might have any tips for our readers regarding seldom-discussed topics like money management. “You know what I think of when I hear the words ‘money management’?” Jay said. “I’m going to pick out the best game on the board, then bet all the money I can manage to get hold of – and look to make a mint! That’s what I call money-manage-mint.” Okay, let’s forget about extraneous discussion and concentrate on this latest heavyweight slugfest in the SEC West. “Let me tell you,” he continues, “Ole Miss had their hearts ripped out at Death Valley last week. The Rebels’ pride and joy, their defense, ran out of gas and gave up a 13-play, 95-yard touchdown drive to lose the lead. Then, when they still had a shot at tying things up with a field goal, Mississippi lost 5 yards on a delay of game penalty… and decided to air it out instead. Bo Wallace got picked – game over. I don’t see how they’ll recover from that in a week.” Neither does our database, which points to the arrival of the dreaded ‘Bubble-Burst’ scenario for previously unbeaten Ole Miss. Our SMART BOX also likes the Tigers as a ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ underdog, a recommendation that works quite well with Auburn’s recent 4-1 SUATS series domination and its 6-2 ATS success as a conference dog of 7 or fewer points. Mississippi may be reeling but the Rebs don’t show up empty handed, boasting a solid 7-1 ATS mark when playing with conference revenge. Second straight time in this series that Aubbie’s been a dog (Ole Miss laid 2 points last year in a 30-22 loss) but we don’t mind, not with Malzahn sitting pretty in this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. So does Jaybird think the Rebels could lose outright in consecutive weeks? “Remember what General George S. Patton once said? All glory is fleeting.” Sounds like a take to us.
INDIANA over Michigan by 3
Where there’s Hoke, there’s fire. The Bunsen burner is set on ‘scorch’ in Ann Arbor these days as last week’s no-show in East Lansing was inexcusable. Don’t worry Michigan fans, we’ll ‘spear’ you all the gory details! But what we won’t leave out is the fact that the Wolves are dancing to a 2-10 SU record in their last 12 games versus .400 or greater opposition, including 0-3 SUATS as a favorite of 3 or more points. Sure, Brady’s bunch can hang their hats on a defense that has held six of eight foes to season-low – or 2nd low – yards this season, but that does little for a team averaging less than 16 PPG against fellow FBS opponents this campaign. Especially against a veteran, high-powered Hoosiers’ attack that ranks 33rd in the nation in total offense and is anxious to snap a six-year bowl drought (they’ll need to win three of their final five games to do that). Aside from the fact that we despise Homecoming chalk, our best guess is that this alumni affair will not be well attended – especially after the Maize-and-Blue supporters get a gander at The Clincher: 17 returning-starter underdogs with a sub .500 record (Indiana) off a pair of ATS losses are 33-6 ATS since 1990 when seeking revenge.
San Diego over Miami by 10
The Chargers bolt from Southern California to South Florida in this west-meets-east AFC showdown on Sunday. The coast-to-coast travel factor may not suit San Diego but if there is one team that has been able to overcome the early starts for left coast teams in east coast time zone games, it’s the Chargers, who are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight visits to eastern time zone cities, including 5-1 SUATS as dogs (see visit to Buffalo earlier this year). In fact, San Diego is 11-2 ATS from Game Six out away versus AFC East opponents, including 5-0 ATS with revenge. Meanwhile, Miami enters off an ‘inside-out’ win over the Jaguars (won the game but lost the stats) and has now been outyarded in four of its last six contests. They are also 2-14 ATS as home chalk between away games. The Dolphins upset the Chargers here as 3-point dogs last season in a game that saw Diego win the stats, 435-343. The bottom line is Miami’s last three wins have come against foes that are currently 4-19, while the Chargers’ losses this season have come against opponents that are 10-4 on the season. Back the better team as the dog here today. The Clincher: San Diego head coach Mike McCoy is 12-3-1 ATS (7-0 ATS last seven) in his NFL career against non-division teams, including 6-0 SUATS when facing .666 or greater opposition.
BALTIMORE OVER PITTSBURGH by 13
We’re not sure what was worse: being a Colts fan having to suffer through Pittsburgh’s 639 yard, 51-point outburst in a 17-point Indianapolis loss at Heinz Field? Or having to watch the Steelers for three and half hours while wearing their gaudy chain-gang convict throwback uniforms? We say toss that prison garb ASAP, thank you. Then again, you could have had the Ravens on your ticket last week, only to watch them gift-wrap a 3-point loss against the Bengals. All of which sets the table for this prime time Sunday night affair. It also sends remembrances of the Eagles and their ‘One Of These Nights’ hit tune playing in our head, an oldie from Marc’s 2013 Black Book as it tells us to ‘play against’ NFL home teams on Sunday nights if they are off back-to-back SU wins. That’s because these teams are 5-13 SU and 4-13-1 ATS in division games since 2006, including 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS when off a pair of ATS wins. That’s music to our ears next to the Black-and-Gold’s 1-10 ATS mark on Sunday nights – including eight straight losses since 1997 – when playing off a SU
win versus an opponent off a SUATS loss. And if that doesn’t do it, there’s always The Clincher: NFL teams at home in the 3rd of three straight home games off back-to-back SU wins are 3-15 ATS when facing a division opponent off a SU loss.
Written by John Pricci
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping