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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

MARC LAWRENCE’s PLAYBOOK: BEST NFL UPSETS FOR WEEK 7

By Marc Lawrence — Interesting storyline in this battle of 5-0 squads in this Game Six matchup as this marks only the third such event ever in NFL history in the Super Bowl era (1966). In the previous two contests the visiting team took home the cash in both contests. In fact, dating back to 1966, there have been a total of five games played involving 5-0 or greater NFL teams locking horns, with the dog taking down the money four times. The interesting storyline has found the underdog in these games going just 1-4 SU (straight up) but 4-1 ATS (against the spread) in these contests, while the visiting team owns a 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS record. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh enters today game behind the league’s No. 2 overall ranked defense, one that is 126 YPG superior to the Titans’ stop-unit. In addition, the Steelers are 21-6-3 ATS in non-division games when not favored by 3 or more points, including 4-0 ATS versus undefeated opposition. On the other side of the coin, at 5-0, Tennessee is now halfway to the best start in franchise history (10- 0 in 2008). The Titans own the No. 2 ranked overall offense, currently 64 YPG better than that of the Black and Gold, and Rocky Top just put up 601 yards on the Texans – a franchise best. However, we love fading teams after record setting performances. We close it out with the fact that the Nashville cats are just 1-7 SUATS in games after scoring 38- plus points, along with THE CLINCHER: Pittsburgh is 12-7 SUATS under Mike Tomlin career versus undefeated opponents, including 5-1 SUATS when both teams are undefeated.

Pittsburgh over TENNESSEE by 10

Don’t look now but Tampa Bay owns the No.1 overall ranked defense in the league, a unit that is 111 YPG superior to the Raiders stop unit, while residing in first-place in the NFC South. It appears money well spent by the Glazer brothers when they sweet-talked Tom Brady out of New England on a two-year fully guaranteed $50 million deal. Sure, Brady’s numbers have been nothing special thus far this season (143-of-223 for 1,541 yards and a QB Rating of 97.8) but his presence in the locker room and on the field have won over the Bucs’ players. The truth of the matter is his numbers pale in comparison to Las Vegas QB Derek Carr, the league’s No. 2 overall ranked signal-caller (128-of-175 for a 73.1 completion percentage with 1,442 yards, 11 TDs and 1 INT and a QB Rating of 115.9). The Buccaneers enter off last week’s upset win over previously undefeated Green Bay and change roles dressing up as favorites in Las Vegas today knowing they are just 2-9 ATS as non-division road chalk of less than 6 points. On the other side of the coin, the Raiders are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS last four games versus NFC South foes. With teams who upset defending Super Bowl champions (Vegas beat Kansas City in their last game two weeks ago) standing 55-23 SU at home the next game, we call for the upset today.

LAS VEGAS over Tampa Bay by 6

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