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MARC LAWRENCE: PLAYBOOK SPORTS BEST COLLEGE AND PRO UPSETS THIS WEEKEND

Nevada over BOISE ST by 8.

It’s no small irony the numbers tilt towards the Silver State representative here. Boise State is an underwhelming 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten games versus Nevada, and the Broncos are not living up to recent successes since the departure of head coach Bryan Harsin (Auburn). The Wolves, however, are packed neatly inside our SMART BOX (see page 3) this week, and with that, a take has been issued. Ranked No. 6 overall in the land in Returning Production by Bill Connelly of ESPN, and keyed by all 22 returning starters from last year, Nevada has had a week off to lick their wounds from a 21-point loss to Kansas State, and should be raring to go in the high country today. It makes sense considering the Broncos are just 1-3 ‘In The Stats’ this year, outgained by 49 YPG this season. Nevada head coach Jay Norvell (no relation to Mike) is 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS coming off a bye, and we’re choosing to forget about the blowout loss to KSU. Need a CLINCHING punch? Nevada is 8-2 SU and 9-1 ATS in games when coming off a SU favorite loss, including 7-0 ATS versus a foe coming off a win.

Arizona St over UCLA by 10

The co-leaders in the Pac-12 South square off here with the Pitchforks bringing more to the party. In addition, the 20 returning starter Sun Devils will be looking to avenge a pair of SU favorite losses from the past two years to the Bruins. The Devils are 10-2 ATS on the road with conference revenge and 5-0 ATS as dogs of less than a TD. They outgained Colorado (439-250) behind dual threat QB Jayden Daniels, who ran for 2 touchdowns and 75 yards, plus threw for 236 yards through the air. Meanwhile, Chip Kelly’s team bounced back from the last-second loss to Fresno State by pummeling Stanford on Saturday, 35-24, in their Pac-12 opener. However, in order to drive a wedge between the Bruins and our wallets, the well-oiled machine notes that UCLA is just 3-11 ATS as favorites of less than a touchdown. In addition, Kelly is 0-9 SU and 1-7-1 ATS at home with the Bruins versus foes coming off a win. And if that stat is not enough, we hand it off to THE CLINCHER: The Sun Devils are 11-4 ATS as dogs under head coach Herm Edwards, including 6-0 ATS in game in which they are allowing fewer than 17 PPG.

KENTUCKY over Florida by 3

The big worry for Florida’s Dan Mullen heading into the season was a retooled offense that lost a handful of players to the NFL. That hasn’t been too much of a problem, as the Gators have averaged 36.5 PPG. The defense has been average, however, allowing 347.5 YPG, ranked 62nd in the nation. Mullen’s troops travel to Lexington to face the Wildcats, one of 11 FBS teams that were unranked last season, but are now 4-0. Florida is 3-7 ATS versus double conference revenge, while Mullen is just 4-21 SU versus opponents with a better record when coming off a SUATS win. On the fl ip side, this ascending Kentucky team has covered the number in the last four meetings of this series and overall, was a spotless 5-0 ATS last season with SEC revenge. The Cats own a Top 10-ranked defense and are outgaining opponents by 183 YPG this campaign. In addition, HC Mark Stoops is 12-5 SU and 12-2 ATS when the Wildcats are undefeated, including 8-0 ATS against foes coming off a SUATS win. His stop unit came up with a big effort in a 16-10 win over South Carolina on Saturday, while the rushing attack rolled up 230 yards on the ground.

NFL

NY Giants over NEW ORLEANS by 3

Big Blue also enters today’s game with a 4-1-1 ATS record against NFC South opponents. A quick check of their work to date this season also shows the G-Men with 117 YPG the better offense. On the other side of the field, thanks to Hurricane Ida, the Saints return to the Superdome for their first home game of the season. That has not been good news for teams playing home openers in Game Four of the season, as they’ve gone just 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS since 1989. In addition, New Orleans is just 1-6 ATS in home openers the last six seasons. Meanwhile, QB Jameis Winston’s production last week almost mirrored his Week One performance – without all the touchdowns. Winston wasn’t asked to do much as he threw 30 fewer times than his counterpart, Mac Jones did. While being put under wraps, Winston didn’t make any mistakes, going 13-of-21 for 128 yards and two touchdowns, but it’s difficult being productive when you’re swathed in Saran Wrap. Speaking of which, we wrap it up with your “bar bet of the week”, contained inside THE CLINCHER: The Giants are the NFL’s best road dog the last four years, going 17-3 ATS since 2018.

Pittsburgh over GREEN BAY by 6

Is it time to bring down the curtain on this year’s Steelers? Pittsburgh was able to beat the Bills on opening weekend, but that victory seems like years ago. Following a surprising loss to the Raiders last week, the Steelers couldn’t redeem themselves versus the Bengals. They suffered their second-consecutive home loss as favorites, and this game wasn’t even as close as the final score indicates. Roethlisberger ended up throwing for 318 yards on 38-of-58 passes, but much of that came in garbage time. Big Ben logged just 92 passing yards in the opening half, throwing for a touchdown, but giving up two crushing interceptions. He also looked old, tired and slow… not what head coach Mike Tomlin wants to see out of his veteran leader. His adversary today, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, shows no such signs of age or rust. You can make it nine straight wins in prime time games for Rodgers following Sunday night’s dramatic comeback win over the Forty Niners. Shailene’s main man was able to go 23-of-33 for 261 yards and two touchdowns, a remarkable performance since he was missing two starting offensive linemen versus San Francisco’s stout pass rush. But the Packers had to survive a furious 49ers rally to leave the bay area with a win, so we’re not all that confident in them heading into a must-win situation facing a desperate Pittsburgh squad. Not with the Steelers 7-1 ATS as dogs of more than 3 points, and 6-1 ATS in their last seven in non-conference road games. The fact that HC Tomlin is the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2 is reassuring, but we’ve saved the best for last with THE CLINCHER: Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 37-21-3 ATS as a dog, including 16-5 SU and 17-3-1 ATS away against foes coming off consecutive wins.

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One Response

  1. This big Ben looks old. He ain’t what he was,,just like most of us and the team has weak spots on offense and with cornerbacks.We ll see.

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