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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

MARC LAWRENCE: BEST COLLEGE BOWL & NFL UPSETS FOR THE WEEKEND OF DEC 18-19

New England over INDIANAPOLIS by 10

This matchup of two surging squads has the look and feel of a future playoff pairing written all over it. The Pats are riding a 7-0 SUATS win skein and have allowed a total of 3 second-half points in their previous five games. In fact, our NFL Coaches Database reports that Bill Belichick is 6-2 SUATS riding a 7-game-exact win skein, including 4-0 SUATS versus sub .700 foes. He’s also 20-5 on Saturdays, including 10-2 SU and 8-3-1 ATS during the regular season, and 8-2 ATS as a dog versus the Colts with New England, including 5-0 ATS in games in which Indy owns a sub .777 win percentage. Toss in his sterling 12-2 SUATS record as a visitor when playing with rest – see below – and his squad suddenly poses a major problem for the born-again Colts. Meanwhile, Indy has forgotten how win in this series, going just 13-34 SU and 14- 32-1 ATS overall since 1987, including 2-17 ATS as a favorite, and 0-4 ATS in games in which the Pats own the better record. We don’t see anything here being broke, and we’re not about to fi x it. Finally, we can’t wait to hand it off to THE CLINCHER: New England head coach Bill Belichick is a sterling 12-2 SUATS record as a visitor when playing with rest, including 11-0 SUATS when facing sub .666 opponents.

LA Bowl 12/18

Utah State over Oregon State by 3

There isn’t any history in SoFi Stadium. Elvis never played there, but the next Super Bowl will be played there, so they have that going for them, which is nice. It is also the first bowl game named after a living person, AND, most importantly of all, matches two of our very favorite teams and coaches. Utah State comes to town as the most improved team in the FBS, with Coach Blake Anderson leading them to a pounding of San Diego State to win the Mountain West title, a game where they entered as a touchdown underdog and won by 33. Conference champions are typically the right sleigh to ride on, going 75-56-3 ATS lifetime in bowl games. You know who else made a leap? The Beavs, who went from 2 to seven wins to earn the LA Bowl slot. Typically, Oregon State is tough on the Mountain West, cashing in on 6 of the last seven skirmishes. We have backed OSU many times this season, so why are we turning our backs on them this time, you rightfully ask? Since 1984, bowl favorites who won just two games the season before are a heartburn-inducing 4-11 ATS, including 0-4 SUATS when coming off a defeat.

FRISCO BOWL 12/21

San Diego State over UTSA by 4

The Aztecs saw their perfect season unravel when they proceeded to lose the stats in six of their final eight games, and their drowsy offense managed to gain just 330.9 YPG, third-worst of all bowl teams. However, Brady Hoke’s defensive unit was wide-awake, allowing just 319.5 YPG, ranked 14th in the country. SDSU did knock off all nine of the sub-.666 foes they faced this season, but went just 2-2 against better quality opposition. That leads the 2021 PLAYBOOK COLLEGE BOWL GUIDE to call out the fact that the Aztecs went 2-5 ITS (In The Stats) against other fellow bowlers this season. Still, they were 3-1 SUATS when taking points this season. Meanwhile, the fact that UTSA’s Conference USA colleagues nodded off during bowl season last year, going 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS, doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence in Jeff Traylor’s Roadrunners, as the loop brings a 7-16 SU and 8-14-1 ATS mark in post-season performances dating back to 2017. In addition, their 1-3 ATS and ITS (In The Stats) mark in the last four games of the season, as the pressure to remain undefeated was building, throws up a big red fl ag for us. The hardworking database seals the call by noting that bowlers who have won 15 or more of their previous 22 games, and are coming off a season-ending SU favorite loss (one-exact: read the Aztecs), are 28-8-1 ATS against foes coming off a SUATS win when not favored by 6 or more points. The fun attack of UTSA has had a great season, but the Aztecs will have all their arrows sharpened and we’re not fading that.

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