Minnesota over Penn State by 6
The Gophers are 8-0 for the first time since 1941 and head coach P.J.
Fleck has them believing. Minny is 5-1 versus the number at home
with rest and 4-1 as home puppies of 10 or less points. Meanwhile,
Fleck has a history of rising to the occasion, going 6-1 ATS versus
undefeated foes, plus overall is 14-5 SU and 15-4 ATS off back-to-back wins when not favored by 17-plus points. He valiantly lobbied
for an appearance in Minneapolis this week by ESPN GameDay, but
the LSU/Alabama game overshadowed them today. Could a berth in
the Rose Bowl be on the horizon for the 13th-ranked Gophers? The
road ahead is still very rocky, as battles against Iowa and Wisconsin
loom, but a win over the Nittany Lions would be another step along
the way. This will be the 15th battle for the Governor’s Victory Bell
(Lions lead the series 9-5), but this is the first time both teams will
enter the contest in the AP Top 25. Penn State (No. 5) is also 5-1 ATS
with rest, plus 9-2 ATS versus undefeated conference foes, but lost,
24-10, in their last visit here in 2013.
UAB over SOUTHERN MISS by 3
Talk about being taken out behind the shed. In this case, the shed
in question was Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, and the Blazers made
the Vols look like the NFL Titans in an ugly 30-7 loss by UAB last
Saturday. Meanwhile, Southern Miss subdued a pesky Rice squad in
Houston, 20-6, to up its record to 5-3. While both teams are currently
one game back of Louisiana Tech for the top spot in the C-USA West
division, the MIDWEEK ALERT reports that UAB’s 5th ranked overall
defense is 113 YPG better than the Eagles’. And as outlined in last
week’s Playbook, Bill Clark’s firebreathers are a ‘Puttin’ On The
Stats’ SMART BOX play this afternoon in Hattiesburg. Since the
Blazers’ football program returned to the scene in 2017 following a
2-year absence, Clark’s kids have lost back-to-back games only once.
Looking at the Golden Eagles’ 7-16 ATS failure as home favorites
the last eight years, including 1-9 ATS against greater than .400
opponents, and we can see the Blazers bouncing back after scoring
a season-low 7 points against the Vols.