Oregon over UTAH by 11
We are not recommending watching Boise State versus New Mexico, but we can’t wait to train our eyeballs on this one. The two division leaders in the Pac-12 go face-to-face in what may be a conference championship preview. Kyle Whittingham has made Utah a West Coast powerhouse, and no fun to play at all, but despite his great work over the years, Kyle is just 10-18 ATS versus .900 or greater opponents, including 2-11 ATS as the favorite. Oregon won at Ohio State earlier this year, and winning a game at the Horseshoe is a Get Out of Jail Free card in our minds. Ducks’ Head Coach Mario Cristobal, the dream candidate in the hearts of Miami Hurricanes fans hyperventilating to replace Manny Diaz, is 6-1 SUATS away versus .700 or greater foes. Much like Baron Von Raschke applying the Claw to another helpless opponent in the ring, we are applying THE CLINCHER: Cristobal is 32-12 SU in games with the better record, including 3-0 SUATS as a dog
USC over Ucla by 10
The 6-4 / 4-3 Bruins aren’t going to win the Pac-12 South, but they will take a double dose of revenge into this contest. However, the bad news is they are 0-3-1 SU in this crosstown rivalry when seeking double revenge-exact. Head coach Chip Kelly, now in his fourth season in Pasadena, has clinched a bowl berth for the first time since 2017, after stomping Colorado at home on Saturday, but in order to really claim this season a success, UCLA needs a victory today. Unfortunately, they are 1-10 SU and 3-8 ATS as a visitor in the Trojan wars, including 0-5 SUATS when USC sports a win percentage of less-than .750. On the flip side, the Men of Troy are still at 4-5 after seeing the nation’s first game of the season cancelled by COVID last week, when Cal had 47 positive tests for the corona virus (out of about 150 players, coaches and staff). As a result, USC needs this game like blood to keep bowl-eligibility alive (they host BYU next week). The MIDWEEK ALERT reports the Trojans are 7-2 ITS (In The Stats) this season, and are also 9-3 ATS as dogs with rest during the regular season, including 4-0 SUATS when taking 3 or fewer points. We saved the best for last, though, with THE CLINCHER: USC is 6-0 ATS as a home dog when coming off consecutive losses, as well as 6-0 ATS as a home dog with a losing record.
Iowa St over OKLAHOMA by 6
After fighting back from a 31-14 halftime deficit to Texas Tech last week, the Cyclones fell 41-38 on a 62-yard fi eld goal on the final play of the game – it doesn’t get much more heartbreaking than that. The loss drops Iowa State to 6-4 on the season (4-3 in the Big 12) and all but ends the hopes of a return trip to the Big 12 title game. However, they can exact a large measure of revenge on Oklahoma, after taking it on the jaw against the Sooners in last year’s Big 12 Championship. Keep in mind that Iowa State is a solid 5-1 ATS away with conference revenge, and 4-1 ATS as dogs of less than 10 points. Meanwhile, the deflated Sooners have the look of “bubble burst” written all over them after falling to the Baylor Bears, and we’ll look for the Clones to stick another pin in their balloon today, especially since Oklahoma is 0-5 ATS at home in this series when coming off a SU favorite loss. The Sooners are also 6-10 ATS in games when coming off their first loss of the season, including 2-7 ATS versus foes who allow fewer than 23 PPG.
CHICAGO over Baltimore by 3
To the casual eye, this seems like a perfect spot for Baltimore to make amends for last week’s egg-laying performance in a loss at Miami: a red-faced Lamar Jackson eager to dissect a secondary against a Chicago squad that’s lost four straight games. However, Jackson finished 26-of-43 for 238 yards, one touchdown and an interception against Miami – hollow numbers, as he got absolutely nothing done until garbage time. The Ravens are wobbling (1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS of late), and they need to put their training wheels back on the bike before we take them out for a ride. Hey, at least the Bears have had a week off to reboot before their 3-6 season goes totally off the rails. We realize the Monsters of the Midway tend to stay in a deep sleep following Bye weeks, but a four-game losing streak has the natives restless. The price range also puts the Bears in a good situation, as they’re 8-2 ATS as non-conference home dogs of 4 or more points, while bumbling Baltimore shows up 0-5 ATS as non-division road favorites of more than 3 points. Like Shakira’s hips, these numbers don’t lie.
MINNESOTA over Green Bay by 10
The nervous return of Aaron Rodgers was a success for the Packers last week when he led his troops to a 17-0 whitewash win over Seattle. In a matchup of future Hall of Fame QBs, Rodgers was a disappointing 23-of-37 for 292 yards and an interception. Fortunately, his counterpart, Russell Wilson, was just 20-of-40 for 161 yards, and two interceptions. He was shut out for the first time in his career. The fact of the matter is both signal callers were in rough shape. On the flip side, Kirk Cousins had a fine day in leading the Vikings past the Chargers last Sunday, when he completed 25- of-37 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns, as the Vikes moved up to the No. 8 seed position in this year’s NFL playoff picture, as they now trail the Pack by 3.5 games in the NFC North. With it, we love fading teams with huge leads in divisional matchups, especially against those that are scratching and clawing to earn a playoff berth. Green Bay’s lousy rush defense allows 4.6 Yards Per Rush, which fits like a glove into Minnesota’s 4.4 Yards Per Rush offense. However, as always, we seal the deal with THE CLINCHER: Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer is 10-4 ATS as a home dog in his NFL career, including 4-0 ATS in division games.