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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Marc Lawrence, — Here are Playbook’s best upset plays for the upcoming weekend–


Ucla over OREGON by 1

Big one in the national picture for UCLA. They are the Pac12’s last member of the Perfect Club and may even be able to snake past 3-5 SEC teams for a spot in the playoff. The Ducks have owned UCLA lately, placing the Bruins on Triple Secret Probation in the last three meetings. Amazingly OU West is terrible at defending their turf in a triple revenge match, going 0-4 ATS against a foe seeking to finally win one. Oregon is also on shaky ground in this series when coming off an ATS win of 13 or greater, going 0-5 ATS. It’s Chip Kelly’s third time as a visiting coach to Autzen Stadium, and only the sixth time in stadium history a game has featured two top 10 teams (9 vs. 10) The Bruins have a large stack of good numbers in their satchel: 6-1 ATS as dogs of 6 or fewer points, 3-1 ATS off a home dog win – and Chip Kelly’s gambling numbers are even more intimidating. He’s 20-4 SU and 18-6 ATS away off a win as a college coach. (We went to weeks of therapy to block out his NFL tenure) I bet you were wondering where the WELL-OILED MACHINE was hiding, and we’re rolling out one of those 1970’s style TV carts your teacher used to use when there was a World Series day game on. The WOM says 6-0 dogs are 17-5-1 ATS when facing an opponent coming off a win of 10 points or more. That’s evidence not even the OJ jury could mess up. We’re riding high and hard with the Bruins today. That’s all for Pac-12 Weekly… until next time.

BUFFALO over Toledo by 6

Last week we warned that Buffalo appeared to be on the verge of another dominant performance against UMass, but we simply couldn’t pull the trigger. This week, however, it’s trigger time. After a slow 0-3 start, the Bulls have kicked their heels and ride a 4-0 SUATS win skein entering this contest. The offense has averaged 36.5 PPG in those four games, while the defense has held its last two opponents to just 7 points apiece. We realize that Toledo has been considered a MAC bully for some time now, and the Rockets are riding a 3-0 SUATS streak of their own at the moment. But we think Toledo’s name and reputation can carry them only so far before being exposed this afternoon, especially with Buffalo owning the series with a 5-1 ATS record of late, including 3-0 ATS at UB Stadium. Buffy is also 12-4-1 ATS as a home dog, including 5-0-1 ATS versus greater than .700 opposition. That’s music to the ears of head coach Maurice Linguist, who had sunk to 4-11 with da Bulls until they went on their recent 4-game rampage. It doesn’t even matter that Toledo hits town off a 52-31 win over Kent State, since Buffalo is 7-2 SU and 8-0-1 ATS versus foes coming off a SUATS favorite win.

Kansas State over TCU by 10

For just the second time in college football history, last Saturday featured three matchups between teams 5-0 or better. The Horned Frogs were in one of them when they hosted unbeaten Oklahoma State and managed to escape with a double OT win to remain one of only 9 remaining undefeated teams at the midway point of the college football season. In truth, we thought TCU might be a 6-or-7 win team in 2022 after replacing veteran head coach Gary Patterson with Sonny Dykes, but the 6-0 Froggies have really responded to the change. However, as Brent Musberger said, it’s all about cashing tickets, something TCU hasn’t done in many of the ATS roles we’re looking at today. In fact, it’s so one-sided in favor of Kansas State that it’s hard to believe. Ready? Despite the Frogs’ unbeaten winning streak, they’re just 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten Big 12 battles, and 2-7 ATS as favorites of 7 or fewer points. TCU is also 2-9 ATS in the second of back-to-back home games, 1-4 ATS with conference revenge the last two years, and 1-6 ATS home versus a conference foe with rest. That’s a lot of money-burning, folks, and it gets worse when we see that the Wildcats are on a 4-0 ATS skein versus the Frogs, and 5-1 ATS record of late when playing in Fort Worth. We’re not done: K-State is 6-0 ATS in the second of consecutive Big 12 road affairs, and 10-1-1 ATS in the last twelve versus foes playing with conference revenge. Finally, the Wildcats are 6-1 ATS after scoring 10 or fewer points (beat Iowa State, 10-9) and if you think that scoreboard drought will be a problem, the last time Chris Klieman’s crew was held to 10 points, they dropped 41 on Oklahoma the following week… which is a good segue to THE CLINCHER: KSU head coach Klieman is 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS against undefeated opponents coming off a win of 3-plus points, including 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS as a dog.


NY Giants over JACKSONVILLE by 8

Hear ye, hear ye. The two worst teams in the NFL over the past five seasons, the NY Giants and NY Jets, are 9-3 combined this season. They were a collective 22-59 from 2017 thru 2021 entering this season. Like the Jefferson’s, they appear to be moving on up. Even more amazing, 62 of the 114 games this season have been decided by one-score (7 points) or less, an all-time NFL record. Leading the surge are the Giants (6). Big Blue has won fi ve of the 6 one-score games they’ve been involved in this season. In fact, only 10 teams in the league own a winning record at this stage of the season, and the G-Men are one of them. On the other side of the coin, it’s been another year of frustration for the Jags, whose shortened nickname seems apropos. At the helm is QB Trevor Lawrence who after setting an NFL record for most fumbles in a game (4) two weeks ago, comes off the best effort of his NFL career last week after he completed 20-of-22 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown while adding two more TDs on the ground. But it wasn’t enough as the Colts scored the game winning touchdown with 23 seconds remaining to win 34-27. In the process, though, he also set another NFL record when he became the fi rst quarterback in league history to complete over 90% of his passes on 20-plus attempts, score three touchdowns, commit no turnovers, and yet still lose the game. So, our question is why is Jacksonville suiting up as the favorite in this contest against the fortuitous G-Men? With that, we turn it over to THE CLINCHER: The Jaguars 0-18 SU and 2-16 ATS in their last eighteen games against NFC competition.

SAN FRANCISCO over Kansas City by 10

Whew. Every team in the league deals with injuries, but the Niners continue to have more than their share, with 11 of 22 starters on injured reserve, pregame inactive, or a player departing Sunday’s game because of injury – per ESPN’s NFL Nation. So how is it we’re dipping into the cashbox and bankrolling the Niners today, you ask? Simple. The Chiefs are equally ravaged in the secondary. They played without two of their top three CBs and one of their top three safeties because of injuries. Thus, the Chiefs were left with no choice but to play two rookies at cornerback, and the Bills successfully went after one of them. Trust us, Kyle Shanahan is working on that as you read this. The well-oiled machine chips in noting that Kansas City is 8-18 ATS as a favorite when coming off one loss-exact when facing a foe coming off a loss, including 3-14 ATS versus avenging foes. The bottom line, though, comes with support from our red-hot MIDWEEK ALERT as it notes the Niners’ No. 1 ranked defense is 101 YPG superior to that of the Chiefs. That being the case, we wrap it all up with THE CLINCHER: Frisco head coach Kyle Shanahan is 14-6 ATS as a dog with a win percentage of .333 or more, including 6-0 ATS versus .714 or fewer opponents.

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