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MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK: NFL & COLLEGE UPSETS FOR THIS WEEKEND

Steelers over Bills by 1

You could tell by watching Pittsburgh struggle against Washington on Monday that the constant pressure to remain undefeated had simply worn them out. After blowing a 14-0 lead and then losing to The Football Team, the Steelers fell to 78-2-1 at home in games with at least a 14-point lead. What a way to suffer your first loss of the season after opening up 11-0. And as the late, great Roy Orbison once sang, “It’s over!” The 1972 Miami Dolphins can live another year knowing they are the only NFL team to complete a perfect season. While a “bubble burst” might appear to be in order, we feel Pittsburgh will be more focused on recapturing their mojo than sulking. Credit QB Ben Roethlisberger, who brings a 36-19- 3 ATS career dog log into this game, including 24-7-2 ATS versus .687 or greater foes. Buffalo fl ies home from California after besting San Francisco in a track meet

COLLEGE:

USC over Coastal Carolina by 1

 Inheriting a team that went 31-8 the previous three seasons before his arrival, Troy head coach Chip Lindsey’s debut in 2019 was considerably below expectations as the Trojans finished with a disappointing 5-7 mark. Things aren’t that much better in 2020, but this afternoon’s contest is critical to the 5-5 Trojans and their chance to return to a bowl game (missed the party last season after having been bowlers the previous three years). Lindsey and his lads from lower Alabama would love nothing better than handing Coastal Carolina its first loss of the campaign, especially since last year’s 36-35 loss as road chalk contributed to Troy missing out on a bowl bid. The 10-0 Chanticleers need no introduction after last week’s dramatic 22-17 win over high-powered and also unbeaten BYU. The thriller ended with the Cougars at the CCU 1-yard line on the final play of the game, which turned out to be the Chanticleers second victory against a ranked foe this season. The highly disciplined Chants are the least penalized team in the nation, averaging just 3.10 penalties per game, but today they land in the SMART BOX (see page 3) and face the dreaded ‘As The Noose Turns’ effect that accompanies undefeated road teams at this stage of the season. Keep in mind that Troy has been the chalk in all three meetings with Coastal Carolina, favored by an average of 10 PPG, and will be taking doubles today. With the Sun Belt title game on deck at home next week against Louisiana, we would not be shocked should the roosters fall prey to this bowl-hungry “mission dog”. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The well-oiled machine seals it with THE CLINCHER: The Trojans are 6-0 ATS as home dogs of more than 10 points since becoming a Division-1 program in 2001.

Western Michigan over BALL ST by 6

This game is for the cheese in the MAC West with both teams sitting atop the division at 4-1 in MAC action this season. The Broncos were upset by Eastern Michigan as 13.5 point chalk last week, setting up this winner-take-all showdown. WMU QB Kaleb Eleby has three excellent receivers to target in D’Wayne Eskridge, Jaylen Hall and Skyy Moore, who have combined for 17 TD catches this season. Be aware that the visiting team is 4-0-1 ATS in Western games this season. Meanwhile, the Cards have allowed season-low yardage in each of their last two games, while senior QB Drew Plitt has passed the 300-yard mark in both road tilts, with 6 TD passes. Unfortunately, the Gonads have been dominated by the Broncs in recent years, going 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS, and they are also 4-7 ATS in Last Home Games. The feeling here is that the wrong team appears to be favored, so we’ll be on the take here.

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