By Marc Lawrence PlaypookSports.com for Horse Race Insider — COLLEGE —
Florida over TENNESSEE by 3.
ESPN Gameday is in town today and Neyland Stadium in Knoxville is an amazing place to see a game. Home fi eld advantage aside, the Gators own a huge statistical edge in this series, going 5-1 SUATS the last six meetings, 11-1-1 ATS in Game 4, and a whopping: 16-1 ATS in the last 17 games against Tennessee. The Vols? Would you believe 0-4 SUATS in Game 4’s, and 1-8 ATS as SEC home favorites of 10 or fewer points? We might as well toss in Tennessee’s 6-8 SU and 4-10 ATS at Rocky Top coming off a home game, and a depressing 0-5 SUATS against SEC foes coming off a win. Believe it or not, there are some Gators fans who hate The Vols more than Georgia, and it has shown on the fi eld, thanks to this “People’s Elbow”: UF is 14-2 SU and 14-1-1 ATS in this series when Tennessee is coming off a win of 10 or more.
Boston College over FLORIDA ST by 1
There’s only one unbeaten team in Sunshine State college football and it’s Florida State, survivors of two narrow wins over LSU and Louisville. The UL win was a bruiser, leaving starting Noles’ QB Jordan Travis on crutches in the second half. He was officially listed as Questionable for this one, which is how we feel about the Seminoles against BC. Eagles HC Jeff Hafley is 3-0 ATS at Boston College as a dog of 14 or more points and we expect the Eagles to have plenty of dog in their fight, having lost three straight one-score games in this series, all while being the favorite. Boston College took care of Maine, 38-17, and we’re not buying that the Tallahassee Gang can come up with the energy needed for this one. Which brings us to THE CLINCHER: BC is 10-1 ATS as a road dog when scoring 35 points or more in the previous game
Missouri over AUBURN by 7
In a match-up of striped ones today, it’s the visiting Tigers who should take advantage of their toothless hosts in an opportune role today, because let’s face it, Auburn is no longer among the SEC elite since Bryan Harsin arrived. The first losing season since 2012 last year really makes us aware of that. As for Mizzou, our sister publication, the MIDWEEK ALERT (first issue this season available this Thursday) calls out the fact the black-and-gold is a nice-looking BOD – a dog with the Better Offense and Better Defense. In addition, head coach Eliah Drinkwitz brings a 4-1 SUATS career mark as a dog of fewer than 4 points into this contest. However, Missouri has not been really tested yet this season. On the other side of the coin, Aubbie’s first major test was a miserable failure last week, as the 41-12 loss to Penn State was the Tigers’ fifth straight to a Power Five team. How about this shocking fact: the Tigers have not had a single defensive takeaway this season through three games. Harsin is 6-11 ATS when favored and coming off a loss, including 2-7 ATS at home, and with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
NEW ENGLAND over Baltimore by 6.
If you were holding a money line ticket on the Ravens against the Dolphins last week and thought the ending in the aforementioned Browns game was right out of Bizzaro World, then take a seat. Dr. Jennifer Melfi wants to have a word with you. Baltimore became the first NFL team in 12 years to blow a 21-point fourth-quarter defi cit. These same teams were riding a 711-game win skein until last week. The Ravens’ task this week, if they are up to it, is to pick themselves back up off the canvas. It should prove difficult given the fact that playoff teams last year (read: Patriots) who are dogs in Game Three are 12-7 ATS against opponents coming off a SU favorite loss. Toss in Bill Belichick’s 33-17 SU and 40-20-1 ATS career mark with New England against foes off a similar SU favorite loss – including 4-0 ATS as a home dog – and we hunker down with The Hoodie once again today. In fact, we’ll even gift wrap it with THE CLINCHER: Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh owns a 3-10-3 ATS career mark as a favorite when coming off a SU favorite loss, including 0-9-3 ATS when favored by 3 or more points.
INDIANAPOLIS over Kansas City by 8
It’s clear Matt Ryan’s best days are in the rear-view mirror. That was evidenced last season when his 90.4 QB Rating was his lowest since 2015. It became even more evident last week in the Colts’ red-faced 24-0 loss, (its 8th straight SUATS loss at Jacksonville) and the second blanking in the past 4-plus seasons under Frank Reich when Ryan suffered 5 sacks and 3 picks. Thus thanks to 4 INTS and 1 TD pass, Matty Liquid now owns a 63.9 QB Rating with the Colts. The saving grace is his 11-5 SUATS career record against AFC West opposition, including 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS as a dog. On the opposite side of the fi eld, the 2-0 Chiefs – the only undefeated team in the AFC West – enter with a Super Bowl grudge rematch on tap at Tampa Bay next week. Kansas City’s 1-5 ATS record in its last six AFC South skirmishes, and the Colts 6-1 ATS log when coming off a division road sets this beauty up for THE CLINCHER: NFL home dogs coming off a shutout loss are 12-2-1 ATS, including 10-0 ATS versus .466 or greater opponents.
Green Bay over TAMPA BAY by 10
Despite the offense scoring only 2 TDs, the Bucs are 2-0 this season. As a result, an exasperated Tom Brady was slinging his helmet and tablet throughout the course of the game at New Orleans last week. With each team’s offense MIA, it was a chess match until things finally opened up for Tampa Bay in the late stages of the contest. In the end they were on the receiving end of 4 turnovers in 9 plays when they pulled away late to dispose of the Saints. Enter the Packers with costly “double revenge” looming large as the Bucs booted them from the playoffs two seasons ago enroute to Tampa’s Super Bowl win behind Tom Brady. Setting the table is Green Bay’s beauteous 14-2 ATS record in games after battling the Bears, along with the Pack’s 9-5-1 SU an d10-5 ATS record in games when seeking “double revenge”, including 10-2 ATS versus .333 or great foes. On the other side of the coin, the Bucs are 2-8 ATS at home against foes seeking “double revenge”, as well as 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS in Game Three’s of the season. And as always, we saved the best for last with THE CLINCHER: The Packers are 11-2 SUATS with a sub .750 win percentage under head coach Matt LaFleur, including 4-0 SUATS when seeking revenge