NC STATE over Notre Dame by 3
Hey, after sweeping our 3, 4 and 5-star college picks last week – all on ACC teams – we have no problem staying within the conference today. Haters are going to complain about going against new Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman, who finished his Wake Forest career with the most TD passes in Atlantic Coast Conference history (110) and lit up the Wolfpack secondary for 687 yards in his last two meetings with NC State. They’ll also gripe about the fact that the Dame owns an 8-1 ATS mark versus the ACC the last two seasons, not to mention a 14-2 ATS record as chalk of 10 or fewer points. We can’t deny any of this but we will point out that the Fighting Irish fall prey to the same 19- 39-1 ATS scheduling knot that Vanderbilt goes up against in its battle at Wake Forest, as outlined above. It also helps that Pack head coach Dave Doeren stands 4-1 ATS at home in a matchup of undefeated teams, and 12-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in home openers. Sure, the Pack struggled for a while before putting UConn away last week, 24-14, but they take the fi eld here sporting a 6-1 ATS mark in the first of consecutive home games. Notre Dame, of course, has looked invincible after outscoring a pair of phonies by a combined score of 98-6, and will convince many to abandon the cause and lay the points.
MIAMI-FLA over Texas A&M by 11
This game is also at 3:30 Eastern. It’s the second straight year these teams are meeting and the second straight year the Hurricanes will judge their season on its outcome. Last year Miami was more than competitive, outgaining the Aggies 392-264 but ultimately The U couldn’t win in College Station. Surely as you can say Frank Costa, Miami disappointed many with a losing season. But, A&M, despite the win, crawled back into its shell with a rotten season, and the vultures have been filing flight patterns with the local airport since. Texas A&M was strong against a weak team last week but stepping into a higher class the Fighting Fishers haven’t done well away from The 12th Man, going 1-5 on the scoreboard, 4-13-1 ATS overall in road openers and 0-5-1 ATS as a favorite of 3 or more points. Jimbo is no genius coming off a big win, going 4-11-1 ATS off a 40+ point win when meeting a team better than a .400 record. We suspect more than a few Parrot heads will attend to honor their fallen hero (ours too) and back a team that’s 17-4 SU and 14-6-1 ATS at home in a battle of undefeated teams. Miami is also wallet friendly versus the SEC when a dog against a team coming off a win, going 3-0-1 ATS. The hype yacht sailed out of Miami after last year’s season, and Mario Cristobal was viewed harshly. He’s been harsh versus unbeatens, going 4-1 SUATS and 13-5 ATS. A banner plane will be flying over the stadium with THE CLINCHER: Miami is 13-5 SUATS as a non-conference home dog, including 5-0 SUATS the last five, and 7-0 SUATS versus foes coming off a SUATS win. The Aggies will be “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” but will instead be looking for a frozen concoction to help them hang on.
PITTSBURGH over San Francisco by 8
An interesting Mike Tomlin side bar note: While the Steelers have never suffered a losing season under Tomlin, they’ve also failed to win a playoff game since the 2016 campaign. They landed three players in this year’s NFL Draft that many believed to be first-round talent in OL Broderick Jones, CB Joey Porter Jr, and TE Darnell Washington, a 6’7” red zone target for Kenny Pickett. Steeler fans are drinking the Kool-Aid with Pickett, a hometown product who was their first-round pick in 2021. Interestingly, the offensive line started the same fi ve starters for all 17 weeks of the season. That same starting offensive line played over 95% of the snaps, which is likely an unsustainable rate. Interesting side bar note on the Niners: With Frisco’s 36th all-time postseason victory in the 2022 playoffs, they are now tied with the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers for second most all time. Only the New England Patriots, with 37, have more. However, we’re not buying all-in in to Mike Shanahan’s decision to roll the dice with Mr. Irrelevant this season. There is now game fi lm on him and it’s also our best guess that we’ll find out why he was the final player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. What we do know is Frisco is 1-5 ATS in season openers the last six years, and 1-6 ATS in games before facing division rival Los Angeles Rams. And our Well-Oiled Machine chips in noting that NFL season opening favorites who win 15 or games last season are 2-10 ATS as road chalk of fewer than five points. We saved the best for last though, with THE CLINCHER: Pittsburgh is 10-2-2 ATS as a non-division home dog log under Mike Tomlin, including 4-0-1 ATS against foes that won 14-plus game the previous season
NY GIANTS Over Dallas by 7
As our good friend Tom Scott used to say, we’ll call this the fi rst of our annual “NFL Opening Week Big Apple Two-Teamer” (see the Jets on Monday night below). The Giants are scheduled to play seven of their fi rst 11 games on the road this season, so capitalizing on one of the few home games is critically important, especially against an NFC East division rival. Big Blue is banking on strong returns from offseason additions like TE Darren Waller, LB Bobby Okereke, WR Parris Campbell, and fi rst-round CB Deonte Banks. They stopped their fi ve-year losing streak in its tracks under fi rst year head coach Brian Daboll last season. In fact, they were tied with the Jets for the worst overall record over the previous fi ve years and won 10 games in the league’s strongest division to the Flyboys’ 7, who played in a division where only one team owned a winning record. Meanwhile, CBS Sports reported that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw 15 interceptions in just 12 games last season. He also became the fi rst QB in NFL history to lead the NFL in interceptions despite missing fi ve-plus games. Hence, he’s been a main contributor to the fact that it’s been 27 years since Dallas reached the fi nals of the NFC title game. More important, though, is the architect of the Cowboys’ offense, Kellen Moore, who has moved on to take over the offensive coordinator duties with the Chargers in Los Angeles this season. Over Moore’s four years as offensive coordinator in Dallas (2019-2022), the Cowboys’ offense totaled the 2nd most yards (391 per game) and 2nd most points (27.7 per game) in the NFL. Scotty beams us up with THE CLINCHER: Dallas is 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS away against quadruple avenging opponents, including 0-4 ATS in division games. New York is 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS at home when seeking quadruple revenge, including 4-0 SUATS in division contests
MONDAY NIGHT: NY JETS over Buffalo by 11
In honor of Aaron the Great’s arrival in the Big Apple, and the fact that Joe Namath and the Jets played in the inaugural NFL Monday Night game in 1966, this one’s for you Joe Willie. Speaking of turning back the hands of time, the Jet Pack hosts division rival Buffalo sporting a long-term 8-5-1 ATS mark at home on Monday nights in division battles. The Flyboys also bring a nifty 10-6 SU and 11-5 ATS mark in this series into this contest, including 4-0 SUATS as a competitive dog of 4 or fewer points. Meanwhile Aaron Rodgers enters on a nine-game win skein on Mondays. He is also 6-1-1 ATS as a home dog in his NFL career. Furthermore, Rodgers reunites with OC Nathaniel Hackett and former Packers’ WR Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. For Rodgers he melds onto a team whose defense allowed the second fewest YPP last season (4.84). And per CBS Sports, the last time Rodgers had a top-eight scoring defense was 2010, his only Super Bowl victory. Additionally, Rodgers has 10 seasons with 4,000+ passing yards. Enter the Bills, the preseason favorite to win the AFC East, and second choice to Kansas City to capture the AFC title this season. However, going back a decade only a dozen teams currently in the league had never won a Super Bowl – the Bills being one of them. However, two of the twelve teams have fi nally done so. Can Buffalo become the third? What we do know is Josh Allen fi nished second in the NFL in total yards and TDs behind Patrick Mahomes last season. In closing, not only is Marc’s BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW ‘Heartache Tonight’ calling out the Jets, Jets, Jets, but the Well Oiled-Machine also supports THE CLINCHER: NFL ‘Hard Knocks’ teams – read: the Jets – are 22-10-1 SU and 24-9 ATS of late, including 6-0 ATS in season opening games the past six years