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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Marc Lawrence, — Week 2 on the college on NFL gridirons offer the possibility of value both on the odds and points lines. Such as:

MISSOURI over Kansas State by 7

It’s win or hit the highway time for Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. Now in his fourth season in CoMo, Mr. D has yet to post a winning season, but he did manage to reach a pair of bowl games during his tenure (lost both of them). If you throw out the COVID season in 2020, Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman has compiled a 28-14 SU and 25-13 ATS record since taking the job in Manhattan. He also beat these Tigers, 40-12, in Manhattan last season and K-State needs more of the same here in order to overcome a paltry 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS record at SEC sites. The Wildcats certainly boast some great numbers: No. 17 ranked offense (489 YPG) and No. 17 ranked defense (223 YPG), all which equates to a +266 net yardage edge per game. The 2-0 Tigers are in need of a notch in their gun belts, and with a 6-1 ATS bullet as non-conference home dogs, we feel it happens here in this the third of a season-opening three-game homestand. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Tigers have an 11-6 ATS home dog log when bringing in a 2-0 record in the third game of a three game season opening home stand when facing fellow 2-0 teams. Nor does Drinkwitz’s 15-8 ATS career mark against foes coming off a win, including 5-0 ATS the last five. Hey, Kansas State has dropped their last three games in Columbia and at just 5-10 ATS as favorites in road openers, we see them up against it today.

PURDUE over Syracuse by 11

The Orangemen are red-hot to open the season, going 2-0 while outscoring the opposition, 113-7. That’s all fi ne and dandy until you check out the two saplings they just feasted on (Colgate and Western Michigan). Dino Babers has been on-and-off the hot seat during the past few seasons, always seeming to save his save his keister just when it appeared to be ready for the incinerator. What he hasn’t learned to do with Syracuse, though, is beat sub-.666 avenging foes, as he is just 3-9 SU and 1-11 ATS in this role (0-11 the last eleven). He’ll face a new coach in West Lafayette in Ryan Walters, who was promoted from his defensive coordinator position to replace Jeff Brohm. Walters brought in Graham Harrell to serve as offensive coordinator and tutor QB Hudson Card, a dual threat from Texas. The Boilermakers are 7-2 ATS in games in which both teams enter off an ATS win and 8-2 ATS as a home dog with a win percentage less than .666. The SMART BOX pays a visit, and we always welcome guests with that help for our bottom line, especially when they bring along an added gift. In this case, it is THE CLINCHER: Home teams in Game Three of the season, who were in a bowl team last season and are coming off a road win that was preceded by a season-opening home loss, are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS since 2017.

FLORIDA over Tennessee by 7

We believe in the curative power of “The Swamp” and can’t forget about how UF has dominated this series dating back to the Head Ball Coach himself, Steve Spurrier, a Johnson City, Tennessee native who never forgave the Tennessee Vols for not offering him when he was a HS quarterback. Forget Georgia or FSU, any Gators-Vols matchup was personal for the HBC. That attitude has carried over despite the mixed success of post Spurrier coaches, from the highs of Urban Meyer to the lows of Dan Mullen and all points in between, a UT-UF game has mattered in Gainesville. The Gators are 5-1 ATS in the last six, even with last year’s wild loss when UF was beaten 38-33 while a double-digit doggie. UT on the other hand struggles early, their Game 3 record is an embarrassing 0-8 SU and 1-6-1 ATS in game three versus the SEC. After touch football games versus FCS teams, the Vols limp around, going 1-5 ATS in the fi rst game after an FCS opponent and in SEC openers, the Vols are also 1-5 ATS. Take them on the road and in games where the home team is seeking revenge, like this one, Tennessee is 3-10-1 ATS, including 0-6 ATS if the foe is coming off a win. This CLINCHER is likely to draw a targeting flag, but we will take the ejection and suspension to point out Florida’s Billy Napier is 17-8 ATS as the underdog, including 3-0 SUATS at home. Plus, it seems nearly every play Napier is fighting for his coaching life against a skeptical bunch of Gators fans who are still groggy from watching the Florida friendly Netflix propaganda special about a portion of the Meyer-Tebow combination. UF fans are turning into critics with every snap and Napier is in their crosshairs. A win here buys him at least 3-5…minutes…of relief.


Cincinnati Over Baltimore by 13

It was easily the worst performance, and low point, of Joe Burrow’s career last week in Cleveland, where he completed only 43% of his passes for a career-low 82 passing yards and an NFL worst 52.2 Passer Rating. Yes, it’s safe to say that the Browns are his bitch. But as Speedy, the Alka Seltzer man likes to say, relief is on the way as our Well-Oiled Machine notes that NFL division teams in Game Two of the season, coming off a division loss in Game One, are 12-1 SU and 10-2-1 ATS since 1990 if they were a playoff team last season, including 8-0 SU and 7-0-1 ATS the last eight games. Now, where else other than the PLAYBOOK Football Newsletter will you learn of stats like that! Adding a dash of whipped cream to the pie, our NFL Quarterback Club chips in knowing that Burrow is 13-1 SUATS in his NFL career in games against opponents who are coming off a SUATS win. Whew. Enter the Black Birds and QB Lamar Jackson, who threw for 169 yards with zero TDs and one INT, in last week’s home win over the Texans. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Ravens’ ruinous 2-7 SU and 0-7-1 ATS record of late when coming off a no-division fray and taking on an opponent off a division bout. With the Bengals 8-1 ATS when coming off a road game and facing a foe off a home game, we can’t help but remember this famous phrase from Speedy, who liked to say, “Oh, what a relief it is.”

Seattle over DETROIT by 7

The strange thing is both of these teams are penciled on our “fade list” for the 2023 season, yet when circumstances come together as they did on opening week, our allegiance can switch on a dime – for the moment, at least. You see the Seahawks enter red-faced and embarrassed following last week’s 30-12 faux pas at home against the Rams, while the men from Motown are still “Dancing in The Street” while feeling “There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” at the moment. As a result of their success last season, the NFL loaded the Lions up with prime-time games this season, it’s what happens when you’re the new kids on the block and suddenly in demand. Nonetheless, Seattle is 4-0 SUATS in this series, as well as 21-9 SU and 20-8-1 ATS when coming off a loss and facing an opponent coming off a win. In addition, Seattle’s head coach checks the box inside this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. For more icing on the infatuation cake, we hand it off to THE CLINCHER: Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is 8-3 ATS as a dog with the Seahawks when facing an opponent coming off a SU underdog win, including 8-1 ATS as a dog of fewer than 7 points.

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