Auburn over TEXAS A&M by 3
Tigers’ head coach Hugh Freeze is off to a quick start this season at 3-0 and in his career is 28-11 ATS as a dog, including 15-3 ATS when getting 7 or fewer points. He is also 14-5 ATS against SEC opponents. The Tigers are simply a quality team taking a touchdown with a coach that relishes the role. Auburn is dealing with several injuries to important players, but has their solid pair of quarterbacks healthy in Payton Thorne and Robby Ashford. The latter is known as the outstanding rusher, but it was the former that ran for 123 yards against Samford last week. “I guess I’m not that slow,” joked Thorne after the 59-14 victory. Meanwhile, the Aggies have two routs sandwiched around their loss to the Canes, and have had trouble dealing with first-rate foes. They are just 7-11 ATS as favorites in conference openers, including 1-6 ATS versus foes who allow 16 or fewer PPG. With that, we hand it off to THE CLINCHER: A&M is 7-11 SU and 5-11-2 ATS in conference home openers, including 1-6 ATS when the Aggies are coming off a win of 13-plus points.
Oklahoma State over IOWA STATE by 6
Not even a hand spun milkshake at Eskimo Joe’s could make the Stillwater crowd forgive the Cowboys for losing at home to South Alabama. We’re a big believer in second chances at the Playbook, and we’re also very aware Iowa State can’t handle the truth on offense. ISU is 0-2 SUATS in their two P5 games thanks to an anemic offense that clearly has felt the negative side effects of every medication the Cyclones offensive coaches have tried. ISU hasn’t hit the 300-yard mark yet on offense. The only thing keeping Iowa State respectable is a defense stiffer than a speakeasy cocktail, as the Clones have yet to allow 280 YPG. Another Iowa State problem is its 1-10 SU effort in their last 11 versus FBS. The Cowboys are 11-3 SU when opening their B12 schedule, highlighted by 4-0 ATS the last four, and toss in 4-0 ATS in this series with a winning record. We’re proud to announce we are serving Eskimo Joe’s famous cheese fries in the SMART BOX where we’ve made the Cowboys sit in the corner and think about what they did against South Alabama last week. We’re going all Kelly Clarkson on the Cowboys…” I Forgive You”.
CLEMSON over Florida State by 6
When the ACC announced this game was set for a noon kickoff, Clemson fans were angry, confused and frustrated. Why? Because a 3:30 or later game start gives people adequate time to pour down numerous cold beers to fuel the hootin’ and hollerin’ that’s to come. While the Seminoles did open as slight road favorites here, we should remind you there are some things in life that you just don’t do: you don’t tug on Superman’s cape; you don’t spit into the wind; you don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger; and you don’t mess around with Dabo – not on his home turf, anyway. Unlike recent media coverage of the ‘decline’ of Clemson football, we come to praise Dabo, not to bury him. Swinney is 93-8 outright since taking over the program in 2008, plus he’s 17-2 SU in Death Valley against undefeated foes, including 14-0 since 2015. In addition, Swinney is 11-3 SU at home against opponents with a better record by an average winning margin of 22.6 PPG! While FSU’s near collapse at Boston College could be excused as a “look-ahead” to today’s duel, the truth is Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell is just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS away in conference play when his troops are undefeated. We prefer a Clemson squad that is 4-1 ATS as a HF/HD of 4 or fewer points over a Florida State team that’s just 2-5 ATS on the road when playing with conference revenge (Norvell 0-2 versus Dabo). And did we mention that the Tigers are 5-0 SUATS in the last five series get-togethers with FSU? Case closed.
LAS VEGAS over Pittsburgh by 8
The Steelers hit Sin City in a celebratory mood following its Monday night win over division rival Cleveland knowing they were pushed all over the fi eld yet managed to escape with a much-needed victory. That false sense of security will not help them here, not in a series where Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS their last six meetings. Enter Jimmy Garoppolo, who stands heads and shoulders above Kenny Pickett. Jimmy G brings a 39-25-1 ATS overall career mark into this game, including 4-1 ATS against the AFC North. With the Black-and-Gold just 1-3 ATS in its last four games after Brownie battles, we push all-in with Vegas.
Denver over MIAMI by 6
We learned that Miami is not all offense in last week’s workmanlike win over the Patriots in New England. The Dolphins’ defense bounced back after surrendering 34 points to the Chargers in Week One, holding the Patriots to 288 yards last week. As a result, the Dolphins open 2-0 for the second straight year under Mike McDaniel, who took the Fish to the playoffs in his fi rst season in 2022. Meanwhile, Denver had a 21-3 lead against a quarterback making his third career start, only to go on to lose 35-33 to Washington. They enter Miami this week coming off a pair of SU favorite losses under new head coach Sean Payton, who was given the “green light” to build his own roster and won’t hesitate to bench and eventually move on from Russell Wilson if the struggles continue. Wilson has won 4 of 15 starts and is 0-2 this campaign – with both losses coming SU as a favorite. Yes, we realize that discipline is proving to be a problem for Payton’s crew as they are tied for last in the league in net Turnovers Per game (-9.5). So, after blowing last week’s 21-14 lead after two quarters, Denver has now lost an NFL record nine straight games where it has had the lead at halftime. Even with fi rst-year NFL coaches just 1-9 this season, the value is all with Denver in this matchup. You can count on one thing in this game: Sean Payton is pissed, and somebody will pay the price. He is also 23-7-2 ATS in his NFL career against foes coming off a win. Hold your nose and grab the points, with help, of course, from THE CLINCHER: NFL Game Three underdogs coming off a pair of SU favorite losses are 16-2-1 ATS since 2003, including 9-0 ATS versus foes with a winning record.