TENNESSEE over Ole Miss by 10
Don’t look now, but the Volunteers are 4-2 in Josh Heupel’s fi rst year on Rocky Top, and suddenly a force to be reckoned with. The key has been to get off to a great start: Tennessee has outscored opponents 101-13 in the fi rst quarter this year, and have now scored on 11 straight drives over the past two games in the first half. Besides the winning SU record, the MIDWEEK ALERT notes that the Vols are also 4-2 ITS (In The Stats) this season, winning contests by an average +130 YPG. Meanwhile, the linemakers seem to have been so blinded by the weekly offensive fi reworks show in Oxford that they might have the wrong team favored today – especially with ex-Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin returning to Knoxville. Okay, Matt Corral is a legitimate talent, accounting for four more touchdowns against the Hogs in Saturday’s 52- 51 shootout, but you know we’re not keen on laying points in conference games with bad defenses, and we won’t begin here. Toss in the Rebels’ abysmal series record of 2-13 SU in the last 15 games, plus their 1-5 ATS record overall as road favorites, and you can see why we’re headed for the betting window.
Miami Florida over NORTH CAROLINA by 6
With lawsuits being handed out like popcorn these days – even at the highest levels of our own government – we should probably join the trend, and fi le one against the 2021 North Carolina football team for fraud. Two months ago, the Tar Heels were resting in the No. 10 position in the AP preseason rankings, and QB Sam Howell was being touted as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. But after losing at home to a mediocre Florida State team last Saturday to drop to 3-3, North Carolina fans are already looking forward to the start of the basketball season. Let’s not forget Miami, who was also ranked in the AP preseason at No. 14. So while two of the most disappointing teams in the ACC collide here (note: we didn’t say THE most disappointing team, that would be Clemson), the Hurricanes are playing their first true road game of the season, and it’s our belief they will benefit away from the pressures of home. Embattled coach Manny Diaz, who currently sits on a very hot seat in Miami, wants this game more than any in his three-year career with the Hurricanes after they were walloped 62-26 by the Heels in their season finale last year, surrendering the most yards of total offense (778) and rushing yards (554) in a single game in program history! Yes, the “U” is 1-11 ATS in its last twelve regular season games when playing with rest, but they are also 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS away with rest during the regular season, as well. With former starting QB D’Eriq King sidelined for the season, Tyler Van Dyke (25 of 41 this season for 473 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions) takes over behind center, and we look for the Canes to rally around him this afternoon. We cement the call with THE CLINCHER: College football teams in Game Six of the season in their first away game are 19-8 SUATS in conference play since 2005, including 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS.
Purdue over IOWA by 1
With an assist from their raucous and supportive crowd at Kinnick Stadium (PSU committed 8 false starts), the Hawkeyes knocked out Nittany Lions’ QB Sean Clifford in the second quarter, and came back from a 17-3 deficit to defeat Penn State, 23-20. With Wisconsin waiting on deck, it sets up a classic letdown spot for Kirk Ferentz’s troops today. The 3-2 Boilermakers are no pushover, and will be looking to redeem themselves following a 20-13 loss to Minnesota two weeks ago in a steady downpour, when they coughed up a halftime lead by failing to dent the scoreboard in the second half. Purdue is one of only 10 teams in the nation that have outyarded every opponent they’ve faced this season, and besides a 5-1 spread record on the road versus conference revenge (plus 5-2 ATS with rest), they have covered 3 of the last four meetings in this series. Jeff Brohm is also 20-9 ATS as a dog, including 8-0 ATS when coming off a loss, so get out your crayons and color them dangerous. As for the sky-high Hawkeyes, they are 1-4 ATS at home with Big Ten revenge (lost to Purdue 24-20 in last season’s lid-lifter). While they knocked QB Clifford out of the PSU game last week, we’re banking they won’t do the same to the Boilermakers’ starting signal caller this week. We wrap it all up with this from THE CLINCHER: Ferentz is 2-7-1 ATS as a favorite in conference games after defeating an undefeated foe, including 0-4-1 ATS at home, as well as 0-4-1 ATS versus winning opponents.
NEW ENGLAND over Dallas by 7
The Patriots were nearly caught with their pants down in Houston last week. No, they weren’t hanging out with Deshaun Watson. They fell prey to the Texans’ trance, one that is becoming famous for lulling opponents into their web. It was New England’s third game this season that has been decided by a field goal or less. We’re certain some of it had to do with the fact that Bill Belichick was missing four of his five offensive linemen. Despite the scare, QB Mac Jones delivered another solid performance when he completed 23- of-30 passes for 231 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Today, the Pats return home to host Dallas, one of the hottest teams in the league at 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS. It’s where The Hoodie is 155-41 SU and 110-78-8 ATS in his career with New England, including 14- 4-1 ATS when taking points. The Cowboys enter after taking down an injury-laden Giants squad at home last week, carrying a 9-21-1 ATS mark in non-division duels in games after knocking off New York, including 0-6-1 ATS the last seven games. Meanwhile, Marc’s ‘Darlin’ Be Home Soon’ AWESOME ANGLE on page 2 seals the deal – all of which takes us to THE CLINCHER: Bill Belichick is 21-7 SU in his career against teams from the NFC East, including 3-0-1 ATS as a dog. He is also 6-0 SU versus the Dallas Cowboys.
CHICAGO over Green Bay by 8
This marks the first of a treacherous five-game trek for the Packers, who take on four playoff teams and the Arizona Cardinals between now and middle of November. In last week’s overtime win at Cincinnati, it appeared neither team was interested in winning, as missed fi eld goals were launched like Roman Candles, continually missing their target. In the end, Packers PK Mason Crosby finally connected to seal the Packers’ 25-22 overtime victory. Green Bay WR Davante Adams had a monstrous game, hauling in 11 of his 16 targets for 206 yards. He monopolized most of the receptions, as no other non-running back on Green Bay’s roster registered more than 34 receiving yards. Today’s contest at Soldier Field in Chicago marks the 4th game away from Lambeau Field during the first six weeks of the season for Green Bay. Division road favorites in these games are just 3-6 SUATS against .600 or greater foes since 1980. Meanwhile, the Bears’ defense showed their toughness and talent while leading the team to a road win in Las Vegas, their second victory in as many weeks. QB Justin Fields was just 12-of-20 for 111 yards and a touchdown, but he played mistake-free football, and came up with some clutch plays to support the great effort by his defense. With it, Chicago is 3-2 and is suddenly positioned to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. Finally, the Bears’ 9-3 ATS log as a home dog of more than 3 points rings the bell, as does to THE CLINCHER: The Bears are 7-1 SUATS when coming off two wins-exact under head coach Matt Nagy.