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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK: BEST COLLEGE & PRO UPSETS IN WEEK 5 ACTION

TEXAS A&M over Florida by 6 —  Not that it means much at this early point of the season, but Florida actually dropped one spot in the AP Poll to No. 4, passed by Georgia despite their comfortable win over South Carolina. Also in the way too-early universe, is the note that at least one sportsbook has Gator QB Kyle Trask as the co-favorite for this year’s Heisman Trophy with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (both are 4-1 at FanDuel). More to the current point, it is undeniable that the Kyle Connection (Trask, with 10 TD’s versus just one interception, to tight end Kyle Pitts, with 227 yards receiving and 6 TD’s in just two games) has been the most prolific combo in the nation this season. However, there are some uncharacteristic problems on Florida’s defense, which is allowing 471 YPG (67th in the nation). When we look at the monster revenge game on deck with LSU, along with an Aggie team that has underperformed, we must consider a possible look-ahead situation for the Gators. Also, the Reptiles are a splendid 13-2 against the number as conference road favorites of more than 3 points, but just 2-5 ATS in Game Three. We realize that the Aggie defense doesn’t instill huge confidence after allowing 435 yards through the air last week to Crimson Tide QB Mac Jones, but Jimbo Fisher is 6-0 SU all-time when coming off a loss of more than 17 points. And although he was quickly bounced from the Heisman conversation himself, we still think A&M QB Kellen Mond can recover and have a huge season. But here is THE CLINCHER: The Aggies are 15-3-3 ATS as conference home dogs against foes coming off a win of 14 or more points, including 12-1 ATS as dogs of fewer than 15 points.

NFL: CLEVELAND over Indianapolis by 11

The Colts top-ranked defense held the Bears to 28 rushing yards and 3 points until the final two minutes last week. However, it’s the offense we question. They faced four opponents that are 5-11 combined on the season, with creaky Chicago the only foe with a winning record. For what it’s worth, this is Indy’s first 3-1 start since 2001. FYI: the last time Philip Rivers’ Chargers started 3-0, they missed the playoffs. The born-again Browns’ 307 rushing yards last week were compiled despite star RB Nick Chubb being sidelined with an MCL knee injury after carrying the ball only 9 times. Like the Colts, they enter this fray at 3-1 on the season, their first time at this level since 2001 when the finished the season at 8-7-1. Given the Horseshoes’ 1-9 SU and 3-7 ATS mark on the AFC North road, including 1-5 SU and 0-6 SUATS when coming off a win, we gladly hand it off to THE CLINCHER: Since 1980, in Game Five matchups of 3-1 teams, those coming off a SU underdog win are 6-2 ATS, including 4-0 ATS as a dog and 4-0 ATS versus foes coming off consecutive wins.

Minnesota over Seattle by 3

MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson tied the NFL record held by Peyton Manning with 16 passing TDs in his first four games of the season. Meanwhile, the 4-0 Seahawks bring the league’s worst defense (47 YPG) into this Sunday night affair. They’ve also been out yarded in each of their four victories this season, while losing the stats by an average -61 YPG this year. Let’s face it, those are not the kind of sterling numbers you’d expect from arguably the most popular team in the NFC this campaign. Adding more fuel on the fi re, the well-oiled machine chips to note that home teams in Game Five of the season, riding a 4-0 ATS win skein, are 8-14-1 ATS since 1985. Enter the Vikings, fresh off their first win of the season at Houston last week following a three-week slumber. The Vikes bring a 10-3 ATS log in the game in the second of consecutive away games. They are also 8-5-1 ATS against the NFC West under Mike Zimmer, including 6-1-1 ATS through the first ten games of the season. And speaking of the money-machine (Zimmer), he chimes in at 23-3-1 ATS in non-division games when his team sports a .500 or fewer record.

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