By Marc Lawrence, PlaybookSports.com — COLLEGE GRIDIRON — Penn St over MICHIGAN by 6 — Finally, we get to see Jim Harbaugh and his No. 5 Wolverines take on a legitimate contender in the Big Ten East race, the No. 10 Nittany Lions. Both squads have fattened up on a diet of underachievers, with 6-0 Michigan’s wins coming over teams sporting a combined 15-21 record (42%) while 5-0 Penn State’s five victims have combined for a 12-18 mark (40%). Astonishingly, the Big Ten will field 4 of the Top 5 ranked teams in scoring defense this week with the Wolves ranked 4th overall, allowing 11.3 PPG, and the Lions 9th at 14.8 PPG. That sounds like a good recommendation to play the Under today at the Big House as the game total sits at 52 points, and the previous five confrontations between these two have produced an average of 47 PPG. As for the side play, Penn State has gone 2-0 SUATS so far in road trips this season while Michigan’s sole cover in three home games came against pitiful Connecticut. The Nits are also 4-1-1 ATS as dogs versus an undefeated conference opponent, and head coach James Franklin chips in with a money-making 37-18-1 ATS mark when coming off consecutive wins. We can add another log to the fi re with the Lions bringing a 21-4 SU and 17-6-1 ATS record when undefeated, including 14-2-1 ATS when facing winning foes. The worst news for Jim KhakiPants and the Wolverines? Penn State is a SMART BOX ‘5-0 Fat Cat dog’ as outlined in last week’s PLAYBOOK. We seal the deal for today’s upset with THE CLINCHER: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is 2-11 ATS in his CFB career in games involving undefeated opponents, including 0-9 ATS the last nine games
LSU OVER FLORIDA BY 10
We’re certain that red-faced LSU head coach Brian Kelly is still smarting from the 40-13 blowout loss at home to Tennessee last Saturday. Kelly faced two key decisions that each backfired in the perplexing defeat when he opted to go for a 4th-and-4 when trailing 10-0 instead of taking a fi eld goal. It failed. Then down 13-0, he went for another fourth down near midfield and failed to convert once again, allowing Tennessee a short fi eld that they converted into another TD. The bottom line is that BK will need to do a better job tonight or his one-game deficit in the SEC West will be blowing in the wind. At least he helps himself by bringing along a 21-12 ATS record as a road dog, including 9-1 ATS off an ATS loss of 9 or more points. LSU has also held its own in the last nine series get-togethers with Florida, going 6-2-1 ATS overall and 3-1 SUATS away. New Gators head coach Billy Napier looks to be behind the 8-ball here, as the host team has gone 1-4 ATS in five lined games under Napier this season. Florida also hasn’t fared well of late in home games when playing with SEC revenge, going just 1-4 ATS. We’ll get a much better idea of just where these teams stand when the smoke clears, but we’ll side with LSU here as we hand it over to THE CLINCHER: Napier stands 5-11-1 ATS as a conference home favorite, including 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS versus .666 or greater opponents.
CHIEFS OVER BILLS BY 8
This is a huge playoff revenger for Buffalo from arguably the most exciting game of the season last year when the Chiefs outlasted the Bills, 42-36 in overtime. And while our first action is to make a case of the playoff avenger, our exploit was cut short when Vegas opened the ultra-popular visitors the favorite in this rematch. It starts with KC QB Patrick Mahomes’ 12-1 SU mark versus .777 or greater foes, as well as his 4-1 SUATS record at home versus the AFC East during the regular season. On the flip side, Bills QB Josh Allen has struggled away in his NFL career against .700 or better foes, going just 2-5 SUATS. Digging deeper, from the Playbook Football Preview Guide magazine, the Bills are 1-12 ATS in the 2nd quarter of the season (Games 5-8) with a .500 or greater win percentage when coming off a SUATS win and facing an opponent coming off a home game. With head coach Andy Reid bringing a 28-9-1 ATS dog log into this prime time showdown when coming off consecutive wins, including 4-0-1 ATS at home, we’ll hand it off to THE CLINCHER: Chiefs QB Mahomes is 9-0 ATS as a dog in his NFL career.
Monday, October 17
Denver over LA CHARGERS by 1
One thing is clear – Denver will not begin to improve until QB Russell Wilson does. Wilson went 0-6 on pass attempts to the end zone, including an interception, in last week’s discouraging 12-9 overtime home loss against the Colts. He is now 2-18 on pass attempts to the end zone this season. That 11% completion rate is the worst in the NFL. With the heat squarely on Wilson, we see him dipping deep into his bag of tricks tonight. It starts with Wilson’s 11-6-1 SU and 15-2-1 ATS career mark as a dog against foes coming off consecutive wins, including an 8-0 ATS log in division games. Furthermore, the Bolts enter just 3-7 ATS as a favorite in Monday Night contests, as well as 6-12-1 ATS against AFC West foes under the Monday Night lights. With Denver toting along a glossy 11-4 SU and 13-2 ATS record in games after playing on Thursdays, and the Chargers 2-13 SUATS in division games after scoring 30-plus points when coming off a win and facing .800 or fewer opponents, including 0-12 ATS when the Bolts own a .400 or greater record, you know we’re on upset alert Monday night!