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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-14-18||Saints v. Vikings -3.5||Top||24-29||Win||100||153 h 48 m||Show|
My 10* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR is on the Minnesota Vikings (4:40 EST).
New Orleans comes in off a thrilling 31-26 home win over Carolina in the Wildcard round, while Minnesota earned a first round bye after posting a 13-3 regular season record.
Note that when these teams played in Week 1, it was the Vikes that easily took care of business 29-19. Saints’ QB Drew Brees had 291 yards and one TD in that one.
Brees had 376 passing yards, two TD’s and zero INT’s last week. WR Michael Thomas had 131 yards, but was held to just five catches for 45 yards in the Week 1 loss to Minnesota.
New Orleans looked very one-dimensional as well last week, posting just 41 yards rushing, including just 23 from rookie Alvin Kamara.
The Saints comes into this one averaging 28 PPG and conceding 20.4.
Minnesota averages 23.9 PPG and concedes a NFL best 15.8. In fact over their final three regular season games the Vikes allowed just 17 combined points. QB Case Keenum sports an elite 22/7 TD/INT and posted ten TD’s over his final six games.
The Vikes run game played a key part in the team’s success as well as it finished seventh in the NFL on the ground. Keep your eyes on the duo of Latavius Murry and Jerick McKinnon.
I’ll point out as well that New Orleans is just 1-4 ATS in its last five following a SU victory, while Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last six home playoff games.
The Vikes got the job done all year with their smothering defensive plays (ranked second both against the pass and run) and I ultimately believe they’ll ride the unit to another solid victory in front of the home town crowd and with the extra week off to prepare.
The Saints have had a great year, but the story ends tonight in this tough atmosphere.
Lay the points, play on Minnesota.
|01-08-18||Alabama -4.5 v. Georgia||Top||26-23||Loss||-107||158 h 27 m||Show|
My 10* 34-Club Play is on Alabama (9:00 EST).
No. 4, 12-1 Alabama gets ready to battle No. 3, 13-1 Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game on Monday night and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the Tide.
Nick Saban is gunning for his sixth national title as he faces his former assist in Kirby Smart.
The Tide come in hot, as they avenged their loss to Clemson in last year’s final by smashing it 24-6 in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama looked particularly impressive on the defensive side of the ball, holding a Tigers team that had averaged 35.5 points and 448.2 YPG, to just two FG’s and a total of 188 yards.
Alabama would in fact go on to give just just 64 rushing yards in the victory. QB Jalen Hurts was an efficient 16 of 24 for 120 yards and a pair of TD’s (no INT’s.) Hurts also had 40 rushing yards, while the combo of Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris went for 101.
I think Georgia comes in “gassed” after its thrilling, double OT win over Oklahoma. Sony Michel had 181 yards on 11 carries, while Nick Chubb added 145 yards on the ground. Jake Fromm was 20 of 29 for 210 yards and two TD’s.
In all Georgia rolled up 527 yards off offense against a poor Sooners defense.
But Fromm, Michel and Chubb will now face their stiffest defensive test of the season and suffice it to say, I believe they’re going to come up short.
I’ll point out as well that Alabama is 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral site games when playing the role of favorite, while Georgia is just 3-7 ATS in its last ten neutral site games when playing the role of underdog.
Ultimately, I believe the Tide’s aggressive defense proves to be too much for the tired Bulldogs to overcome. Lay the points, play on Alabama.
|01-07-18||Panthers +6 v. Saints||Top||26-31||Win||100||151 h 28 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE MOTNH is on the Carolina Panthers (4:30 EST).
The 11-5 Carolina Panthers get ready to battle the 11-5 New Orleans Saints in the final NFC Wildcard Game and while I obviously wouldn’t be completely shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can, as I expect this one to come right down to the wire.
It’s difficult to beat a team three times in one season. New Orleans is a “good” team, but I don’t think it’s a great team.
The Panthers do indeed play with double revenge after dropping the first matchup 34-13 and the second one 31-21.
Carolina averages 22.7 PPG and concedes 20.4. Cam Newton finished with a 22/16 TD/INT ratio this season, while also adding 754 rushing yards. Carolina features the fourth ranked run game, with Jon Stewart and Christian McCaffrey leading the charge.
The Saints average 28 PPG and concede 20.4. QB Drew Brees finished with a 23/8 TD/INT. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are also a deadly one-two punch on the ground.
I’ll point out though that Carolina has excelled in this spot for bettors all year, going 2-0 ATS off a loss against a division rival and 5-2 ATS as an underdog, while the Saints are just 2-3 ATS this season off a divisional contest.
As mentioned off the top, it’s hard enough to beat a team twice in the same season, let alone three times. Only truly great teams can usually accomplish a feat like that. I’m not convinced that the Saints are a great team.
Grab the points, play on Carolina.
|01-06-18||Falcons v. Rams -4.5||Top||26-13||Loss||-123||131 h 6 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the LA Rams (8:15 EST).
The 10-6 Atlanta Falcons get ready to battle the 11-5 LA Rams on Saturday night and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
ATL needed a 22-12 win in Week 17 to notch its playoff berth this year. LA lost its regular season finale 34-13 to the surging San Francisco 49ers, but it had already secured home field in the Wildcard by winning the NFC West earlier.
Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan wasn’t his usual productive self this year, finishing with a 20/12 TD/INT. WR Julio Jones had 1,444 receiving yards on 88 catches. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman form a difficult duo to stop on the ground.
Note that ATL averages just 22.1 PPG (15th), while conceding 19.7 (8th.)
LA averages 29.9 PPG (1st) and concedes just 20.6 (12th.) QB Jared Goff had a huge year with a sharp 28/7 TD/INT. RB Todd Gurley had 1,305 rushing yards with 13 TD’s and 788 receiving yards as well.
Additionally I’ll point out that this is in fact a spot in which the Falcons have struggled in this year for bettors, going just 2-6 ATS on the road and only 4-5 ATS against teams with winning records, while LA has excelled in this position by going 3-1 ATS this year as a favorite in the 3.5 to 9.5 points range and 5-3 ATS against teams with winning records.
LA has a “second gear” which I have a hard time seeing the Falcons keeping up too on the road in this hostile environment. I think Goff puts on a show and Gurley delivers the knock out blow down the stretch.
Lay the points with confidence, play on the Rams.
|01-01-18||Georgia v. Oklahoma||Top||54-48||Win||100||488 h 4 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE MONTH is on Georgia (5:00 EST).
The 12-1 Georgia Bulldogs get ready to battle the 12-1 Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl for a chance at the National title on the line. For a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the Bulldogs.
QB Kirby Smart led Georgia to an 8-1 SEC record and a convincing 28-7 win over Auburn for the SEC title.
Oklahoma is led by QB Baker Mayfield, who would direct the Sooners to eight straight wins to end the season, including a 41-17 victory over TCU in the Big 12 title game.
Georgia averages 34.0 PPG. QB Jake Fromm has thrown for 2,173 yards and owns a very respectable 21/5 TD/INT ratio. The offense revolves around the run though, led by Nick Chubb, who had 1,175 yards and 13 TD’s.
The Bulldogs rank fourth overall on the defensive side of the ball by allowing just 270.9 YPG, led by LB Roquan Smith, who had 113 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
Mayfield just earned AP Player of the Year honors for Oklahoma and in the conference championship game he had 243 yards, four TD’s as well as running for 65. Mayfield has a 41/5 TD/INT ratio.
Oklahoma leads the country with an average of 583.3 YPG, while conceding just 384.7 overall.
I’ll point out though that Georgia is 4-1 ATS in its last five non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in its last five Bowls, while Oklahoma is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine neutral site affairs.
Georgia has the offense to hang with Oklahoma. The Bulldogs’ superior defense though is the difference maker for me. They say: “defense wins championships.”
While it’s yet to be seen if the Bulldogs’ nation leading defensive unit can take the national title, all signs point to it being the deciding factor in this year’s Rose Bowl. Play on Georgia.
|01-01-18||South Carolina v. Michigan -7.5||Top||26-19||Loss||-110||362 h 2 m||Show|
My 10* LEGEND is on Michigan (12:00 EST).
Both South Carolina and Michigan finished with identical 8-4 records.
Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines will be out for a little redemption here though after a disappointing year. Michigan would go on to drop its final two games of the season against Wisconsin and Ohio State.
QB John O’Korn and RB Karan Higdon have looked brilliant at times and pretty pedestrian in others.
As South Carolina’s defense goes, so go the Gamecocks. Michigan’s defense is even better though.
A major blow to the Gamecocks offense as well comes in the form of nagging injuries to both RB’s, as Rico Dowdle and AJ Turner suffered setbacks to end the season. Dowdle fractured his fibula, while Turner twisted an ankle.
Both are listed as questionable, but if they do happen to suit up and play, one has to wonder how effective they’re really going to be?
I’ll point out that South Carolina is just 1-3 ATS in its last four non-conference games, while Michigan is 2-1 ATS in its last three off a loss against a conference rival.
Michigan has its issues, that’s why it’s playing in the Outback Bowl this year. But South Carolina is far from perfect either.
I think Harbaugh has his team prepared for this one and I believe the Wolverine’s superior defense will also prove to be a big difference maker once it’s all said and done. Lay the points.
|12-31-17||Bengals +10 v. Ravens||Top||31-27||Win||100||124 h 44 m||Show|
My 10* Situational Stunner is on the Cincinnati Bengals (4:25 EST).
The 6-9 Cincinnati Bengals are in Baltimore to take on the 9-6 Ravens in Week 17 and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
Note that this is a revenge game for Cincinnati after Baltimore shut it out 20-0 at home back on September 10th.
The Bengals come in off a confidence boosting 26-17 home win over Detroit and while Cincinnati won’t be performing in the off-season, it’ll definitely be looking to avenge the earlier loss and try to play spoiler to the still playoff hopeful Ravens.
Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton has a 22/12 TD/INT, while WR AJ Green has 1,061 receiving yards and eight TD catches this year.
Baltimore comes in off a 23-16 home win over the Colts. QB Joe Flacco had 237 yards and two TD’s. RB Alex Collins had 51 yards on 18 carries.
I’ll point out thought that the Bengals have done well in this spot for bettors, going 3-1 ATS in their last four in trying to revenge a shutout loss against an opponent, while Baltimore is just 1-2 ATS in its last three after holding its previous opponent to 17 points or less.
Note that the underdog is 6-1 ATS in its last seven in this series.
The Ravens barely got by the Colts last weekend, which doesn’t bode well in facing this vastly more talented and revenge minded Bengals team in my opinion. Outright victory? Very possible. In fact, I’ll also recommend “sprinkling” a little on the money line if you can.
Play on the Bengals.
|12-30-17||Wisconsin v. Miami-FL +7||Top||34-24||Loss||-115||443 h 21 m||Show|
This is a 10* BOWL GAME OF THE YEAR on Miami Florida (8:00 EST).
The 12-1 Wisconsin Badgers get ready to battle the 10-2 Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on December 30th and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the Gators.
Miami comes into this one having lost two straight, most recently to Clemson in the ACC title game.
Wisconsin also comes in off a loss, it’s only of the season with a setback to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.
The Badgers have the No. 1 defense in total yards allowed per game, allowing 253, while ranked third in conceding just 13.2 PPG.
That defense though looked pretty medicore in the 27-21 Big Ten Championship Game loss to the Buckeyes.
The loss dropped the team from the College Football Playoff: “It’s an honor and a privilege to be here,” Badgers’ head coach Paul Chryst said earlier in the week. “I’m really thankful for our team and what they’ve done to give us the opportunity to play in this game.… It’s an iconic bowl game.”
The Hurricanes were upset by Pittsburgh 24-14 on Thanksgiving and fell flat in the ACC Championship game against Clemson 38-3. In the two games previous to that though Miami posted 41 points in wins over Notre Dame and Virginia.
Unlike their counterpart today, the Hurricanes have had more time to process the upset/shock from losing. I think that despite the longer lay off, the Badgers come in still hung up on their monumental setback in the Big Ten Championship game:
“Now that we’ve lost two in a row we don’t want to feel that way again,’’ Richt noted. “One of the most fun things in college football is the celebration with the team after a great victory. And one of the hardest things is being able to look everybody in the eye when it’s over and realize we couldn’t get it done. But the one thing about our team is we’ve done it all together. We’ve got great staff unity. We’ve got great player unity. And there’s a great trust factor with everybody. They did an awesome job of putting things into perspective. And now it’s time to turn the page and get after a really good team.’’
Unlike Richt’s team, Wisconsin clearly can’t be happy to be here after the perfect regular season record and then losing in such tragic fashion.
An outright upset isn’t out of the question. A “TD” spread isn’t that large. But that said, in a tightly contested affair which I envision being decided late or in extra time even, I’m going to recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on the Hurricanes.
|12-28-17||Michigan State v. Washington State||Top||42-17||Win||100||36 h 39 m||Show|
My 10* Holiday Bowl Oddsmaker’s Error is on Michigan State (9:00 EST).
Michigan State won its final two games of the regular season and I expect that momentum to get carried over here.
Washington State went just 3-3 down the stretch. All three losses come on the road, which doesn’t bode well obviously in this neutral site affair. Note that the Cougars were destroyed 41-14 in the Apple Cup against Washington.
WSU QB Luke Falk was a stand out all year, finishing with 3,593 yards and a 30/13 TD/INT.
MSU has held opponents to under 300 yards on average defensively. QB Brian Lewerke finished with a 17/6 TD/INT. Note that he also had 490 yards rushing and five more major scores on the ground. One other player to keep your eyes on today is Trojans WR Felton Davis III, who had 658 yards and eight TD’s this season.
I’ll point out as well that Michigan State is 2-1 ATS in non-conference games this year, while Washington State is just 1-2 ATS in the same position.
I think Michigan State is the more complete team and I expect this depth and overall skill to prove to be too much for Falk and the WSU offense to overcome.
Play on Michigan State.
|12-27-17||Purdue +3.5 v. Arizona||Top||38-35||Win||100||37 h 10 m||Show|
My 10* Las Vegas Insider is on Purdue (8:30 EST).
Arizona comes into the Foster Farms Bowl off two straight regular season losses to end the campaign.
Purdue on the other hand won three of its last four to earn bowl qualification and suffice it to say, I expect the Boilermakers to carry that momentum over into this one.
Purdue won’t be intimidated here, as it has some big wins under its belt already this season, including against Iowa, who had just blown out Ohio State the week prior. And in their regular season finale the Boilermakers found a way to get past Indiana 31-24.
Arizona averages 41.8 PPG, but it doesn’t play a lick of defense, allowing an average of 467 YPG. In fact, over their last four games the Wildcats have given up an average of 42 points or more.
Arizona QB Khalil Tate is a standout, although he’ll be nursing an injured shoulder in this one.
Additionally I’ll point out that Purdue is a perfect 3-0 ATS in its last three when playing with two or more weeks of rest, while Arizona is just 1-2 ATS in the same position.
I think an outright upset is very possible, but in the end I’ll recommend that you grab as many points as you can. Play on the Boilermakers.
|12-26-17||Utah -7 v. West Virginia||Top||30-14||Win||100||358 h 31 m||Show|
My 10* 34-Club Play is on Utah (1:30 EST).
It’s the Big 12 against the Pac 12 in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday. The Utes beat Colorado 34-13 in their regular season finale, while WVU was smashed 59-31 at No. 4 Oklahoma in its final regular season outing.
Utah went gang-busters out of the gate this year with a 4-0 start, but then dropped six of eight before then closing with the win over Colorado to become bowl eligible. The Utes are ranked 45th in the country in passing offense with 255.3 YPG, while ranked 58th in scoring offense with 29.4 PPG. Defensively the team excels, ranked 40th by conceding just 23.1 PPG. QB Tyler Huntley has 2,246 yards, 15 TD’s and ten INT’s, while the ground game is lead by Zack Moss, who has 1,023 rushing yards plus nine major scores.
WVU averages 324.2 YPG through the air and it’s ranked 19th in scoring with 36.3 PPG. The defense though is sub-par, ranked 92nd in conceding 31.6 PPG. QB Will Grier has 3,490 passing yards, 34 TD’s and 12 INT’s. RB Justin Crawford has 1,061 yards on the ground and seven TD’s.
I’ll point out though that Utah is 6-2 ATS as a favorite this year, while WVU is just 1-3 ATS when playing the role of underdog.
Grier is expected to be healed for this one from hand surgery, but one has to wonder if he’ll be at 100% capacity?
I think that Utah’s top notch defense turns out to the difference maker once it’s all said and done.
Lay the points.
|12-24-17||Houston v. Fresno State +2.5||Top||27-33||Win||100||317 h 49 m||Show|
My 10* LEGEND is on Fresno State (8:30 EST).
The AAC squares off against the MWC in the Hawaii Bowl this year, as Houston and Fresno State battle it out at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
The Cougars enter off a 24-14 home win over Navy to finish the regular season at 7-4, while the Bulldogs come in off a 17-14 loss to Boise State in the Mountain West title game.
Houston’s strength is on the the offensive side, ranked 67th in scoring at 28.4 PPG. Defensively the team has struggled at times, ranked 39th in the nation in conceding 23 PPG. In the win over Navy, QB D’Eriq King was 21 of 27 for 277 yards, a TD and no INT’s.
Fresno State averages 26.8 PPG, while on the defensive it concedes just 17.2 PPG (ranked ninth.) While the Bulldogs lost in the title game to the Broncos, the week before in their season finale they beat Boise State 28-17.
In the loss last week Fresno State gave up just 364 yard to the Broncos, including only 109 on the ground. QB Marcus McMaryion has been solid overall this year despite struggling last week, with 2,384 yards, 14 TD’s and just four INT’s.
I’ll point out as well that Houston is 0-6 ATS in its last six on field turf, while Fresno State is 13-3-1 ATS in its last 17 on field turf.
Houston only gets the slight nod offensively here. However, these defenses are no comparison. I think the Bulldogs’ World class defense turns out to the difference maker in this year’s Hawaii Bowl.
Play on Fresno State.
|12-24-17||Seahawks +5 v. Cowboys||Top||21-12||Win||100||122 h 2 m||Show|
My 10* Situational Stunner is on the Seattle Seahawks (4:35 EST).
Dallas has won three straight, but I think it’s ripe for a letdown here. Seattle isn’t out of the playoff picture either, but it comes in hungry off a humbling loss at home at the hands of the Rams.
In last week’s 42-7 loss to LA, QB Russell Wilson was 14 of 30 for 142 yards and one TD in garbage time. Note the week before the Hawks’ scored a big victory over Philadelphia and the team still seemed focused on that victory.
Dallas held on for a 20-17 win over Oakland on SNF last week. The Cowboys finished with just 330 total yards and were only 2-of-10 on third down. QB Dak Prescott had 212 yards passing and two INT’s.
I’ll point out that Seattle is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five on the road and 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 following a SU loss, while Dallas is just 1-5 ATS in its last six against teams with a winning record.
I believe this one will be decided by whichever team has the ball in its hands last and as such, I’ll recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on Seattle.
|12-23-17||Army v. San Diego State -6.5||Top||42-35||Loss||-110||30 h 51 m||Show|
My 10* Las Vegas Insider is on San Diego State (3:30 EST).
The 10-2 San Diego State Aztecs get ready to battle the 8-3 Army Black Knights on Saturday afternoon in the Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors Rashaad Penny and the Aztecs.
SDSU’s star RB will NOT be skipping the Armed Forces Bowl in preparation for the NFL draft. The Aztecs finished with a 10-2 record and went 6-2 in MWC play.
SDSU’s defense is ranked 15th in the country, conceding just 304 total yards per game. The Aztecs are led by Penny on offense, who has 2,027 rushing yards and 19 TD’s so far this year. Junior QB Christian Chapman had a 13/3 TD/INT.
Army finished 9-3.
The Black Knights come into this one off a win over Navy in their regular season finale. QB Ahmad Bradshaw finished the year with 1,566 rushing and 12 rushing TD’s. Like its counterpart today, Army’s offense revolves around the run, led by Darnell Woolfolk and Kell Walker.
The Black Knights own the No. 1 rushing offense in the country, but their defense has been hit or miss. Army had its six game win streak snapped in a 52-49 loss to North Texas on November 18th, only to then rebound in the 14-13 win over Navy.
I’ll point out as well that SDSU is 4-1 ATS in its last five after allowing 20 points or less in its previous outing, while Army is just 1-2 ATS in its last three after holding its previous opponent to 14 points or less.
SDSU’s strength on defense is against the run, holding opponents to just 110.8 per game average. The Aztecs though also feature a top notch offense led by the Nation’s leading rusher.
All signs point to a rout, lay the points.
|12-21-17||Temple v. Florida International +7.5||Top||28-3||Loss||-130||35 h 58 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Florida International (8:00 EST).
The Owls finished 6-6 on the year, managing to move to .500 after beating Tulsa 43-22 in their finale.
FIU finished 8-4 and while I wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can.
Temple QB Frank Nutile was 20 of 28 for 262 yards, three TD’s an no INT’s in the Owls win over the Golden Hurricanes. Nutile has been decent in his limited time this year, although he does sport a pedestrian 11/7 TD/INT ratio. The defense looked poor last week, allowing Tulsa to post 460 yards, including 314 on the ground. The Owls average 24.6 PPG and concede 27.7.
The Golden Panthers average 27.5 PPG and concede 28.5. QB Alex McGough had 295 yards and three TD’s in last week’s win over UMass, while also rushing for 108 yards and a TD. The defense looked shaky in allowing 548 yards.
However I’ll point out that Temple is just 1-4 ATS in its last five non-conference games, while FIU is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 after scoring more than 40 points in its previous game.
Florida International scored 104 points combined over its last two regular season games and I look for that offensive momentum to get carried per here. Grab the points,
|12-20-17||Louisiana Tech +5 v. SMU||Top||51-10||Win||100||35 h 49 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on Louisiana Tech (8:00 EST).
6-6 Louisiana Tech gets ready to battle 7-5 SMU in the Frisco Bowl from Texas on Wednesday and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs come in with momentum, as they needed to win their final two games of the regular season to qualify for a bowl.
The Mustangs on the other hand sort of backed their way into the postseason, losing three straight before salvaging a win over Tulane in their finale.
Louisiana Tech has been fantastic defensively down the stretch and I think that carries over here. Note that Secdrick Cooper and Jaylon Ferguson were both named to the All-Conference USA First Team earlier in the week: “We are excited, enthusiastic, and fired up about having the opportunity to go to a bowl game this year and this could not have worked out better,” head coach Skip Holtz noted. “We have been in the Dallas Metroplex area three out of the last four years and we have a huge alumni base in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
SMU is back in a bowl for the first time since 2012. Chad Morris was in his third year as head coach, but he won’t be coaching tonight as he’s been lured away by Arkansas. The Mustangs’ offense is centred around the run, led by Ke’Mon Freeman and Xavier Jones, with a combined 20 major scores between the two.
I think it’s interesting to note though that Louisiana Tech is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 off a win against a conference rival (including 2-1 ATS this season), while SMU is just 3-4 ATS in its last seven in the same position (including just 1-2 ATS this year.)
I think the Bulldogs under-the-radar defense keeps them competitive. Grab the points.
|12-19-17||Akron +23 v. Florida Atlantic||Top||3-50||Loss||-110||33 h 38 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Akron (7:00 EST).
The 7-6 Akron Zips get ready to battle the 10-3 FAU Owls and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the underdog.
The Zips were 6-3 in MAC play, while FAU was 9-0 in C-USA action.
Akron is by far the more motivated side in my opinion. The Zips fell 45-28 in the MAC Championship game to Toledo. Expect to see both Kato Nelson and Thomas Woodson under center today for the Zips. Woodson finished with 1,777 passing yards, while Nelson had an 8/2 TD/INT ratio.
The Owls finished with nine straight wins and steamrolled UNT 41-17 in the C-USA title game. FAU features a strong run game, led by RB Devin Singletary, who had 1,796 rushing yards and 29 rushing TD’s.
I’ll point out though that FAU TE Harrison Bryant, who missed the last two games with an injury, will also be sitting this one out. Bryant posted 408 receiving yards and five major scores.
Additionally note that Akron is 3-1 ATS in its last four after a two week or more period of rest, while FAU is just 1-2 ATS in its last three in the same position.
I think that Akron’s offense can keep it competitive, so grab as many points as you can.
|12-17-17||Eagles v. Giants +7.5||Top||34-29||Win||100||120 h 2 m||Show|
My 10* Oddsmaker’s Error is on the New York Giants (1:00 EST).
Philadelphia comes to The Big Apple off a big 43-35 win over the Rams, while New York enters off a 30-10 loss to the Cowboys. Note that when these teams played earlier in the year, it was the Eagles that hung on for the hard-fought 27-24 victory.
The Eagles are ranked third in the league in total offense with 390.5 YPG, but No. 1 in scoring offense with 31.1 PPG. Defensively Philadelphia has also been sharp, ranked fourth overall by allowing 294.2 YPG.
This is a prime letdown spot for Philadlephia if I’ve ever seen it. Last week’s epic win over the Rams clinched the team the NFC East title. But the victory came at a massive cost, as starting QB Carson Wentz was lost to injury for the rest of the season. Backup Nick Foles has plenty of weapons to work with, but he hasn’t seen any serious action since 2013/14. Jay Ajayi looked decent last week, but the defense looked horrible.
New York averages just 15.3 PPG, while conceding 24.7, ranked 26th. In last weeks loss QB Eli Manning was 31 of 46 for 227 yards, a TD and three INT’s.
Manning was playing from behind from the get-go and with nothing to lose this weekend either, we can expect the veteran to once again “air it out.”
Manning is playing for pride this weekend after his recent benching. Certainly he can’t be happy with his performance last weekend.
The Eagles are an awesome team, but all of the above external factors working against them here will be too much for Foles to overcome in my opinion.
While I’ll stop short in calling for an outright upset, I do definitely feel that the desperate Giants can keep this one a lot closer than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe. Grab the points.
|12-16-17||Chargers v. Chiefs +2||Top||13-30||Win||100||104 h 46 m||Show|
This is a 10* GAME OF THE MONTH on the Kansas City Chiefs (8:25 EST).
The winner of this contest will take first place in the division. LA enters off a 30-13 home win over Washington, while KC enters off a 26-15 win over Oakland.
If recent history is any precedence, then the Chiefs have to be loving their chances today, because when these teams met earlier in the year, it was KC that pulled away for the comfortable 24-10 victory.
The Chargers come into this one ranked fourth in the league in total offense with 372.7 per game, while ranked 12th in total yards allowed with 325.1 YPG conceded.
Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers was 18 of 31 last week for 319 yards and two TD’s.
KC averages 371.3 YPG and concedes 373.4 per contest. Last week QB Alex Smith was 20 of 34 for 268 yards.
I’ll point out though that LA is just 3-7 ATS in its last ten after posting more than 350 total yards in its previous game, while KC is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 after psoting more than 150 rushing yards in its previous outing.
The Chiefs won’t be taking anything for granted here after breaking a four-game slide in their last outing.
The Chargers have been on a roll, but this is a tough environment at this time of year and I think Rivers and company finally have a letdown.
Play on Kansas City.
|12-16-17||Marshall +5.5 v. Colorado State||Top||31-28||Win||100||121 h 8 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on Marshall (4:30 EST).
The 7-5 Marshall Thundering Herd get ready to battle the 7-8 Colorado State Rams in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors Marshall.
Marshall QB Chase Litton finished with a 23/12 TD/INT and threw at least one TD strike in all but two games this year. The Herd feature two capable backs in Tyler King and Keion Davis.
Marshall’s strength is on the defensive side, especially against the run.
The Rams weakness is on the defensive side, especially against pass heavy offenses. QB Nick Stevens had a 27/10 TD/INT. Colorado State also features a strong run game led by Dalyn Dawkins, who had 1,349 rushing yards on the year.
I’ll point out though that the Herd are 5-1 ATS in their last six folliowing an ATS loss and 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site affairs, while the Rams are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site contests.
Marshall has the better overall defense, allowing an average of just 125 rushing yards per game. Colorado State allows an average of 243 passing yards per game.
I like Litton to light up this suspect Rams secondary and for Marshall to keep this one a lot closer than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe. Grab the points.
|12-14-17||Broncos -2.5 v. Colts||Top||25-13||Win||100||56 h 54 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Denver Broncos (8:25 EST).
The 4-9 Denver Broncos are in Indianapolis to take on the 3-10 Colts and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
The Broncos got off the schneid last week, ending an eight-game losing streak with a 23-0 win over the Jets on Sunday.
The Colts come in with zero momentum, having lost four straight, most recently a 13-7 loss in snowy Buffalo this past weekend.
When these teams played last year it was Denver that scored the 34-20 win and suffice it to say, I expect a similar result in this one once it’s all said and done.
Last week Denver shutout the Jets and knocked out New York’s starting QB Josh McCown. Broncos’ QB Trevor Siemian had 200 yards, a TD and no picks. Overall the Broncos ranks 22nd in total offense with 312.1 YPG, while ranked first in total defense, allowing 280.5 YPG.
Last week Colts’ RB Frank Gore had 130 yards on 36 carries. QB Jacoby Brissett so far has 11 TD’s and seven picks on the year. Indianpolis though ranks 30th in total offense this season, averaging just 290.7 YPG, while ranked 29th on the defensive side by conceding 375.3 per contest.
Additionally I’ll point out that Devner is 3-1 ATS in its last four “Thursday” night games (playing on the short week), while Indianapolis is just 1-2 ATS in its last three in the same position.
I think the Broncos’ tough defensive unit proves to be the difference maker today. Lay the points.
|12-11-17||Patriots -10.5 v. Dolphins||Top||20-27||Loss||-110||35 h 5 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the New England Patriots (8:30 EST).
The 10-2 New England Patriots are in Miami to take on the 5-7 Dolphins and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
This is a big game for the Pats, who with a victory today would wrap up their ninth straight AFC East title. TE Rob Gronkowski is out, but I don’t think that’s going to slow down Tom Brady and company one bit.
The Fish come in off a 35-9 home win over the lowly Broncos last week, but I think they suffer a predictable letdown here.
And if recent history is any precedence, then New England has to be liking its chances today, because when these teams met on November 26th, it was the Patriots that came away with the relatively simple 35-17 victory.
So far the Pats average 413.2 YPG, while allowing 375.7.
Last week Miami’ QB Jay Cutler had 235 yards, two TD’s and two INT’s. The Dolphins average just 292.6 YPG and concede 339.9.
I’ll point out that New England is 17-5 ATS in its last 22 following an ATS victory, while Miami is 0-8 ATS in its last eight Monday night contests and just 1-5 ATS in its last six as the underdog in this series.
I like New England and Brady to control this one on both sides of the ball and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS victory. Lay the points, play on the Patriots.
|12-10-17||Seahawks +3 v. Jaguars||Top||24-30||Loss||-110||142 h 57 m||Show|
My 10* Situational Stunner is on the Seattle Seahawks (4:25 EST).
The 8-4 Seattle Seahawks are in Jacksonville to take on the 8-4 Jaguars and for a number of different reasons, I believe this one favors the visitors.
Seattle is still within striking distance of the division lead after beating Philadelphia 24-10 on Sunday. QB Russell Wilson had 227 yards and three TD’s. Note that Wilson is tied for second in the NFL with 26 TD’s and he also has 432 rushing yards on the year.
The Seahawks will be confident as they come in having won four straight road games after opening season setbacks at Green Bay and Tennessee.
The Jags are tied with the Titans for the divison lead and they smashed the Colts 30-10 this past Sunday. QB Blake Bortles went for 309 yards and two TD’s. The Jacksonville defense posted four sacks and it now leads the league with 45 total.
I’ll point out though that Seattle is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four on the road, while Jacksonville is a poor 1-5 ATS in its last six following an ATS victory.
As good as Bortles has looked of late, I’m still giving the nod to Wilson in this matchup. And that’s the difference maker for me. While I wouldn’t be completely shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on Seattle.
|12-09-17||Army v. Navy -3.5||Top||14-13||Loss||-110||144 h 46 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on Navy (3:00 EST).
The 8-3 Army Black Knights get ready to battle the 6-5 Navy Midshipmen in the annual Army/Navy game and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the Midshipmen.
Army comes in off a disturbing 52-49 loss to North Texas, while Navy fell 24-14 to Houston in its latest action.
Note that this is a revenge game for Navy. Last year Army would break a 14-game losing streak in the series, prevailing 27-17.
The 52 points and 489 total yards given up last week were both season highs for Army. Overall the Black Knights were strong defensively this year, but I think there’s cause for concern if you’re an Army fan.
Army leads the country with an average of 368 rushing yards per game.
Navy QB Zach Abey was just 2 of 4 for 45 yards last week. But like the Knights, the Midshipmen are a run first offnese, as Abey has 1,322 rushing yards, along with 14 major scores on the ground this season. RB Malcom Perry was a bright spot in Navy’s most recent loss, rushing for 82 yards on 15 carries.
Army has beaten up on “lesser” competition all year and the Black Knights defense was exposed in the loss to North Texas.
Adittionally note that Army is just 3-4 ATS in its last seven against teams with winning records and only 5-6 ATS this season on games played on “turf,” while Navy is 3-1 ATS this year against teams with winning records and 5-3 ATS in games played on turf.
I think the “hungrier” team finds a way to get the job done at the end of the day. Lay the points, play on Navy.
|12-07-17||Saints v. Falcons +1||Top||17-20||Win||100||74 h 16 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on the Atlanta Falcons (8:25 EST).
The 9-3 New Orleans Saints are in Atlanta to take on the 7-5 Falcons on Thursday night and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
A loss to division rival New Orleans this week would likely be too much for Atlanta to climb out of. The Falcons come in off a 14-9 loss to Minnesota.
The Saints come in off a satisfying win over division rival Carolina at home and I think they have a letdown here against the now desperate Falcons.
New Orleans ranks second in total offense with an average of 408.6 YPG, while ranked 12th in total defense by allowing 330.1 YPG.
Atlanta ranks eighth in YPG with 365.2, while ranked eighth on the defensive side by conceding 321.
New Orleans has been fantastic in almost every single ATS statistical category there is this year, but note that it’s just 1-2 ATS in all games when the line is set between +3 and -3 (and just 2-6 ATS in its last eight in the same position), while Atlanta is a perfect 2-0 ATS in its last two as a home dog of three points or less and 11-5 ATS in its last 16 as an underdog overall.
Division contests always mean the most and they almost always mean more to the home side. This has essentially become a “do or die” for Matt Ryan and company and I believe they answer the call at home on the short week. Play on the Falcons.
|12-04-17||Steelers v. Bengals +6||Top||23-20||Win||100||35 h 55 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Cincinnati Bengals (8:30 EST).
The Bengals season is for all intents and purposes on the line tonight and as such, we’re clearly not going to have to question the home sides overall effort this evening.
This is also a revenge game for Cincinnati after it dropped the first matchup with the Steelers 29-14 back on October 22nd.
If the Bengals can pull off the upset, they’ll move back to .500 (6-6), with a very winnable game at home against the Browns on deck. This is a make or break part of the entire 2017/18 campaign for Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh on the other hand has won six straight, but had to hold on for dear life in last week’s 31-28 home win over the Aaron Rodger-less Packers.
The Steelers’ defense is starting to show signs of fatigue and I think the unit has another letdown here against this revenge minded and improving Bengals offense.
Additioanlly I’ll point out that Pittsburgh is just 7-10 ATS in its last 17 after two or more consecutive SU victories, while Cincinnati is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this season and 10-7 ATS in its last 17 against the division.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Bengals.
|12-01-17||Stanford v. USC -3||Top||28-31||Push||0||127 h 24 m||Show|
My 10* PAC-12 GAME OF THE MONTH is on USC (8:00 EST).
The 9-3 Stanford Cardinal are ready to duke it out with the 10-2 USC Trojans on Friday night for the SEC title. If recent history is any precedence, then USC has to be loving its chances today, because when these teams met back in early September, it was the Trojans that pulled away for the easy 42-24 victory.
Stanford comes in off two straight wins, most recently handling Notre Dame last week. QB KJ Costello had 1,169 passing yards and a 9/2 TD/INT ratio this season. The Cardinal offense though revolves around the run led by Bryce Love, who has posted over 100 yards in all but one game this year. Stanford also has a strong defense which concedes just 20 PPG.
That defense though could not contain the high-flying Trojans in September, allowing 623 total yards.
USC allows 26 PPG and it’s been better against the run than the pass. QB Sam Darnold had 3,462 passing yards and a 24/12 TD/INT ratio this year. Overall the offense is ranked 18th in the country by averaging 489 yards per contest.
I’ll point out as well that Stanford is 0-5 ATS this year following an ATS victory, while the Trojans are interestingly 5-1 ATS in their last six after allowing less than 100 rushing yards in their previous game.
Darnold torched the Cardinal for four TD’s and the Trojans piled on over 620 yards of offense in the first game. I have a hard time seeing Stanford slowing down Darnold again. Lay the points.
|11-26-17||Bucs v. Falcons -9.5||Top||20-34||Win||100||119 h 39 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Atlanta Falcons (1:00 EST)
The Falcons come in with a ton of momentum with consecutive victories over Dallas and Seattle. After a slow start to the 2017/18 campaign, I look for Matt Ryan and company to keep the foot on the gas again this weekend.
The Bucs are reeling. Tampa is without starting QB Jameis Winston for a third straight game and it had lost five straight before winning the last two over bottom feeders New York and Miami.
Tampa has turned to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who comes in off the 30-20 win over the Fish this last weekend, going 22 of 37 for 275 yards, two TD’s and no INT’s.
But Atlanta looks poised for a big run to end the year in my opinion, getting improved play in all three phases right now:
“We’re getting our swagger back,” Falcons’ receiver Julio Jones assessed. “Last year’s last year–but you can’t win games off last year and it can’t do anything for this year. We’re just trying to get it going and get an identity as the 2017 Falcons.”
I’ll point out that Tampa Bay is just 3-10-1 ATS in its last 14 against the NFC, while Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in its last seven after scoring 30 points or more in its previous contest.
This is an important stretch for Atlanta, as this is the first of three straight in front of the home town crowd. I expect Ryan to open up the playbook and I look for Fitzpatrick to stumble down the stretch.
Lay the points, play on the Falcons.
|11-25-17||Alabama v. Auburn +4||Top||14-26||Win||100||147 h 51 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE YEAR is on Auburn (8:00 EST).
The 11-0 Alabama Crimson Tide are at Auburn to take on the 9-2 Tigers and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Alabama is ranked No. 1 after crushing FCS Mercer 56-0 at home last weekend.
Auburn also comes in off a “cream puff,” smashing UL Monroe 42-14.
Alabama held Mercer to just 161 total yards in the blowout victory. In all ‘Bama would post 530 yards, including 265 on the ground.
The Tide rank ninth in rushing yards per game, with 270.3 per contest, with Damien Harris leading the way with 855 thus far.
Alabama continues to get the job done with smothering defensive play and a nation leading rushing attack.
Auburn seemed like it was getting caught “looking ahead” to the Iron Bowl this weekend against UL Monroe last Saturday, as the Tigers went into half time with just a 14-7 lead. However, Auburn woke up in a big way in the second half, scoring a quick 21 unanswered points.
QB Jarrett Stidham had 235 yards, two TD’s and an INT. Overall Auburn averages 475.9 YPG, with 231.9 on the ground.
Defensively the Tigers have been dominant as well, conceding just 302.5 YPG overall, including only 118.2 on the ground (ranked 16th in the country.) And I believe Auburn’s tough run defense will prove to be a big difference maker today.
I’ll point out as well that Alabama is just 1-4 ATS in its last five conference contests, while Auburn is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight in the same position.
There’s no way the Tigers go down without a fight in their season finale in front of the home town crowd. I’m banking on a nail-biter, so grab the points!
|11-24-17||Texas Tech +10.5 v. Texas||Top||27-23||Win||100||107 h 7 m||Show|
My 10* FOX-TV GAME OF THE YEAR is on Texas Tech (8:00 EST).
Texas Tech has lost five of six, including a 27-3 setback to TCU on Saturday. Texas Tech will need an outright win today to move back to .500.
Texas Tech has struggled offensively of late, posting 27 points or less in three of its last five games.
Texas had endured an up and down season, but enters off a 28-14 win over WVU.
I’m going to caution reading too much into the Longhorns defensive performance last week against the Mountaineers, as WVU starting QB Will Grier was hurt early.
The Longhorns have to be feeling pretty content after finally punching their sixth win of the year last week. Texas is now bowl eligible.
The Red Raiders still need one more victory before they’ll be included in any bowl game in December though, so there’s no questioning whether or not Texas Tech will be motivated today.
Also note that the Red Raiders are a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five as a road dog in the 7.5 to ten points range, while Texas is just 1-3 ATS in its last four after two or more consecutive SU wins.
Letdown spot for Texas, while Texas Tech leaves everything on the line. Grab the points.
|11-23-17||Chargers v. Cowboys||Top||28-6||Win||100||72 h 51 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on the LA Chargers (4:30 EST).
The 4-6 LA Chargers are in Dallas to take on the 5-5 Cowboys and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
LA comes in having won four of its last six, most recently smashing the Bills. Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers had 251 yards and two TD’s in that one.
Rivers has been dominant this year with 2,514 yards, 17 TD’s and seven INT’s. Melvin Gordon keeps defenses honest, so far posting 633 yards and five TD’s on the ground.
The Cowboys though are reeling. After winning three in a row, Dallas has now dropped two straight to Atlanta and Philadelphia respectively. Dak Prescott looked terrible in his last outing, throwing for 145 yards and three INT’s.
Prescott has 16 TD’s and seven INT’s thus far, but he’s going to struggle again without RB Ezekiel Elliot in the lineup.
I’ll point out as well that LA is 94-68 ATS in road games when playing with six or less days of rest since 1992, while Dallas is just 1-2 ATS in its last three after its QB failed to register 150 passing yards in its previous outing.
Without Elliot playing, Dallas is very one dimensional. The Cowboys have averaged only 16 points over their last two games. That’s not going to cut it against a red hot Rivers and company.
Play on the Chargers.
|11-21-17||Miami-OH v. Ball State +18||Top||28-7||Loss||-110||47 h 26 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Ball State (7:00 EST).
The 4-7 Miami Ohio Redhawks are at Ball State to take on the 2-9 Cardinals on Tuesday night and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Ball State comes in off a 40-24 loss at home to Buffalo last Thursday, while the Redhawks fell 27-24 at home to EMU on Wednesday, putting the final nail in the coffin for Miami Ohio’s bowl hopes.
The Redhawks hurt themselves with two turnovers last week. Gus Ragland was 22 of 32 for 251 yards and a TD. Miami Ohio will finish ranked 71st in total offense and 38th in total defense.
The Cardinals’ Jack Milas had 127 yards and two TD’s last week, while Caleb Huntley added 141 yards on 26 carries. Ball State is ranked 118th overall on offense and 100th on the defensive side.
Miami Ohio is the better team, but it comes off the deflating, season ending loss just last week. Ball State has been out of it for a while but won’t be lacking for motivation in its final home game of the year (also note that the underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six in this series.)
For all the reasons listed above, play on Ball State.
|11-19-17||Ravens v. Packers +2||Top||23-0||Loss||-110||126 h 27 m||Show|
My 10* NFL Week 11 Las Vegas Insider GOY is on the GB Packers at 1:00 ET.
The 4-5 Baltimore Ravens are in Green Bay to take on the 5-4 Packers and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Baltimore last played on November 5th in Tennessee and lost to the Titans 23-20.
Green Bay comes in with momentum with Brett Hundley under center, coming off an upset 23-16 victory at Chicago last Sunday.
In the Ravens latest loss, QB Joe Flacco had 261 yards, two TD’s and two INT’s. The run game posted just 73 yards on 22 carries.
Overall Baltimore is ranked 30th in total offense by averaging 286.6 YPG, while ranked in the middle of the pack defensively, allowing 184.7 YPG through the air and 125.9 on the ground.
Green Bay ranks 23rd in total offense with an average of 313.7 YPG, while ranked 24th in total defense by conceding 353.6. Hundley though has started to find his groove and will benefit today from playing in front of the home town crowd.
I’ll point out as well that Baltimore is just 1-8 ATS in its last nine non-conference games (including 0-2 ATS this year) and just 7-12 ATS in its last 19 when playing the role of favorite, while Green Bay is 8-1 ATS in its last nine off a win against a division rival and 9-6 ATS in its last 15 as an underdog.
The Ravens were in “free fall” before their bye and I don’t think the extra time off is going to help their issues. Hundley meanwhile has gotten progressively better with each start and I look for that trend to continue on Sunday afternoon.
Play on Green Bay.
|11-18-17||Connecticut v. Boston College -21.5||Top||16-39||Win||100||76 h 38 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE MONTH is on Boston College (7:00 EST).
The Eagles had their three-game win streak snapped in a tight 17-14 setack at home to NC State last Saturday, while UConn enters off a third straight setback, getting spanked 49-24 at No. 12 UCF last Saturday.
If recent history is any precedence, then the Eagles have to be liking their chances today as they have in fact won the last five in this series, including a 30-0 victory at home last November 19th.
BC needs just one more win to become bowl eligible, so it won’t be leaving anything to chance this evening.
The Eagles average 23.3 PPG and concede 24. QB Anthony Brown has 1,367 yards, 11 TD’s and nine INT’s, while RB Jon Hillman has 441 yards and three scores as well.
The Huskies average 24.8 PPG and concede 39.4 QB Bryant Shirreffs has 2,287 passing yards, 14 TD’s and five INT’s.
I’ll point out though that BC is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five after allowing less than 20 points in its previous contest, while UConn is a poor 5-22-2 ATS in its last 29 non-conference contests.
BC is good defensively and it won’t be lacking for motivation tonight. I’m expecting another rout from start to finish. Lay the points.
|11-17-17||UNLV +2 v. New Mexico||Top||38-35||Win||100||111 h 32 m||Show|
My 10* NON-CONF GAME OF THE YEAR is on UNLV (9:30 EST).
UNLV will need to win its final two games of the year to become bowl eligible. With a date against 2-8 Nevada next weekend, the Runnin’ Rebels have a very real shot at actually reaching the six win plateau with a big effort today.
New Mexico needed to win last week to keep its bowl hopes alive, but it instead got annihilated 55-14 by Texas A&M.
With nothing left to play for, we expect the Lobos to come in disinterested and flat-footed this week.
The Rebels average 29.2 PPG and allow 32.3. QB Armani Rodgers has 1,100 yards, five TD’s and five INT’s, while also adding 538 yards on the ground and another sixscores. Johnny Stanton has 724 yards passing, four TD’s and two INT’s threw the air and 96 yards plus two major scores on the ground.
The Lobos average 22.3 PPG and concede 30.9 QB Lamar Jordan has 593 yards passing along with three TD’s and five INT’s.
I’ll point out though that the Runnin Rebels are 4-0 ATS in their last four following an ATS loss, while the Lobos are 0-4 ATS in their last four after posting less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
I like the “hungrier” team to find a way to get the job done at the end of the night.
Play on UNLV.
|11-16-17||Titans v. Steelers -7||Top||17-40||Win||100||56 h 37 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the PIttsburgh Steelers (8:25 EST).
The 6-3 Tennessee Titans are in Pittsburgh to take on the 7-2 Steelers and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Steelers battled tough and scored the 20-17 win in Indianpolis last weekend, while the Titans also rallied to post the 24-20 win at home over the Bengals.
Both teams are on fire, but I don’t think that the home field advantage factor can be overlooked in this case.
Both teams come in off victories, but neither looked overly impressive. Each will be looking for a bounce back performance, but the trends support the home side in this spot, as note that Tennessee is a poor 1-4 ATS in its last eight after two or more consecutive SU victories (including 0-2 already this year) and just 6-14 ATS in its last 20 on the road (including only 1-3 ATS this season), while Pittsburgh is 11-6 ATS its last 17 at home (including 2-1 ATS this year) and 9-6 ATS in its last 15 against teams with winning records (including 2-0 ATS this season.)
Tennessee has been great in stopping the run, ranked seventh, but horrible against the pass, ranked 28th.
And that doesn’t bode well facing big Ben Roethlisberger, who will be out to atone for last week’s near disaster.
The Pittsburgh defense though has been superb, ranked second in the NFL in overall yards given up per game (284.4)
The Steelers’ defense has been remarkable of late, allowing 20 or less points in four straight games.
I think the Titans have a letdown on the short week in this tough atmosphere and I look for the veteran Roethlisberger to take full advantage.
Lay the points, play on the Steelers.
|11-16-17||Buffalo v. Ball State +17.5||Top||40-24||Win||100||84 h 11 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Ball State (7:00 EST).
Buffalo will need to win its final two games to become bowl eligible. A date against the lowly 2-8 Ball State Cardinals is just what the doctor ordered this week.
However with a date against 8-2 Ohio in the season finale, the Bulls’ chances of actually reaching the six win plateau this year are extremely small.
The Bobcats will be fighting until the final whistle as they try to capture the league crown. With that sad fact already in the front of their brains, I do think that the Bulls are set up for a small letdown this weekend.
Buffalo averages 27.3 PPG and concedes 25 PPG. QB Tyree Jackson has 1,452 yards, six TD’s and two INT’s, while also adding another 220 on the ground and four more major scores.
Ball State averages 18.4 PPG and concedes 42. QB Riley Neal has 658 yards, six TD’s and three INT’s, while also rushing for another 67. Caleb Huntley has been a strong in the ground attack with 703 yards and three TD’s.
I’ll point out though that Buffalo has struggled in this spot for bettors for a while now, going just 2-4 ATS n its last six off a win against a conference rival.
And note, as horrible as Ball State has been, it’s actually 2-1 ATS in its last three as an underdog in the 10.5 to 21 points range.
I like the home side to keep this one interesting. Grab the points.
|11-15-17||Western Michigan v. Northern Illinois -9.5||Top||31-35||Loss||-115||60 h 25 m||Show|
My 10* MAC GAME OF THE MONTH is on Northern Illinois (7:00 EST).
Northern Illinois is now 7-3 after last week’s 63-17 annihilation of Ball State. The Huskies sit just a game back of Toledo in the West Division of the MAC and they’re tied with the Rockets at 5-1 in Conference play.
Western Michigan on the other hand looks primed for an immediate letdown in my opinion after posting its sixth win of the year in last week’s 48-20 win over Kent.
Note that this is a revenge game for Northern Illinois as well after WMU took this game at home 45-30 last season.
The Broncos average 36.6 points and concede 27.6. Jarvion Franklin has 1,061 rushing yards and ten TD’s this year and had 191 yards and a major score against the Golden Flashes last week.
WMU is one of the best rushing teams in the nation, but that unfortunately plays right into the strength of the Huskies defense, which is tenth against the run in the nation.
Northern Illinois averages 30.3 PPG, while conceding just 18.8 PPG on the defensive side.
I’ll point out as well that WMU is just 1-4 ATS in its last five after scoring 40 points or more in its previous contest, while Northern Illinois is 13-5-2 ATS in its last 20 following a SU win over more than 20 points.
The Broncos are going back to a bowl, which is mission accomplished for a team which lost a lot from last year’s squad that went undefeated until its bowl game.
I like the Huskies to put the foot on the gas from start to finish and I expect WMU to throw in the white towel early.
Lay the points.
|11-14-17||Ohio v. Akron +13||Top||34-37||Win||100||24 h 46 m||Show|
My 10* SITUATIONAL STUNNER is on Akron (7:00 EST).
The 8-2 Ohio Bobcats are in Akron to take on the 5-5 Zips and while I’ll stop short in calling for an outright upset, I do definitely feel that the desperate home side will keep this one a lot more competitive than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe.
Ohio comes in off a 38-10 win over Toledo, while Akron lost 24-14 to Miami Ohio. Last year these two teams played to a very tight decision, with the Bobcats holding on for the eventual 9-3 victory from Ohio.
Bobcats’ QB Nathan Rourke was just seven of 15 for 139 yards, a TD and a pick last week, but he did add 115 yards rushing. In all Ohio racked up 393 rushing yards last week.
Akron will be out to atone for it’s effort last Saturday, producing just 273 total yards of offense against the Redhawks. QB Kato Nelson was 19 of 38 for 218 yards and a TD.
I’ll point out though that Ohio is 0-2 ATS in its last two as a road favorite in the 10.5 to 14 points range, while Akron is 2-1 ATS this year against teams with winning records.
The Zips are running out of chances and need one more win to become bowl eligible. Akron won’t be lacking in motivation today. Ohio has two cream puffs to end the season, with a date at Buffalo next weekend, so it could be caught looking ahead as well.
Outright upset? Probably not. But all signs point to this one being decided late. Grab the points.
|11-12-17||Patriots v. Broncos +8.5||Top||41-16||Loss||-135||103 h 6 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on the Denver Broncos (8:30 EST).
The 6-2 New England Patriots are in Denver to take on the desperate 3-5 Broncos and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side. Now, I’m not suggesting to “sprinkle” a little on the money line, but I do definitely think this one will be a lot closer than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe.
The Pats come to town off their bye week, last beating the Chargers 21-13 at home.
The Broncos lost their fourth straight in a 51-23 setback on the road at red hot Philadelphia last weekend.
So far the Pats are seventh in the league in scoring with 27 PPG, while ranked 16th on the defensive side in conceding 22.4. QB Tom Brady has 2,541 yards, 16 TD’s and two INT’s this season.
Brady though has been sacked 21 times. Mike Gillislee leads the rushing attack with 355 yards and four major scores.
This is it for Denver, as another loss will almost assuredly have the team planning for next season.
So far the Broncos rank 22nd in the leauge in scoring with 18.8 PPG, while ranked 25th defensively in conceding 24.8. QB Trevor Siemian has 1,669 yards with nine TD’s and ten INT’s. CJ Anderson has 482 yards and two TD’s.
I’ll point out though that Denver is 11-8 ATS in its last 19 at home (including 2-1 ATS this season) and still 9-6 ATS in its last 15 as an underdog, while New England is just 3-5 ATS in its last eight as a road favorite of 7.5 to ten points.
Denver’s defense remains its strength and I think it’s going to come up big at home here. The outright upset? Probably not. But all signs point to a nail-biter. I’m grabbing the points.
|11-11-17||NC State -3 v. Boston College||Top||17-14||Push||0||72 h 53 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on North Carolina State (12:00 EST).
The 6-3 NC State Wolfpack are in Boston College to take on the 5-4 Eagles and in my opinion, this one favors the visitors.
I think BC is poised for a letdown here after three straight wins over Louisville, Virginia and Florida State.
NC State will look to get back on track now after its 38-31 loss at home to No. 4 Clemson last week.
Boston College’s momentum and chemistry will be disrupted because of the team’s “bye week” as well in my opinion.
Additionally I’ll point out that this is a revenge game for NC State after BC won the game 21-14 on the road last year.
NC State had a 21-17 halftime lead against Clemson, but the Wolfpack was unable to sustain its momentum for a full four quarters. QB Ryan Finley threw for 339 yards against a tough Tigers’ defense. On the year Finley has 15 TD’s and just three INT’s. WR Kelvin Harmon had eight catches for 155 yards in the loss.
The Wolfpack rank 30th in overall offense by averaging 447.3 YPG, while ranked 57th on the defensive side in conceding 387.2.
Boston College is ranked 96th in total offense with 370.1 YPG, while ranked 76th in conceding 397.9. QB Anthony Brown was just 6 of 20 for 54 yards and a TD in the win over FSU back on October 27th.
In all the Eagles’ held FSU to just 213 total yards while forcing three turnovers. Note though that as good as BC is defensively, it still struggles mightily against the run in allowing an average of 206.2 YPG.
I’ll point out as well that NC State is 4-1 ATS in its last five following a SU loss, while BC is just 1-2 ATS in its last three after three or more consecutive ATS covers.
BC’s strength on offense is its run game, which doesn’t bode well facing the Wolfpack’s 31st ranked run defense.
I like NC State to continue its road success (has already beaten FSU and Pittsburgh on the road.) Lay the points.
|11-10-17||Temple v. Cincinnati +2.5||Top||35-24||Loss||-100||107 h 46 m||Show|
My 10* Oddsmaker’s Error is on Cincinnati (7:00 EST).
The 4-5 Temple Owls are in Cincinnati to take on the 3-6 Bearcats and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
The Bearcats will need to run the table to reach the six win plateau, but they kept the dream alive in last week’s 17-16 win over Tulane. Temple also enters off a victory over Navy, but I think it will have a letdown here.
Last week Temple QB Frank Nutile was 22 of 30 for 289 yards, four TD’s and a pick. WR Adonis Jennings had 127 yards and two TD’s (was just the first time this season that he’s reached over 100 yards though.)
Bearcats RB Mike Boone had just 20 yards on six carries last week, but he also had the go-ahead TD. Gerrid Doaks was also a standout with 149 yards rushing on 17 carries.
I’ll point out as well that Temple is just 1-3 ATS In its last four as a road fav of three points or less, while Cincinnati is 5-2 ATS in its last seven against teams with losing records.
I like the Bearcats at home here. Both teams face an uphill battle to reach six wins, but I don’t think that the home field advantage factor can be discounted in this particular matchup. Play on Cincinnati.
|11-09-17||Georgia Southern v. Appalachian State -17.5||Top||6-27||Win||100||83 h 22 m||Show|
My 10* Weekly Wipeout Winner is on Appalachian State (7:30 EST).
The 0-8 Georgia Southern Eagles are limping towards the finish line, while the 5-4 Appalachian State Mountaineers are on the cusp of eligiblity.
The Eagles most recently fell 21-17 at home to Georgia State on Saturday. The Mountaineers though won’t want to leave anything to chance today after dropping two straight, as they’ll look to lay the hammer down from start to finish.
Appalachian State most recently lost a 52-45 shootout against Louisiana Monroe on the road last weekend.
And if recent history is any precedence, then Appalachian State has to be liking it chances today because when these team’s played last year, it was the Mountaineers which came away with the convincing 34-10 victory.
Georgia Southern is terrible, ranked 122nd in the country in scoring with just 17.6 PPG, while ranked 124th on the defensive end by conceding 38.4. QB Shai Werts has 650 yards passing, four TD’s and four INT’s this year. Wesley Fields leads the way on the ground with 494 yards and three carries.
Appalachian State averages 31.3 PPG and allows 25.9. QB Taylor Lamb has 2,096 yards, with 19 TD’s and just four INT’s this season (also has 366 rushing yards and three more major scores.)
I’ll point out that Georgia Southern is just 1-4 ATS in its last five after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in its previous game, while Appalachian State is interestingly 3-1 ATS in its last four “Thursday night” games.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Mountaineers.
|11-08-17||Kent State v. Western Michigan -21.5||Top||20-48||Win||100||59 h 0 m||Show|
My 10* Las Vegas Insider is on Western Michigan (7:00 EST).
The 2-7 Kent State Golden Flashes are in Western Michigan to take on the 5-4 bowl hopeful Broncos on Wednesday night and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the hungry home side.
The Flashes come in off a 44-16 home loss to Bowling Green, while WMU fell flat in a 35-28 home loss to Central Michigan last weekend.
Kent State’ QB George Gollas was just 16 of 35 for 140 yards, no TD’s and three INT’s last week. Leading rusher Justin Rankin posted just 39 yards on four carries. The defense was once again a weak point, surrendering 401 total yards, including 227 on the ground.
WMU’ QB Reece Goddard was just six of 18 for 42 yards and one INT last week. QB Jon Wassink was injured, so Goddard was pressed into duty. With that awkward game behind him though, I think Goddard will be a lot better this weekend.
Goddard will once again be leaning heavily on senior RB Jarvion Franklin, who had 228 yards along with two TD’s in the losing cause.
The Broncos’ defense catches a break this week though facing the impotent Kent State offense.
I’ll point out as well that Kent State is just 1-5 ATS in its last six road games against a team with a winning home record, while WMU is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 following an ATS loss.
The favorite is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 in this series and I look for all of these strong trends to continue as the Broncos take advantage of this favorable matchup and punch their ticket to a bowl berth. Lay the points.
|11-07-17||Bowling Green v. Buffalo -11||Top||28-38||Loss||-110||36 h 43 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Buffalo (7:30 EST).
The 2-7 Bowling Green Falcons are in Buffalo to take on the 3-6 Bulls and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Bowling Green comes in off a 44-16 win over lowly Kent State for just its second win of the year last week and looks primed for an immediate letdown here. QB Jarret Doege was 14 of 18 for 178 yards and two TD’s in the victory. Note though that it was the first time that the Green Falcons had allowed under 20 points.
The Bulls have three games left to get to six wins and will need to sweep the board. While that’s likely out of the question, they can only take it one game at a time and first up is Bowling Green.
Buffalo could easily have a much better record at this point as well, as its lost by a combined 15 points during its current four game slide, including a tough 21-20 setback at Akron in its latest. QB Tyree Jackson had 313 yards, but failed to find the end zone in that one.
I’ll point out though that Bowling Green is just 1-6 ATS this year as an underdog and only 3-5 ATS in its last eight as an underdog in the 10.5 to 21 points range, while Buffalo is 3-1 ATS at home already this year and 3-1 ATS in its last four against teams with losing records.
The Green Falcons have given up an average of 35.4 points per game this year, which doesn’t bode well facing his hungry Bulls side in my opinion.
For all the reasons listed above, play on Buffalo.
|11-06-17||Lions -2 v. Packers||Top||30-17||Win||100||49 h 56 m||Show|
My 10* NFC NORTH GAME OF THE YEAR is on the Detroit Lions (8:30 EST).
The 3-4 Detroit Lions are in Green Bay to take on the 4-3 Packers and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
This is a double revenge scenario for the Lions as well after the Packers took both games from them last season.
That was of course with star QB Aaron Rodgers under center. But Rodgers is injured and lost for the year, meaning that Green Bay backup Brent Hundley has been forced into the spot light.
Two weeks ago Hundley made his first start at home against the Saints and he looked horrible, going just 12 of 25 for 87 yards, no TD’s and a pick. RB Aaron Jones had 131 yards on 17 carries with a TD, but note that the Lions are seventh in the league against the run, allowing only 91.6 rushing yards per game.
In last week’s loss to the Steelers, Lions’ QB Matt Stafford did everything but find the endzone unfortunately, finishing 27 of 45 for 423 yards.
Admittedly the Lions’ run game is horrible, but Stafford catches a break this week in facing the Packers’ 16th ranked pass defense which gives up 223.1 YPG.
Note as well that Detroit is 3-1 ATS in its last four Monday night games, while Green Bay is just 1-5 ATS in its last six following a SU loss.
Stafford isn’t the highest paid QB in the history of the NFL for nothing. If he can’t get the better of Hundley today, then there is something seriously wrong in Detroit. I’m banking on Stafford answering the call though and to find a way to get the job done at the end of the night.
Play on the Lions.
|11-04-17||Ohio State v. Iowa +17||Top||24-55||Win||100||140 h 29 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on Iowa (12:00 EST).
The 7-1 Ohio State Buckeyes are in Iowa to take on the 5-3 Hawkeyes and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Ohio State is coming off a thrilling come-from-behind win over former No. 2 Penn State last weekend and I think it is primed for a bit of a mental letdown here after that emotional victory.
Iowa comes in off a 17-10 home win over Minnesota. The Hawkeyes are seeking their sixth win of the year and they also play with revenge here after falling 34-24 at Ohio State last season.
Ohio State QB JT Barett had three TD’s in the fourth quarter to pull away for the 39-38 win over Penn State on Saturday. The Nittany Lions had a 28-10 lead in the second quarter. Barrett finished 33 of 39 for 326 yards, four TD’s and no INT’s.
So far the Buckeyes rank third in the nation on offense in posting 571.2 YPG, while the defense ranks 12th in conceding 302.5.
Iowa is ranked 104th in the nation on offense with an average of 345.2 YPG, while ranked 48th on defense in conceding 370.1 YPG.
Nathan Stanley was just 15 of 27 for 190 yards, one TD and one pick for the Hawkeyes last weekend, but it was the defense which was the difference maker, holding Minnesota to 281 total yards, including only 139 through the air.
Stanley overall on the year though has been solid, with 1,698 passing yards with 17 TD’s and just four INT’s.
Additionally I’ll point out that Ohio State is just 1-4 ATS in its last five following an ATS loss, while Iowa is already 3-1 ATS this season in front of the home town crowd.
Iowa needs one more win for a postseason invite and it comes in off a confidence building victory in which its defense completely domianted. The Hawkeyes also play with revenge this afternoon.
The Buckeyes looked poised for a big letdown here though after their come from behind victory last week and while I’ll stop short in calling for an outright win, I do definitely feel this is too many points to be giving up to this highly motivated Iowa side. Grab the points.
|11-03-17||Marshall v. Florida Atlantic -10||Top||25-30||Loss||-110||119 h 24 m||Show|
My 10* C-USA GAME OF THE YEAR is on Florida Atlantic (6:00 EST).
The 6-2 Marshall Thundering Herd are at Florida Atlantic to take on the 5-3 Owls and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Mashall enters off a 41-30 home loss to FIU, while FAU rolled to a 42-28 win over WKU on the road last weekend.
Note that this is a revenge game for the Owls, who fell at Marshall 27-21 last season. Combined with the fact that FAU needs one more win to become bowl eligible, there’s no question in my mind that the more motivated side is the Owls.
Marshall ranks 64th in the country in scoring with 28.4 PPG, while ranked 15th on the defensive side in conceding only 17.6. The defense looked horrible last weekend though, giving up 401 total yards. QB Chase Litton was 33 of 52 for three TD’s, but also had two INT’s (one which was returned for a TD.)
FAU is ranked 15th in scoring with 39.5 PPG, while ranked 69th on the defensive side in conceding 26.8. RB Devin Singletary had 224 yards and four TD’s in last weekend’s big win. QB Jason Driskel hasn’t been asked to do much this season other than the manage the game and hand off the ball, but he does have 899 yards, four TD’s and three INT’s overall.
Note that the Owls have now run for an average of 422.7 YPG over their last three outings.
Additionally I’ll point out that Marshall has struggled in this spot for bettors, going just 9-11 ATS in its last 20 against the conference and 0-2 ATS in its last two as a road dog in the 7.5 to ten points range, while FAU is 3-1 ATS in its last four after two or more consecutive SU wins and 5-2 ATS in its last seven following a conference game.
The Thundering Herd looks ripe for the picking here after last week’s “dud.” Besides, Marshall already has an invite to a bowl.
Florida Atlantic on the other hand won’t want to leave anything to chance as it seeks its sixth win of the year.
I like the Owls to continue their red hot play and to soundly avenge last year’s loss with a big effort in front of the home town crowd. Lay the points.
|11-02-17||Ball State +22.5 v. Eastern Michigan||Top||14-56||Loss||-110||95 h 18 m||Show|
My 10* Las Vegas Insider is on Ball State (7:00 EST).
The 2-6 Ball State Cardinals will need to win out to reach the six win plateau. Clearly that’s not going to happen, but the visitors will be playing with pride today after getting crushed over the last four games, most recently falling 58-17 to Toledo.
EMU isn’t much better, as it’s also winless in conference play. It’s true that the Eagles’ last six losses have come by a TD or less, but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a bad team.
The Cardinals once again looked brutal on the defensive side of the ball last weekend, but the good news was that the offense put up its most points in four games, highlighted by 204 yards on the ground.
EMU had a 14 point lead last week and still managed to fall in OT. The Eagles are devastated by that setback and I think will be “hung over” to open this game, leaving the back door open just enough for the the Cardinals to sneak in through down the stretch.
I’ll point out that Ball State is still 9-7 ATS in its last 16 on the road, while EMU is just 6-9 ATS in its last 15 at home (and only 2-6 ATS in its last eight against teams with losing records.)
For all the reasons listed above, play on Ball State.
|11-01-17||Central Michigan +7 v. Western Michigan||Top||35-28||Win||100||74 h 32 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Central Michigan (8:00 EST).
The 4-4 Central Michigan Chippewas are at Western Michigan to take on the 5-3 Broncos and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
CMU has been off since October 21st when it annihilated Ball State 56-9, while WMU also last played on the 21st, holding on for a 20-17 road win over EMU in OT.
Note that this is a revenge game for the Chips after they fell 49-10 at home to the Broncos last year.
So far the Chips average 391.1 yards of offense per contest, while allowing 387.6. In the victory over the Cardinals QB Shane Morris was 16 of 21 for 199 yards, four TD’s and no INT’s. RB Jon Ward had 97 yards and two major scores as well.
The Broncos have won four straight, but took a major blow in last week’s win when starting QB Jon Wassink left with a broken collarbone ten minutes into it. Reece Goddard was serviceable in his replacement. WMU had 422 yards of offense, but allowed 459.
Without Wassnik, WMU’s offense now revolves around RB Jarvion Franklin, who has 642 yards and eight TD’s this season.
I’ll point out though that Central Michigan is 2-0 ATS in its last two as a road dog in the 3.5 to seven points range, while Western Michigan is 2-3 ATS in its last five as a favorite in the 3.5 to ten points range.
The road team is 5-0 ATS the last five in this series and clearly CMU will be desperate to string a couple more wins together to try and reach the six-win plateau. While I wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on Central Michigan.
|10-31-17||Miami-OH +10 v. Ohio||Top||28-45||Loss||-110||29 h 1 m||Show|
This is a 10* Weekly Wipeout Winner on Miami Ohio (7:30 EST).
The 3-5 Miami Redhawks are in Ohio to take on the 6-2 Bobcats and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
Miami Ohio is off a 24-14 home win over Buffalo, while Ohio comes in off a 48-3 crushing of Kent State. Note that when these team’s played last year, it was the Bobcats that pulled off the 17-7 win, making this a revenge-scenario for the Redhawks.
Miami Ohio averages 23.6 PPG and concedes 24.5. Last week the defense came up huge against Buffalo, holding it to just 271 yards on 14 first downs. The offense posted 350 yards, with RB Kenny Young running for 125 yards and two TD’s. QB Billy Bahi has played the last three games and has 470 yards and two TD’s.
Ohio ranks 13th in scoring at 40.8 PPG, while ranked 62nd in the country on the defensive side in conceding 25.4 PPG. The pass defense is poor though, ranked 90th in the nation in conceding 239 YPG.
I’ll point out that Miami Ohio is 5-3 ATS in its last eight off a win against a conference rival and 2-1 ATS in its last three coming out of its bye week, while Ohio is just 1-3 ATS in its last four after two or more consecutive SU victories.
Ohio has punched its ticket to the postseason, while Miami Ohio needs to immediatley start stringing some wins together if it has any shot at a bowl invitation. I think the Redhawks are clearly the “hungrier” team here today, as this one sets up as a bit of a “trap” for the home side. Grab the points.
|10-30-17||Broncos v. Chiefs -7||Top||19-29||Win||100||58 h 16 m||Show|
My 10* NFL GAME OF THE MONTH is on the Kansas City Chiefs (8:30 EST).
Both teams have been scuffling. The Broncos have lost two straight, most recently getting shutout 21-0 by the Chargers this past weekend, while the Chiefs have also fallen on recent hard times by dropping two straight, most recently a crushing 31-30 setback to Oakland on October 19th.
I think KC bounces back in a big way here though as it looks to take advantage of a Denver team which is dealing with several injuries to its offensive line and at the WR position.
Denver WR Emmanual Sanders missed the game against LA because of a sprained ankle and he’s listed as questionable for this one as well (if he does happen to play, clearly he’s going to be less than 100% capacity.)
Broncos’ QB Trevor Siemian was 25 of 35 for 207 yards and a pick in the loss.
Denver’s defense remains its strength, allowing only 258.5 YPG. That unit though clearly faces a stiff test against this prolific offense and in this hostile environment.
Last week Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith was 25 of 36 for 342 yards and three TD’s. So far Smith has 15 TD’s and zero INT’s on the year. RB Kareem Hunt added 87 yards and now has 1,002 yards and six TD’s on the season.
KC ranks third in YPG overall with 392.4, but it ranks 29th on the defensive end in conceding 396.3 YPG.
The Chiefs’ defense catches a big break this week though in facing the one-dimensional Broncos’ offense.
KC opened the year 5-0, but it’s since dropped its last two. The game against the Raiders could have gone either way though, so they could easily be sitting at 6-1. Oakland was desperate last week and it managed to take care of business at home against a divisional opponent.
But with those two losses behind them, I’m expecting Smith and the Chiefs to return to form on the national stage and to ultimately pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover on Monday night.
|10-29-17||Steelers -2.5 v. Lions||Top||20-15||Win||100||127 h 17 m||Show|
My 10* 34-CLUB PLAY is on the Pittsburgh Steelers (8:30 EST).
The Steelers come in on top form and catch a Lions team that’s going to be rusty coming out of its bye week. In my opinion, this line could easily be a lot larger.
Detroit has lost two straight, most recently to Carolina and New Orleans, while Pittsburgh has won two very tough games in a row against KC and Cincinnati.
Ben Roethlisberger threw five INT’s in a 30-9 loss to Jacksonville earlier in the month and since then has gone 2-0 with three TD’s and one INT.
Big Ben has gotten plenty of help as well, as RB Le’Veon Bell has 313 yards combined over his last two games.
The Steelers rush defense has been dominant as well, holding the Chiefs to 28 yards and the Bengals to 71:
“The sky’s the limit,” Steelers’ linebacker Bud Dupree assessed after last week’s win. “Not even the sky’s the limit. We’re not going to put a ceiling on our head. We’re going to keep going up.”
Detroit ranks 26th in the NFL in total offense with 298.0 YPG and the run game averages just 4.6 YPC. QB Matt Stafford has 12 TD’s and six picks on the year.
The numbers/trends also support Pittsburgh this weekend, as note that the Steelers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 on the road and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous game, while the Lions are just 1-4 ATS in their last five at home and only 1-6 ATS in their last seven against clubs with winning records.
Detroit’s leading receiver Golden Tate has a shoulder injury and is listed as day to day. If he does happen to play, clearly he’s not going to be at 100% capacity. Stafford doesn’t have too many options left (Marvin Jones Jr. has 20 catches for 280 yards and three TD’s), and he’s turned the ball over six times in the last three games.
Pittsburgh continues to gain confidence though, especially by RB Bell, who looks poised for another big game tonight.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Steelers.
|10-28-17||Miami-FL v. North Carolina +20.5||Top||24-19||Win||100||121 h 53 m||Show|
My 10* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK is on North Carolina (12:00 EST).
The 6-0 Miami Hurricanes are in UNC to take on the 1-7 Tar Heels and while I’m not calling for an outright upset, I do think that the Hurricanes will come in a tiny bit complacent, leaving the back door open just wide enough for the humbled Tar Heels to sneak in through down the stretch.
Miami already has four conference wins. The Hurricanes have so far been a bit “lucky” perhaps though, as they have just one fumble and three INT’s total on the year. Miami also has 12 takeaways of its own.
The Hurricanes’ offense has suffered a big loss though with an injury to top RB Mark Walton last week (had a 7.6 yards per carry average.)
UNC’s record is terrible, but the competition it’s played against to this point has been considerable, with all seven losses coming against big-time schools.
So far the Heels are allowing an average of 34.6 PPG, while the offense has also struggled.
But good news for UNC fans sees the return of starting QB Chazz Surratt, who has been out with injury. Backup Brandon Harris had five INT’s last weekend.
I’ll point out as well that Miami is interestingly 0-4 ATS in its last four after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in its previous game, while UNC is 5-1 ATS in its last six in this series.
With Surratt coming back, the Tar Heels get a big mental boost this weekend.
The Hurricanes on the other hand have a game at home against the 6-1 Hokies next Saturday, making this not only a potential “letdown” spot, but also a “look ahead” spot for the visitors as well.
It’s a trap of epic proportions for Miami on Saturday afternoon. Grab the points.
|10-26-17||Dolphins v. Ravens -3||Top||0-40||Win||100||55 h 59 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Baltimore Ravens (8:25 EST).
The 4-2 Miami Dolphins are coming off an epic 31-28 win at the Atlanta Falcons. In that win they lost starting QB Jay Cutler to injury and were led to victory by backup Matt Moore.
The Ravens meanwhile are just 3-4 and they’ll be eager to get back into the winners circle after falling 24-16 at Minnesota this past weekend.
As mentioned off the top, Moore came in to replace Cutler last week and he’d go for 188 yards, two TD’s and a pick. RB Jay Ajayi though had just 51 yards on 23 attempts.
The Fish are ranked 32nd in total offense this year with just 261.8 yards per game accumulated on average. Miami has made up for it on the defensive end though, giving up 18.7 PPG thus far.
Baltimore QB Joe Flacco was 27 of 39 for 186 yards with one TD and no picks last weekend. The Ravens are now dealing with injuries to the WR position and the unit is putting up just 18.3 PPG this year. The defense is poor against the run, but great against the pass (allowing 189.3 YPG in the air thus far.)
I’ll point out though that Miami is just 4-7 ATS in its last 11 off a divisional game and just 12-14 ATS in its last 26 as an underdog, while Baltimore is 4-2 ATS in its last six as a home favorite of three points or less.
Moore looked “ok” last weekend, but this is a difficult place to play and the short week won’t help matters. There’s big time pressure on Moore to perform and I think he’s going to stumble here. The correct call is on Flacco and the hungry home side. Lay the points.
|10-26-17||Toledo v. Ball State +26||Top||58-17||Loss||-110||92 h 3 m||Show|
My 10* MAC GAME OF THE MONTH is on Ball State (7:00 EST).
Am I suggesting to you to “sprinkle” a little on the money line? Of course not. I simply feel this is a few too many points to be giving up in this situation.
The 6-1 Toledo Rockets are at Ball State to take on the 2-5 Cardinals. Toledo looks primed for a bit of a letdown here though in my opinion after three straight wins.
Conversely, it’s going to be all hands on deck for the Cardinals as they try in vain to reach the six win plateau with just a handful of games remaining and on the heels of four straight losses (after starting the year 2-1.)
Toledo QB Logan Woodside had 304 yards and five TD’s in his team’s 48-21 win over Akron. Prevoius to that though he’d posted just one major score over two combined games. RB Terry Swanson also looked good with 123 yards on 20 carries.
The Cardinals will be desperate to get off the schneid, as they haven’t scored a TD since late September. Ball State had to transition to senior QB Jack Milas after stater Riley Neal went down with injury in a loss to WKU earlier in the season:
“This is a fragile football team right now,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu admitted after the loss. “As much as I hate to admit it, we are struggling to overcome some of the injuries. It’s not for lack of want to, guys are working hard, but we’re doing some things that are uncharacteristic for our football team.”
With back-to-back road games though, it’s not too hard to imagine the Rockets getting caught “looking ahead/past” their lowly opponent today.
Additionally I’ll point out that Toledo has in fact struggled in this spot for bettors, interestingly going 0-2 ATS in its last two “Thursday night” contests. Ball State has been a bad team for a long time and it’s hard to find any positive ATS stats to back up this play, however take note that it’s 3-1 ATS in its last four after scoring ten points or less in its previous contest.
I think the home side keeps this one close enough to comfortably sneak in through the back down the stretch. Play on Ball State.
|10-22-17||Seahawks -5 v. Giants||Top||24-7||Win||100||143 h 51 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Seattle Seahawks (4:25 EST).
The 3-2 Seattle Seahawks will look to take advantage of a depleted New York Giants team that could come in contented and flat-footed here after finally geting the monkey off its back in last week’s Sunday nighter.
The Hawks went into their bye week off consecutive victories over the Colts and Rams, while the Giants got off the schneid with a victory in Denver this past weekend.
Seattle has looked signficantly better after a shaky start to the season, but with an extra week to prepare for this one, I believe that Russell Wilson and company are going to have a big night.
Wilson is a time management master and he’s going to be able to keep his offense on the field of play as long as possible today, so as to keep the Giants’ Eli Manning off of it.
The Giants needed their defense to step up big last week and it did. Manning was adequate, but I think he’s going to struggle against the Seahawks elite defensive unit.
New York has become completely one dimensional because of some key recent injuries and this is not a favorable defensive matchup for it whatsoever.
I’ll point out as well that Seattle is interestingly 5-2 ATS in its last seven games played in the month of October, while New York is just 1-4 ATS in its last five following a victory.
The Giants won last week despite only posting 266 yards of offense. That’s simply not going to get it done against this rested/focused Seahawks side.
Lay the points.
|10-21-17||SMU v. Cincinnati +8.5||Top||31-28||Win||100||118 h 15 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on Cincinnati (4:00 EST).
The 4-2 SMU Mustangs are in Cincinnati to take on the 2-5 Bearcats and for a number of different reasons, I believe this one favors the home side.
I simply think that Cincinnati will be by far the more “desperate” team this afternoon as it looks to break a four-game slide, most recently falling to USF.
SMU opened the year 4-1, but looks primed for another letdown here after falling at Houston two weeks ago.
SMU is coming off its bye, so I think it’s going to be caught a little “flat footed.”
In the loss to the Cougars, QB Ben Hicks was picked off twice. Hicks though has been solid overall with 1,672 yards, 16 TD’s and five INT’s.
Bearcats’ QB Hayden Moore was 16 of 28 for 147 yards and an INT last week. So far Moore has 1,522 yards, ten TD’s and six INT’s. Moore suffered a minor injury and if he can’t go, then Ross Trail will get the call.
Whoever gets the call though, I absolutely believe this one favors the home side, as note that SMU is just 7-8 ATS in its last 15 after playing a conference game, while Cincinnati is 2-1 ATS in its last three as an underdog of 3.5 to ten points.
Am I recommending to you to “sprinkle a little” on the money line? I’m not. I simply feel that the overall situation favors the hungry home side and combined with these strong trends, it does indeed make the Bearcats the correct call in this one.
Play on Cincinnati.
|10-20-17||Western Kentucky v. Old Dominion +10||Top||35-31||Win||100||120 h 20 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE WEEK is on Old Dominion (6:00 EST).
The 4-2 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers get ready to face off against the 2-4 ODU Monarchs on Friday night and while I’ll stop short in calling for an outright upset, I do think that the determined home side will keep this one a lot more competitive than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe.
WKU comes in off a 45-14 win over Charlotte at home, while Old Dominion enters off a 35-3 loss at Marshall.
Note that this is a revenge game for the Monarchs after they fell at WKU 59-24 last season.
So far Western Kentucky averages 25.5 PPG, while allowing just 18.2 PPG (ranked 19th). Last week the Hilltoppers posted 627 yards of offense as Mike White would go 33 of 47 for 398 yards passing and five TD’s. Note though that the 49ers did post 248 rushing yards against them.
The Monarchs average 17.0 PPG and allow 34.7. Clearly they are overmatched on both sides of the ball, however I think this is a great situation for the home side (also note that the defense looked much better last week, allowing just 371 yards in the game. )
WKU has hit a “vanilla” part of its schedule with FAU at home next week, so it’s not too hard to imagine the Hilltoppers coming in a bit complacent here on the heels of three straight “rocking chair” victories.
Additionally I’ll point out that WKU is just 5-7 ATS in its last 12 on the road (including 0-2 ATS already this year), while ODU is 9-6 ATS in its last 15 following a conference contest.
As mentioned off the top, I’m not calling for an outright upset, but the conditions would appear right for a competitive affair. Grab the points.
|10-19-17||Memphis v. Houston -3||Top||42-38||Loss||-115||98 h 25 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Houston (8:00 EST).
The 5-1 Memphis Tigers are in Houston to take on the 4-2 Cougars and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
The Tigers come in off a 30-27 home win over Navy last weekend, while the Cougars will be out to atone for a listless 45-17 road loss to Tulsa.
Note that this is also a “revenge” scenario for Houston after it fell 48-44 at home to Memphis last year.
Last week the Tigers forced five turnovers in their victory over the Midshipmen and gave up just 334 yards overall. QB Riley Ferguson was 24 of 40 for 279 yards and three TD’s. So far the offense has scored over 30 points in all but one game this year.
Houston gave up 416 yards last weekend and allowed the Golden Hurricane to convert on 9 of 17 first downs. However, despite last week’s result, the Cougars have been solid defensively this year.
Last week QB Kyle Postma had his worst game of the season, posting 258 passing yards with no TD’s and two INT’s. So far he has 805 passing yards and a poor 4/5 TD/INT ratio. The run game looked good for the Cougars though, accumulating 146 yards, led by Duke Catalon with 72 on the day.
From a trend based stand point, this one definitely favors the home side: I’ll point out that Memphis is just 1-3 ATS in its last four after allowing 27 points or more in its previous contest, while Houston is 4-2 ATS in ts last six after allowing 44 points or more in its previous game.
I think Memphis stumbles on the road here against this determined Houston side, looking to atone for a weak effort last week and out for revenge from a close loss a year ago.
Play on Houston.
|10-16-17||Colts +9 v. Titans||Top||22-36||Loss||-125||26 h 1 m||Show|
This is a 10* PERFECT STORM on the Indianapolis Colts (8:30 EST).
The 2-3 Colts are in Tennessee to take on the 2-3 Titans and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the visitors.
Indianapolis comes in off a confidence building 26-23 OT win over San Francisco, while Tennessee looked horrible in its 16-10 road loss in Miami last weekend.
If recent history is any precedence, then the Colts have to be liking their chances today, as they’ve won 11 straight in the series, including a a 24-17 home victory in the most recent matchup.
Of course, most/all of those games in that win streak were started by either Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. Regardless, I absoultely believe that the visitors have much more than just a “punchers chance” in this one.
So far the Colts average 19.4 PPG and allow 32.8 The team looked better last week though, winning the yardage battle 447-402 and had a sizeable advantage in time of possession, going 37:17 to 31:05.
Indaianpolis QB Jacoby Brissett so far has 997 yards, two TD’s and three INT’s. Brissett though is learning on the fly and has definitely looked stronger with each outing. Frank Gore leads the ground game with 239 yards and two major scores thus far.
Tennessee averages 22 PPG and allows 28.4. Last week the Titans gave up six sacks, while also committing 11 penalties.
Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota has 792 yards, three TD’s and three INT’s thus far, while also posting 116 yards rushing and three more scores on the ground. He missed the Miami game, but is expected to start here. If he does play, clearly he’s not going to be at 100% capacity.
And if he doesn’t play, then Matt Cassel will get the call, so far he has 162 yards, a TD and two INT’s this season. RB DeMarco Murray has 273 yards and one TD.
I’ll point out though that Indianapolis is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points, while Tennessee is 0-4 ATS in its last four as a favorite in the 3.5 to 9.5 points range.
Mariota’s health? It’s definitely a big question mark for this one. I think Brissett can keep his team competitive, so grab up those points!
|10-15-17||Dolphins v. Falcons -11||Top||20-17||Loss||-110||139 h 57 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Atlanta Falcons (1:00 EST).
The Falcons are rested, coming off their bye week and I look for them to put the foot on the gas from start to finish and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover.
Atlanta will be especially motivated here as well after falling to the Bills in their last outing.
Conversely, Miami comes in contented after its two-game slide ended with a win over the Titans.
Despite that 16-10 victory though, the Fish have scored a grand total of 41 points through the first four games and QB Jay Cutler has for the most part struggled.
Note that the Miami offense was shutout by the Saints earlier in the year.
The bye couldn’t have come at a better time for the Falcons though: “It’s a perfect time for us to reset,” head coach Dan Quinn noted. “For whatever reason, the bye hit us at the right time based on some injuries. It was great to have those guys back.” (Julio Jones, OT Ryan Schraeder, LB Vic Beasley and safety Ricardo Allen.)
I’ll point out as well that the Dolphins are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against clubs with winning records, while the Falcons are 4-1 ATS in their last five following their bye-week.
Cutler is averaging less than 200 passing yards per game, which clearly doesn’t bode well in this hostile environment.
With a week to re-focus and plan for this one, all signs point to an epic lop-sided destruction. Lay the points.
|10-14-17||Virginia v. North Carolina +3.5||Top||20-14||Loss||-110||142 h 4 m||Show|
This is a 10* GAME OF MONTH on North Carolina (3:30 EST).
While I obviously wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can as I look for the 1-5 Tar Heels to risk life and limb in front of the home town crowd as they try to secure another victory.
Conversely, I think the 4-1 Virginia Cavaliers are primed for a letdown here after they pulled away for a 28-21 win over Duke last weekend.
The Cavs have already doubled their win total from last year, so have to be feeling very content at this point. Jordan Ellis leads the team with 408 rushing yards and five TD’s.
The Virginia defense looked sharp, giving up 124 passing yards, while also grabbing two INT’s in last week’s victory.
QB Kurt Benkert din’t look overly impressive though, he had 182 passing yards, three TD’s and two INT’s.
UNC QB Chazz Surratt has 1,167 passing yards and six TD’s so far this season.
Surratt had 179 passing yards in last week’s 33-10 loss to Notre Dame. The Tar Heels struggled against the Irish run game and will need to immediately re-group in facing Ellis and company.
Virginia plays UNC (1-5) this week, followed by Boston College (2-4) and Pittsburgh (2-4). After the extended winning stretch, the Cavs now hit a very “vanilla” part of their schedule. In my opinion, it’s a perfect storm of factors leading to complacency.
Additionally I’ll point out that Virginia is just 1-4 ATS in its last five as a favorite, while UNC is interestingly 6-3 ATS in its last nine games played in the month of October.
I think Surratt keeps his team in this one late. Grab the points.
|10-13-17||Washington State v. California +16||Top||3-37||Win||100||126 h 22 m||Show|
My 10* BLOWOUT GAME OF THE WEEK is on California (10:30 EST).
The Washington State Cougars are 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS, while the Cal Golden Bears are 3-3 SU/ATS.
Cal is going to be hungry after losing its third straight, while conversely, the Cougars look primed for a letdown here after winning six straight, most recently a 33-10 victory over Oregon.
Note that this is a “revenge” game for the Golden Bears after they fell 56-21 at Washington State last year.
So far Washington State is ranked 18th in scoring offense with 39.7 PPG, while ranked 23rd in scoring defense in conceding just 18.5. QB Luke Falk already has 2,000 yards passing with 19 TD’s and only two INT’s.
Cal is ranked 100th in the nation in scoring with 24.3 PPG, while ranked 89th in scoring defense in conceding 29.8. QB Ross Bowers has 1,437 yards, nine TD’s and eight INT’s. RB Patrick Laird has 400 yards and four major scores on the ground.
I’ll point out that though that Washington State is 0-2 ATS in its last two as a road favorite, while Cal is 2-0 ATS in its last two as a home dog in the 14.5 to 17 points range.
The Cougs have bigger plans than just being “bowl eligible,” but Washington State has now already punched its ticke to a postseason matchup.
Cal on the other hand is going to have to earn a couple more conference victories if it has any shot at a bowl invite itself.
While I’m not calling for an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on California.
|10-12-17||Eagles v. Panthers -3||Top||28-23||Loss||-115||75 h 35 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Carolina Panthers (8:25 EST).
The short week almost always favors the home side and I believe that’s going to be the case here.
The Eagles are 4-1 SU/ATS, while the Panthers are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS.
Philadelphia cruised to a 34-7 win over the Cardinals last weekend, while Carolina won 27-24 in Detroit for a second straight road victory.
The Eagles are flying high, but let’s not get too carried away as their level of competition has been very low, beating the Giants 27-24 and the Chargers 26-24. Clearly the Cardinals have major issues as well.
In my opinion Philadelphia has yet to be tested this year, something which is about to change this weekend.
Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz was 21 of 30 for 304 yards and four TD’s last week, while RB LeGarrette Blount had 74 yards on 14 carries.
Philadelphia is averaging 397.8 YPG and conceding 346. Carolina is averaging 327.2 YPG and conceding 274 (ranked third.)
Panthers’ QB Cam Netwon had 355 yards, three TD’s and no INT’s last week. RB Christian McCaffrey caught a TD pass in that one.
Philadelphia though has struggled in this spot for bettors, going just 3-7 ATS in its last ten on the road, while Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its last seven as a home favorite of three points or less.
As mentioned off the top, this is going to be the best defense that Wentz has seen all season and ultimately I think the opportunistic home side unit will prove to be be the difference maker in this contest.
I’m laying the points.
|10-12-17||Texas State +14 v. UL-Lafayette||Top||7-24||Loss||-115||99 h 8 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Texas State (7:30 EST).
Texas State is 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS so far this season, while UL Lafayette is 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS.
The Bobcats enter off a 45-27 home loss to Louisiana Monroe, while UL Lafayette looks primed for a letdown here in my opinion after its 21-16 road win over Idaho in its last outing.
Note that this is a revenge game for Texas State after it fell 27-3 at home to the Ragin Cajuns last year.
Bobcats’ QB Damian WIlliams was 13 of 24 for 158 yards, one TD and no picks last week.
The Texas State ground game looked dominant in the loss, posting 181 yards with Anthony D Taylor leading the way with 102 rushing. The defense looked bad, but the unit catches a break this week in facing UL Lafayette.
The Ragin Cajuns’ Andre Nunez was 18 of 24 for 213 yards, one TD and one INT last week. WR Ja’Marcus Bradley had five catches for 93 yards.
UL Lafayette looked great defensively, but previous to that had struggled. I’m going to be cautious in reading too much into one decent outing.
I’ll point out as well that Texas State is 3-1 ATS in its last four after three or more consecutive SU losses, while UL Lafayette is just 1-4 ATS in its last five after holding an opponent to 17 points or less in its previous contest.
I think the Bobcats are the more desperate team as they look to get off the schneid in conference play. Play on Texas State.
|10-11-17||South Alabama +16.5 v. Troy||Top||19-8||Win||100||76 h 59 m||Show|
This is a 10* PERFECT STORM on South Alabama (8:00 EST).
Am I suggesting to you to “sprinkle” a little on the money line? Of course not.
I do however think this is a few too many points to be giving up to this hungry 1-4 South Alabama Jaguars team.
Conversely, it’s not too hard to imagine the surging 4-1 Troy Trojans “looking past” their lowly opponent tonight.
There’s no question that this sets up as a classic “trap” for the home side after its epic 24-21 road win over LSU on September 30th.
South Alabama also played on September 30th and fell 34-16 to Louisiana Tech.
Note that this is a revenge game for the Jaguars after they fell to the Trojans 28-21 at home last year.
USA struggled defensively last week, although it did hold Louisiana Tech to just 2 of 11 on third down.
QB Cole Garvin was 21 of 45 for one TD and two INT’s, while RB Xavier Johnson had 89 yards on 12 carries. USA ranks near the bottom on both sides of the ball, but as mentioned off the top, I think it catches a break here facing a Troy team coming off a historic program victory.
The Trojans gave up 428 yards on defense, but created four turnovers over LSU. QB Brandon Silvers had just 157 yards passing. On the year Troy is allowing 231 yards per game through the air.
I’ll point out as well that Troy is 0-5 ATS in its last five following its bye, while USA is 2-1 ATS in its last three after two or more consecutive ATS losses.
These teams have historically played each other tough and all signs point to another competitive affair. Grab the points.
|10-09-17||Vikings v. Bears +3||Top||20-17||Push||0||37 h 36 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Chicago Bears (8:30 EST).
The Vikings are 2-2 SU/ATS while the Bears are 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS.
Minnesota comes in off a listless 14-7 loss at home to Detroit. Starting QB Sam Bradford is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury. If Bradford does suit up for this one, clearly he’s not going to be at 100% capacity.
The Vikes also lost rookie RB Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL last week when he fumbled the ball, a costly turnover which led to a Lions’ TD.
Once Cook went down, the offense stalled and suffice it to say, I think that’s going to be the case again on Monday night.
Minnesota’s backup QB Case Keenum was 16 of 30 for 210 yards.
Chicago enters off a 35-14 loss at Green Bay with QB Mike Glennon under center in that one. Glennon is out for this one though, as the Bears turn to rookie Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky showed a lot of promise in the preseason and he’ll have a big opportunity here facing this less than 100% Vikings squad. The Bears’ pass defense was a bright spot in last week’s loss, holding Aaron Rodgers to just 179 passing yards (although he did throw four TD’s.)
Trubisky will be leaning heavily on RB Jordan Howard, who has 302 yards and four TD’s.
Chicago’s defense is going to be a big difference maker in my opinion though, as it allows 220.8 YPG through the air and just 85.5 YPG on the ground.
And that’s bad news for Minnesota’s offense in my opinion, as right now the unit is a disaster. Trubisky is a rookie, but Vikes’ coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t have a lot of game tape on the kid yet. I think the door is wide open for an outright upset. That said, I’ll grab the points in the end.
|10-08-17||Panthers +3 v. Lions||Top||27-24||Win||100||137 h 26 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Carolina Panthers (1:00 EST).
While I obviously wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can as I look for the surging visiting side to at the very least, take this one right down to the wire.
Carolina beat the Pats on the road 33-30 last weekend, while Detroit comes in off a listless 14-7 win over the Vikings.
Panthers’ QB Cam Newton had three TD passes and also ran another one in on the ground. The defense looked a little suspect, but look at who the opponent was. The unit bent, but it did not break:
“It can be a catalyst, a stepping-stone,” Panthers’ Coach Ron Rivera assessed afterwards. “It kind of felt a little bit like what happened a couple of years ago when we went to Seattle. They were the watermark for us, as far as the NFC was concerned. So we were able to have success there, and from that point we had success.”
Detroit was trailing 7-3 at half time last week, before coming back in the second half for the victory. So far the Lions have looked good, not great in my opinion.
Additionally I’ll point out that Carolina is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 15 after allowing 250 or more passing yards in its previous contest, while Detroit is just 2-8 ATS in its last ten after allowing 15 points or less in its previous outing.
I like Newton to build off his last performance and give the Lions’ defense everything it can handle. Play on Carolina.
|10-07-17||California +27.5 v. Washington||Top||7-38||Loss||-110||58 h 35 m||Show|
My 10* PAC-12 GAME OF THE YEAR is on California (10:45 EST).
Am I suggesting to you to “sprinkle” a little on the money line?
Of course not. But with three “cream puffs” on deck, including tonight’s game against Cal, then up next against Arizona State and UCLA respectively, I absolutely believe that the 5-0 Huskies are going to come in a little content and “flat footed” in this one.
The Huskies really get into the meat of their schedule after that with games at home against Oregon, and then at Stanford, followed by Utah and Washington State.
Not surprisingly, this is a revenge game for the Bears after they were smoked 66-27 by Washington last year.
So far Cal averages 27.8 PPG and concedes 28.2. QB Ross Bowers has 1,357 yards, nine TD’s and eight picks on the year. Last week against the Ducks he had 255 yards, three TD’s and zero INT’s and suffice it to say, I think he’s going to carry over that momentum here.
Washington averages 44.0 PPG, which is ranked tenth. So far it’s allowed just 10.8 PPG, which is ranked fifth overall.
QB Jake Browning had 293 passing yards, three TD’s and an INT last week, while Myles Gaskin had 115 yards on the ground and another major score.
I’ll point out though that Cal is 5-1 ATS in its last six as an underdog, while Washington is just 7-8 ATS in its last 15 after two or more consecutive SU wins and interestingly just 3-4 ATS in its last seven games played in the month of October.
The schedule isn’t in the Bears favor to get a bowl invite this season and while an outright win is almost assuredly out of the question in this particular matchup, I believe that the situation is greatly in their favor and combined with the strong trends listed above, I will indeed grab up all these points in the end!
|10-06-17||Boise State v. BYU +7||Top||24-7||Loss||-115||125 h 18 m||Show|
My 10* NON-CONFERENCE GAME OF THE YEAR is on BYU (10:15 EST).
Boise State is 2-2 SU/ATS, while BYU is 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS.
Boise State comes in off its bye after getting hammered 42-23 at home by Virginia. BYU lost 40-24 on the road at Utah State on Saturday.
Note that BYU plays with revenge today after falling 28-27 to the Broncos on the road last October 20th.
The Broncos were outgained 440-383 by the Cavaliers. So far Boise State is ranked 69th in scoring offense with an average of 29.8 PPG, while tied for 86th in scoring defense in conceding 29 PPG.
Broncos’ QB Montell Cozart has just 416 yards passing, six TD’s and one INT. He leads the team in rushing though with 191 yards on the gruond and two scores. QB Brett Rypien had 521 yards and TWO INT’s.
BYU had a 21-7 lead a minute into the second quarter, before then collapsing and allowing 33 unanswered points to Utah State. The Cougars actually held a 396-288 edge in total yards and a 20-14 advantage in first downs. Seven turnovers were the difference maker though. So far BYU averages 15.8 PPG, while allowing 26.4.
Cougars’ QB Tanner Mangum had 466 yards, two TD’s and four INT’s. He splits time between Koy Detmer Jr. and Beau Hoge. Ula Tolautau leads the way on the ground with 188 yards rushing and a TD.
I’ll point out though that BYU has excelled in this spot for bettors of late, going 12-7 ATS when playing with six days rest, 8-7 ATS in its last 15 at home and 5-3 ATS in its last eight against the Mountain West, while Boise State has struggled in this position by going just 1-3 ATS in its last four when playing with two or more weeks of rest and only 5-7 ATS in its last 12 non-conference contests.
While I’ll stop short in calling for the outright upset, I do think that the hungry/desperate home side will at the very least keep this one competitive until the final moments. Grab the points.
|10-05-17||Patriots v. Bucs +6||Top||19-14||Win||100||73 h 21 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:25 EST).
While I wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can as I expect the improving home side to give the defending champs everything they can handle today.
The Pats are 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS, while Tampa is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS.
It’s a short-week, which almost always benefits the home side (for obvious reasons.)
Last week the Bucs came from behind to beat the Giants 25-23, while New England comes to town off a humbling 33-30 setback at home to Carolina.
New England’s defense is a mess right now and I don’t foresee things getting easier in this hostile environment. The Pats’ struggled against the mobile Cam Newton, allowing him to throw for 316 yards and a three TD’s, as well as rush for 44 and another major score. Remember, the Pats also gave up 44 points to the Chiefs on Opening Night (I had KC in that one.)
And that doesn’t bode well facing the extremely mobile Jameis Winston who was 22 of 38 for 332 yards and three TD’s with no picks last week. RB Jacquizz Rodgers added 83 yards on the ground.
The Bucs’ defense looked stout as well, allowing just 379 yards to the Giants.
Winston isn’t getting nearly enough respect in my opinion, as he’s going to be able to pick apart this Pats’ suspect secondary.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Buccaneers.
|10-05-17||Louisville v. NC State +3||Top||25-39||Win||100||99 h 49 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on North Carolina State (7:00 EST).
Both teams are 4-1 SU/ATS.
Louisville comes in off a 55-10 smashing of Murray State, while NC State hung on for a tough 33-25 victory at home over Syracuse last weekend.
Note that this is a “revenge” game for the home side tonight after Louisville crushed the Wolfpack 54-13 at home last season.
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson was 18 of 26 for 249 yards and three TD’s last week, while also rushing for 100 yards and another major score. Jackson has looked better the last two weeks after a loss to Clemson, but clearly the competition has been “vanilla.”
The Cardinals defense looked horrible in the loss to the Tigers, but the unit has looked better the last two weeks against the weaker competition.
NC State was in a potential letdown spot against the Orange last Saturday after a big road win at Florida State the previous weekend, but the Wolfpack were clicking early and went into the break with a 26-7 lead. Nyheim Hines had 115 rushing yards and a TD, while Jaylen Samuels had 74 yards and a major score.
Pack’ QB Ryan Finley was 20 of 33 for 186 yards and a TD. Like the Cardinals, NC State has so far been very adept on both sides of the ball this season.
Note though that Louisville is just 3-7 ATS in its last ten against teams with winning records and only 5-6 ATS in its last 11 on the road, while NC State is 2-1 ATS in its last three against clubs with winning records and 5-2 ATS after two or more consecutive SU victories.
Louisville has already shown to struggle against better teams and I believe that will once again be the case here. While I wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on NC State.
|10-04-17||Arkansas State v. Georgia Southern +7||Top||43-25||Loss||-108||53 h 49 m||Show|
My 10* LEGEND is on Georgia Southern (8:00 EST).
Arkansas State is 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS, while Georgia Southern is 0-3 SU and 0-2-1 ATS.
Note that Georgia Southern plays with revenge tonight after Arkansas State pulled off the 27-26 home win with nine seconds left in the game last year.
Both teams looked shaky in non-conference action, admittedly Georgia Southern even more than Arkansas State to this point, as it fell 22-12 to FCS New Hampshire back on September 9th.
The Red Wolves are led by QB Justice Hansen, who so far has 985 yards, ten TD’s and two INT’s. In their 44-21 loss to SMU, Hansen was 16 of 26 for 234 yards and two TD’s. The defense looked horrible in allowing 580 yards, including 314 on the ground.
The Eagles defense held the Hoosiers to just 11 of 22 passing for 185 yards on September 23rd, but stumbled against the run in allowing 283 yards on the ground to Indiana.
Georgia Southern’s Triple Option offense was finally firing on all cylinders, producing 242 yards on the ground (five fumbles were the difference though.) QB Shai Wets so far has 230 yards and two TD’s passing, along with another 180 yards rushing.
I’ll point out though that Georgia Southern is 3-1 ATS in its last four after three or more consecutive ATS losses, while Arkansas State is just 1-4 ATS in its last five after allowing 44 points or more in its previous contest.
I like Georgia Southern to benefit from the extra time off between games and to build off its latest decent effort.
|10-02-17||Redskins v. Chiefs -7||Top||20-29||Win||101||50 h 7 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Kansas City Chiefs (8:30 EST).
Washington is 2-1 SU/ATS, while Kansas City is 3-0 SU/ATS.
I base my picks on many different things. For the most part with this selection, I simply feel it sets up great for Kansas City.
The Redskins are coming off back-to-back wins, including a satisfying 27-10 victory over the Raiders at home last Sunday night.
With its “bye” coming next week, it’s not too hard to imagine at all Washington getting caught “looking ahead” in some small way to its time off.
Conversely the Chiefs are on the road again next week for a tough one against suddenly surging Houston, making tonight’s contest all that much more important.
As I said, from an overall situational stand point, they don’t get much better than this.
If we look at what each of these teams have done over the first three weeks, clearly they’re very evenly matched up and down the board and on both ends of the field.
Redskins’ QB Kirk Cousins and Chiefs’ pivot Alex Smith are a “wash.” The defenses have been probably even better than the offenses (and the offenses have been getting great production, both through the air on the ground.)
Two even teams, but the overall “situation” greatly favors the home side. I’ll also point out that the Redskins are in fact just 1-3 ATS in their last four after allowing ten points or more in their previous contest, while KC is 6-4 ATS in its last ten off a win against a division rival.
I expect KC to take advantage of the above listed factors and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover. Lay the points.
|10-01-17||Steelers -2.5 v. Ravens||Top||26-9||Win||100||146 h 11 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Pittsburgh Steelers (1:00 EST).
I use many different techniques when handicapping throughout the season. Sometimes for me its all about the players on the field, but other times its about stats or situations.
And that for the most part is the case here. The Ravens are coming off a humiliating 44-7 loss in England and while they looked great over their first two games, I think they’re set up for another letdown here after transitioning back State side.
The Steelers are also coming off a loss, falling 23-17 in OT to lowly Chicago.
QB Ben Roethlisberger was 22 of 29 for 235 yards and a TD, while also adding a six-yard rush and losing a fumble.
Roethlisberger has been decent, but not great to open the season. But with Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and pass-catching RB Le’Veon Bell, I think it’s just a matter of time before “Big Ben” returns to form.
After two decent outings, Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco was a disaster last weekend, completing eight passes for 28 yards and two INT’s.
Flacco is playing behind a banged-up offensive line and it was finally exposed in this one as he was forced to continually settle for check downs. Note that the Ravens only scored on the final possession of the game, long after backup Ryan Mallett had taken over.
The Steelers did play well defensively last week and I think that’s going to spell big trouble once again for Flacco and company this afternoon.
Additionally I’ll point out that Pittsburgh is interestingly 5-3 ATS in its last eight games played in the month of October, while Baltimore is just 1-7 ATS in the same position.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Steelers.
|09-28-17||Bears v. Packers -7||Top||14-35||Win||100||96 h 37 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF THE MONTH is on the Green Bay Packers (8:25 EST).
Lambeau is a tough spot to play in and suffice it to say, I think the Bears are going to predictably stumble here.
Chicago looks primed for a letdown after its upset win at home over Pittsburgh last week. Green Bay also won in OT, coming from behind to knock off the Bengals 27-24 at home.
Purely from a situational stand point, there’s no question that this one favors the Packers. Both teams off hard-fought OT victories, now have to transition to the short week for the nationally televised Thursday night game. The short week almost always favors the home side and certainly in this spot, Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers has an immense amount of experience in these scenarios.
The Bears got 138 rushing yards from Jordan Howard in their upset victory over Pittsburgh. Chicago’s passing game has been a disaster though because of injury. QB Mike Glennon was 19 of 22 for 101 yards last week and was also sacked twice and threw a pick.
That type of play simply isn’t going to get the job done this week against a now re-focused Packers team led by Rogers, who had 313 yards with three TD’s last Sunday. The running game looked weak, but the defense was decent in holding the Bengals to just 301 total yards.
I’ll point out as well that Chicago is just 8-9 ATS in its last 17 on the road, while Green Bay is 12-7 ATS in its last 19 in front of the home town crowd.
I think the Bears are content with their big victory, while the Packers are eager to atone for their near upset loss last Sunday. Lay the points with confidence, play on Green Bay.
|09-28-17||Texas -4 v. Iowa State||Top||17-7||Win||100||97 h 12 m||Show|
My 10* BIG 12 GAME OF THE MONTH is on Texas (8:00 EST).
Texas will be eager to return to the winners circle after a frustrating 27-24 OT loss to USC. Iowa State on the other hand looks primed for a letdown here in my opinion after its 42-14 win over Akron.
And if recent history is any precedence, then the Longhorns have to be liking their chances for a bounce back this weekend, because when these teams met last year it was Texas that cruised to the convincing 27-6 road victory.
Longhorns’ QB Sam Ehlinger was 21 of 40 for 298 yards, two TD’s and two INT’s. The ground game was the issue though, posting just 68 yards on 35 carries. WR Collin Johnson was unstoppable, making seven catches for 191 yards.
Perhaps most impressively though was the way the Texas defense played, considering the high-powered opponent they were up against, limiting USC to 468 total yards (OT as well), as well as making two INT’s and three sacks.
Cyclones’ QB Jacob Park was 24 of 33 for 317 yards and two TD’s last week. So far Park has 935 yards passing. RB David Montgomery also had a big day, posting 127 rushing yards.
The ISU defense also looked good last week, holding Akron to 331 total yards, including just 38 on the ground.
Park is an amazing talent, but I still think that Texas is better through all three phases of the game. The Longhorns just took the Trojans down to the wire and I think the team carries that impressive momentum over into this one for a convincing victory. Lay the points.
|09-25-17||Cowboys v. Cardinals +3.5||Top||28-17||Loss||-120||36 h 39 m||Show|
This is a 10* PERFECT STORM on the Arizona Cardinals (8:30 EST).
Both teams come into this at 1-1 SU. The Cards have yet to play a home game, so there’s no question that that atmosphere is going to be electric in the building tonight.
The Cowboys didn’t do so well in a similar environment, albeit at Mile High on Sunday Night last weekend, getting crushed 42-17 by the Broncos.
After losing in Detroit in Week 1, Arizona finally got untracked and posted a victory in Indianapolis last weekend.
The Cowboys’ offensive line was a strength last year, but it looked shaky last Sunday. In fact, the entire Dallas offensive unit looked out of sorts.
The defense is also now a major issue, with several key injuries in the secondary.
And that doesn’t bode well facing Carson Palmer at home. Palmer had 332 passing yards last week to go along with a TD and INT.
Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott threw two INT’s last week and he faces another stiff test, as last weekend the Cardinals allowed 190 passing yards and just 76 rushing yards.
I’ll point out that Dallas is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games, while the underdog is 4-0 ATS the last four in this series.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Cardinals.
|09-24-17||Seahawks +3 v. Titans||Top||27-33||Loss||-119||117 h 25 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Seattle Seahawks (4:05 EST).
The Seahawks enter off a hard-fought 12-6 win over San Francisco, which now doesn’t seem so bad after what the 49ers put up against the Rams on Thusday night, while the Titans got the better of Jacksonville 37-16 on the road.
The Hawks struggled in their opening game in Green Bay and then had to hold on for dear life against the 49ers. So far Seattle’s defense has been stout and will remain a strength of the team moving forward (13 PPG conceded thus far.)
QB Russell Wilson was 23 of 49 for 198 yards and a TD last weekend. So far Wilson has struggled this season.
The silver lining for the Hawks’ offense last week was that it did have 131 rushing yards.
Tennessee looked poor against Oakland and great against Jacksonville. So how should we judge the Titans at this point?
It’s difficult and the sample size is too small. We’ll absolutely have a much better idea where the team truly stands after this weekend though. The Seahawks are a dangerous team, one which will be getting after Titants’ QB Macus Mariota throughout.
Wilson will also be looking to atone for some early lacklustre play.
Additionally I’ll point out that Seattle is 2-1 ATS in its last three off a win against a division rival, while Tennessee is 0-2 ATS in its last two in the same position.
While I obviously wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on the Seahawks.
|09-22-17||Virginia +11.5 v. Boise State||Top||42-23||Win||100||79 h 14 m||Show|
My 10* NON-CONFERENCE GAME OF MONTH is on Virginia (8:00 EST).
Am I suggesting to you to “sprinkle” a little on the money line? I’m not at all. I do think however that the Cavs can keep this one a lot closer than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe.
Virginia enters off a 38-18 home win over UConn on Saturday, while Boise State enters off a 28-14 home victory over New Mexico last Thursday.
The Cavs had a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back last weekend, outgaining the Huskies 626-432.
So far Virginia is 17th in the country in passing with 325.3 YPG and 83rd overall in scoring with 27.7 points. The Cavs have been even better defensively though so far, allowing just 20.7 PPG.
QB Kurt Benkert has 976 yards, seven TD’s to just one INT thus far, while RB Jordan Ellis has 219 total yards and three major scores to this point.
Boise State led by just 14-7 after three quarters last week, before pulling away in the fourth. Note that the Broncos won the game despite being outgained 277-264, by losing the first down battle 18-12 and the time of possession 33:04 to 26:56.
So far Boise State is ranked 60th in scoring with 32 PPG, while ranked 69th in scoring defense in conceding 24.7.
Broncos’ QB Montell Cozard is 33 of 48 for 348 yards, five TD’s and one INT, while also leading the team in rushing with 179 yards.
Note though that Virginia is 7-3 ATS in its last ten on the road, while Boise State is just 2-11 ATS in its last 13 at home.
Ultimately I feel the Cavs offense can keep this one close, giving the visitors a chance for an upset at the end. I’m grabbing the points.
|09-21-17||Rams v. 49ers +3||Top||41-39||Win||100||74 h 4 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the San Francisco 49ers (8:25 EST).
While I obviously wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I will in the end recommend grabbing as many points as you can.
The 49ers weren’t expecting to make the playoffs this year, but at 0-3 and with a three-game road trip on deck, Thursday night essentially becomes a “must win” game for San Francisco.
It’s a short week as well, which always favors the home side no matter the situation.
LA looked good in beating an Andrew Luck-less Colts team, but came back down to Earth in last week’s 27-20 setback at home to the Redskins.
There’s no question that the Rams look better under new coach Sean McVay, but they haven’t gotten around the corner quite yet.
LA QB Jared Goff was just 15 of 24 for 224 yards and one TD, while RB Todd Gurley had 88 yards and a score in last week’s setback.
In San Francisco’s 9-6 loss in Seattle QB Brian Hoyer was 15 of 27 for just 99 yards. However, RB Carlos Hyde had 124 yards on 15 carries.
The big news of course was San Francisco’s defense though, which looked very good for a second straight week; make sure to keep your eyes on LB NaVorro Bowman, who had ten tackles on Sunday.
I’ll point out as well that the Rams are just 1-3 ATS in their last four as a road fav of three points or less, while the 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their last five as a home dog of three points or less.
A great oveall “situational” play which is backed by strong and relevant trends. I like the more desperate team to find a way to get the job done at the end of the night. Play on San Francisco.
|09-21-17||Temple v. South Florida -20.5||Top||7-43||Win||100||73 h 9 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on South Florida (7:00 EST).
Suffice it to say, I’m expecting a rout from start to finish in this one.
Temple is coming off a 29-21 home victory over Massachusetts, while South Florida stormed to a 47-23 home victory over Illinois last weekend.
Note that the Bulls play with revenge today after the Owls scored the 46-30 victory in the series last year.
Last week Temple QB Logan Marchi was 22 of 37 for 248 yards, three TD’s and no INT’s. Marchi has put the team on his back and so far has 767 passing yards and a 5/0 TD/INT ratio. RB Ryquell Armstead had 81 yards on 17 carries.
The Owls defense looked a little shaky though, while they did only allow 61 rushing yards, the secondary was exposed in allowing 377 passing yards.
Bulls’ QB Quinton Flowers was 15 of 27 for 280 yards, four TD’s and one INT in last week’s rout. So far Flowers has 678 passing yards and an 8/2 TD/INT ratio. Note though that Flowers also has 243 rushing yards.
RB Darius Tice had 105 yards on 12 carries last weekend.
The USF defense also looked stout, allowing 354 total yards to the Fighting Illini, including a 6 for 15 mark on third downs.
I think it’s interesting to note as well that Temle is 0-2 ATS in its last two as a road dog in the 17.5 to 21 points range, while USF is 6-3 ATS in its last nine as a favorite in the 10.5 to 21 points range.
I think the Bulls’ defense will prove to be a big difference maker today. Lay the points with confidence, play on USF.
|09-18-17||Lions v. Giants -3||Top||24-10||Loss||-110||36 h 55 m||Show|
My 10* 34-Club Play is on the New York Giants (8:30 EST).
I think New York is the more “desperate” side tonight and ultimately I believe this will prove to be a deciding factor in the final outcome of this game.
The Giants came out flat in their 19-3 Opening Week loss to the Cowboys. That was without WR Odell Beckham Jr. though.
The Lions rallied from a 17-9 deficit in the third quarter to win 35-23 over the Cardinals in Week 1.
But if recent history is any precedence though, then New York has to be liking its chances for a bounce back performance tonight,because when these teams met in December last year, it was the Giants which prevailed 17-6 at home.
Detroit QB Matt Stafford was 29 of 41 for 292 yards, four TD’s and a pick last week. The ground game did virtually nothing though, which does make the Lions’ offense very one-dimensional and thus, pretty easy to game-plan against (finished by averaging just 81.9 YPG on the ground last year.) Golden Tate was another standout with 107 yards receiving.
Giants’ veteran QB Eli Manning had a terrible night in Week 1, finishing 29 of 38 for 220 yards and a pick. New York fell behind early and was forced to abandon the run. Manning himself was forced to throw a lot of short dump passes, as he was constantly under pressure.
The silver lining for New York though was its overall play on the defensive end, holding Dallas to under 20 points and just 392 total yards of offense.
I’ll also point out that Detroit is just 7-9 ATS in its last 16 on the road and only 10-13 ATS when playing the role of underdog, while New York is 9-6 ATS in its last 15 at home and 9-7 ATS in its last 16 as a favorite.
OBJ is back and that makes the Giants very dangerous offensively. Detroit’s achilles heel is its play on the road and I expect that to be the case again here.
Lay the points.
|09-17-17||Bears +7.5 v. Bucs||Top||7-29||Loss||-135||116 h 58 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Chicago Bears (1:00 EST).
The Bucs haven’t played this year and don’t really know “what they have yet.” The Bears are 0-1 but came very close to upsetting the visiting Falcons last weekend in the eventual 23-17 setback.
While I’m not calling for the outright upset, I do definitely expect the hungry visiting side to keep this one close enough to comfortably sneak in through the back door down the stretch.
Tampa was scheduled to face Miami in Week 1, but Hurricane Irma postponed the game. Note that Chicago plays with revenge here as well after falling 36-10 in Tampa last November 13th.
Bears’ QB Mike Glennon was 26 of 40 for 213 yards and a touchdown, while rookie Tarik Cohen had 66 rushing yards and eight catches for 47 yards and a TD. The Falcons were the highest scoring team in the league last year, so the 372 yards given up has to also be looked at in a favorable light.
The Bucs turn to Jameis Winston, who had 4,090 yards, 28 touchdowns and 18 INT’s last season. The team acquired DeSean Jackson in the offseason as a big time playmaker, but with the team having to focus on “real life” issues the last couple of weeks, one has to wonder where Tampa Bay’s head is at right now?
I’ll point out as well that Chicago is 12-7 ATS in its last 19 as an underdog in the 3.5 to 9.5 points range, while Tampa Bay is 0-2 ATS in its last two as a favorite in the same points range.
I think we have a battle on our hands here, not a blowout. Grab the points.
|09-15-17||Arizona v. UTEP +21||Top||63-16||Loss||-100||125 h 37 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on UTEP.
I think Arizona gets caught “looking past” lowly UTEP this evening to its conference game at home next weekend against Utah.
Arizona comes in off a deflating 19-16 loss to Houston last week, while UTEP fell 31-14 at home to Rice.
Wildcats’ starting QB Brandon Dawkins was 17 of 29 for 178 yards and no TD’s. Khalil Tate was 5 of 8 for 41 yards. JJ Taylor was a stanout with 87 rushing yards.
Arizona looked decent defensively, holding Houston to 383 yards. The Wildcats were a disaster on the defensive side of the ball last year and in my opinion, the book is still out on the unit to this point.
Miners’ QB Ryan Metz was 18 of 33 for 203 yards, a TD and no INT’s last week. Metz has yet to find his stride this year, but he does come in off a decent campaign in 2016. The running game is weak, but the receiving corps is strong, keep your eyes on Kavika Johnson, who had six catches for 67 yards last week.
The Miners struggled to stop the run last Saturday, allowing 300 rushing yards, but they’d also post two sacks and allow just 131 passing yards.
UTEP’s defense catches a break here in facing the pass heavy offense of Arizona. Also note that the Miners are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 off a loss against a conference rival and 5-2 ATS after two or more consecutive SU losses, while Arizona is just 3-6 ATS in its last nine non-conference games and only 3-8 ATS in its last 11 on the road.
While I’m not calling for an outright victory, I do definitely feel this is a few too many points to be giving up to the hungry Miners. Play on UTEP.
|09-14-17||Texans v. Bengals -5||Top||13-9||Loss||-110||59 h 1 m||Show|
This is a 10* PERFECT STORM on the Cincinnati Bengals (8:25 EST).
Both teams are coming off disappointing Week 1 setbacks, as Houston fell 29-7 at home to Jacksonville, while Cincinnati would get shut out 20-0 at home to the Ravens. Note that the Bengals play with revenge here after falling 12-10 in Houston last year.
The Texans looked horrible on both sides of the ball last week. QB Tom Savage was sacked six times and had two fumbles, one which was returned for a TD. DeShaun Watson came in and he was 12 of 22 for 102 yards and one TD and one pick. In all though the offensive line gave up ten sacks.
The defense allowed rookie RB Leonard Fournette run for 100 yards on 26 carries and 155 yards overall, while coming up with a total of zero sacks and zero forced turnovers.
The Bengals also looked brutal, with QB Andy Dalton going 16 of 31 for 170 yards, four INT’s and one fumble. The run game produced just 77 yards on 22 carries.
The defense looked decent though, allowing a total of 268 yards overall. Linebacker Vincent Rey had 11 tackles.
I’ll point out though that Houston is just 1-4 ATS in its last five on the road (also 0-7 ATS in its last seven “Thursday” night games), while Cincinnati is 3-1 ATS in its last four off a loss against a division rival.
Dalton has the pedigree and track record to shake off one lousy game, while Watson will be starting his first ever profesionall football contest tonight.
Houston would appear to be still “hung over” with having to deal with the Hurricane, while Cincinnati is focused and ready to atone for the pathetic Week 1 effort. Lay the points, play on the Bengals.
|09-10-17||Steelers -8 v. Browns||Top||21-18||Loss||-110||100 h 39 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on the Pittsburgh Steelers (1:00 EST).
Pittsburgh won the AFC North with an 11-5 record last year and then fell 36-17 to the Pats in the Championship round.
Cleveland was terrible last season, lucky to earn a 1-15 record.
The Steelers won both games last year, 27-24 in the first one and 24-9 in the second. Suffice it to say, I’m expecting a much bigger blowout in the 2017/18 season opener.
I have a hard time seeing Cleveland slowing down Pittsburgh’s high-powered offense today. Big Ben is back under center, last year he finished with 3,819 passing yards and a big 29:13 TD:INT ratio.
RB Le’Veon Bell is back after posting 1,268 rushing yards with seven TD’s in 12 games. Roethlisberger throws to perhaps the most dangerous tandem in the league in Antonio Brown and Martavias Bryant.
Pittsburgh was decent (not great) defenisvely last year, but clearly the unit catches a break in facing the Browns shaky offensive unit.
Cleveland will be starting rookie QB DeShone Kizer, who had a decent preseason by going 25 of 49 for 351 yards, one TD and one INT. Kizer will be leaning heavily on RB Isaiah Crowell, who had 952 rushing yards.
The Browns struggled defensively and while they should take a step forward this year, the unit still has more questions than answers currently.
I’ll point out as well that the Steelers are 6-1 ATS in their last six on the road, while the Browns are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine at home.
Divisional contests are always the most important. All signs point to Pittsburgh sending an early message. Lay the points.
|09-09-17||San Diego State v. Arizona State -2.5||Top||30-20||Loss||-110||149 h 44 m||Show|
My 10* SEPTEMBER SIDE OF THE MONTH is on Arizona State (11:00 EST).
SDSU enters off a 34-17 win over UC Davis, while Arizona State held on for a 37-31 victory over a tough New Mexico State side.
The Aztecs were 11-3 last year and then beat Houston 34-10 in the Las Vegas Bowl. But only 11 starters return from that dominant team. SDSU is still expected to compete in the Mountain West with its potent ground attack. Last week the Aztecs rolled up 276 yards on the grounds, led by Rashaad Penny, who had 197 yards and two TD’s last week.
SDSU turns to Christian Chapman under center, last week he was 16 of 21 for 221 yards, two TD’s and an INT.
The Aztecs defense looked solid last week, but clearly the unit faces a much stiffer test in Manny Wilkins and the high-flying Sun Devils on Saturday night.
Wilkins threw for 300 yards last week against a dangerous and experienced Aggies team.
ASU averaged 33.3 PPG last year and it has seven starters back from that unit this season. Last week the offense put up 400 yards, including 321 through the air. Wilkins was 22 of 27 with two TD’s. WR John Humphrey had 123 yards on seven catches.
Arizona State’s defense looked pretty bad last year and it looked flat-footed in Week 1 as well. The secondary catches a break this week though in facing the run heavy Aztec offense.
And ultimately I feel this is what it will come down to. The Aztecs don’t have the necessary downfield personel to keep the Sun Devils honest.
I like Wilkins and company to have another big night and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover. Lay the points.
|09-08-17||Ohio v. Purdue -5||Top||21-44||Win||100||122 h 2 m||Show|
This is a 10* PERFECT STORM on Purdue (8:00 EST).
Ohio comes in off a 59-0 win over Hampton, while Purdue dropped a hard-fought 35-28 battle with Louisville in its home opener. These schools haven’t met since 1998.
Bobcats’ QB Quinton Maxwell was 7 of 9 for 100 yards and one TD and one pick, while Nathan Rourke had 72 passing yards and three rushing TD’s.
The run game accumulated 248 yards with AJ Oullette leading the charge with 63 yards on 12 carries. If the run game stalls, then the Bobcats are in trouble.
Ohio looked good defensively last week, but clearly that unit faces a much stiffer test on Friday night.
The Boilermakers will look to do just that as last week they’d give the Cardinals everything they could handle. QB Elija Sindelar threw for 118 yards and two TD’s, while David Blough had 175 yards and two TD’s (also two INT’s.)
Purdue’s defense looked pretty average, but considering the opponent, it wasn’t completely horrible either.
The Boilermakers were also able to put up 28 points against the 16th ranked Cardinals and I think they’re going to be able to build off that impressive performance.
I’ll point out as well that Ohio is just 5-7 ATS in its last 12 as a road dog in the 3.5 to seven points range, while Purdue is 2-0 ATS in its last two as a fav in the 3.5 to ten points range.
The Bobcats’ one dimensional offense proves to be too predicable here. Play on Purude.
|09-07-17||Chiefs +8.5 v. Patriots||Top||42-27||Win||100||1884 h 44 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Kansas City Chiefs (8:30 EST).
After winning the AFC West last year, the Chiefs knew that the perennial East-champion Patriots would be on the schedule in 2017. That KC heads to Foxboro in the opener makes a difficult game even more of a test. But the Chiefs – who may be the best team that no one talks about -- could be looking at at least a cover in this one. Kansas City may be one of the few teams in the league not intimidate by Belichick & Brady – the Chiefs gave the Patriots a decent game in the playoffs a few years ago before running out of gas, and the year before that laid a 41-14 regular-season beating on New England. This time around things could hinge on how KC’s solid secondary does against Brady and a slew of new and talented players that NE has brought on board. Keeping new burner WR Brandin Cooks is a must for keeping the Chiefs in this one until the fourth quarter, which will go a long way toward covering the number. One other note – the Chiefs are 43-21 over the last four seasons and have won three straight openers.
|09-04-17||Tennessee v. Georgia Tech +4||Top||42-41||Win||100||202 h 6 m||Show|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on Georgia Tech (8:00 EST).
This one is being played in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Georgia.
Tennessee finished 9-4 last year and would prevail 38-24 over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl, while Georgia Tech was 9-4, winning the TaxSlayer Bowl 33-18 over Kentucky. These teams haven’t faced each other since 1987.
The Vols gave up at least 31 points six times last year. Tennessee though was ranked 24th in the country in scoring with 36.8 PPG.
The Vols don’t have Joshua Dobbs under center anymore. Coach Butch Jones has not committed to a No. 1 starter yet, so expect to see both Jarrett Guarantano and Quinten Dormady getting time. RB John Kelly is back after posting 580 yards and seven TD’s last season.
Georgia Tech ended the year winning six of its final seven after starting 3-3. Last season the Yellow Jackets would score at least 30 points in eight of their games.
Georgia Tech was decent on both sides of the ball last year, finishing 70th in scoring (28.2) and 39th in scoring defense (24.5) QB Justin Thomas is gone, meaning that Matthew Jordan will likely be named No. 1 to open the season.
The Yellow Jackets have a stable of great RB’s, which helps with their dangerous triple-option attack.
I’ll point out that Tennessee is just 1-2 ATS in its last three neutral site affairs, while Georgia Tech is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four in the same position.
Both offenses will have to go through growing pains to open the season. Georgia Tech’s offense though relies on the ground game, not the QB’s arm. The Vols have a new QB, new RB’s and new WR’s. The Yellow Jackets have the superior defense in my opinion as well.
While I wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I’m going to recommend grabbing as many points as you can. Play on Georgia Tech.
|09-03-17||West Virginia v. Virginia Tech -4.5||Top||24-31||Win||100||178 h 37 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF WEEK is on Virginia Tech (7:30 EST).
These border rivals get ready to play a neutral site matchup, although they haven’t played against each other since 2005. Both teams are starting new QB’s this year, with Josh Jackson at Virginia Tech and WVU turning to Florida transer Will Grier.
Grier had Florida at 6-0 in 2015 before testing positive for steroids. He’ll be joined by RB Justin Crawford, who had 1,184 yards and four TD’s last year.
The offensive line is a big concern for the Mountaineers though as they try to replace LT Yodny Cajuste and All-American center Tyler Orlosky.
The defense allowed 24 points and 425.9 YPG last season. However, once again there are major concerns about the line, as WVU has to replace all three starting lineman from its 3-3-5 defense.
Jackson will be leaning heavily on WR cam Phillips for the Hokies this year, as he’d finish with 76 passes for 983 yards and five TD’s last season. Jackson will also be turning to RB Travon McMillian, who rushed for 677 yards and seven TD’s.
VT’s defense is expected to be solid out of the gates as it returns three linebackers and three of the four secondary starters. Last year the unit gave up an average of just 340.7 YPG.
I’ll point out as well that WVU is 0-4 ATS in its last four neutral site gams, while VT is 2-1 ATS in its last three in the same position.
Grier is a question mark in my opinion having not played competitively since 2015. The Virginia Tech defense looks much better than West Virginia’s as well.
For all the reasons listed above, play on the Hokies.
|09-02-17||Akron v. Penn State -32||Top||0-52||Win||100||147 h 30 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on Penn State (12:00 EST).
Suffice it to say I’m expecting a rout from start to finish in this one.
Akron finished 5-7 last year, while Penn State was 11-3. The Nittany Lions will be out to atone for a 52-49 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl though and that’s bad news for the lowly Zips obviously.
Akron dropped four straight to end the season and the defense was the major issue, as it would allow at least 38 points seven times.
In their lone matchup against a Big Ten opponent last year, the Zips were destroyed 54-10 by Wisconsin on the road.
Akron averaged 27.4 PPG and allowed 33.6. QB Thomas Woodson had 2,079 yards, 18 TD’s and six INT’s. Woodson’s top two receivers are gone though.
The Nittany Lions finished 21st in the country with an average of 37.6 PPG last year. They were ranked 47th on the defensive side in conceding 25.4 PPG.
QB Trace McSorely had 3,614 yards, 29 TDs and eight INT’s, to go along with 365 rushing yards and an additional seven TD’s on the ground.
You’ll also want to keep your eyes on RB Saquon Barkley, who had 1,496 yards rushing and 18 TD’s.
I’ll point out that Akron is notorious for getting out to slow starts, having gone just 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games in September.
Also note that Penn State is a solid 5-0-1 ATS in its last six at home.
The Nittany Lions started 2-2 last year, so will be looking to get out to a much quicker start this time around. Look for the home side to put the foot on the gas from start to finish. Lay the points.
|09-01-17||Washington -30.5 v. Rutgers||Top||30-14||Loss||-110||131 h 16 m||Show|
My 10* LEGEND is on Washington (8:00 EST).
When these teams met last year in Washington the Huskies won 48-13.
Washington went 11-1 last year, with its lone regular season loss coming against USC. Washington returns more than 85 percent of its offensive yards from a team which averaged 41.8 PPG and 457 YPG last season.
QB Jake Browning threw for 3,430 yards with 43 TD’s and just nine INT’s last year. Browning has most of his RB and receiving corps returning, including Myles Gaskin, who ran for 1,373 yards and ten TD’s.
The Huskies were also tough on the defensive side of the ball, ranked eighth overall after allowing 17.7 PPG. Note that 27 of 35 lettermen return, including six starters from the defense.
The Scarlet Knights were horrible last year, finishing 2-10, including 0-9 in Big 10 action. In games against Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State, Rutgers was outscored 224-0. Last year QB Kyle Bolin led an offense which averaged 15.7 PPG.
The defense was almost as bad, ranked 126th in the nation against the run and allowing an average of 37.5 PPG overall.
The Scarlet Knights should make significant improvement over their abysmal numbers from a year ago, but the team still has more questions than answers as we head into the 2017/18 campaign.
I simply have a hard time seeing Rutgers doing anything offensively against what should be another Top 10 defense for the Hukies. Lay the points with confidence, play on Washington.
|08-31-17||New Mexico State +23.5 v. Arizona State||Top||31-37||Win||100||110 h 57 m||Show|
The third 10* pick of my Superstar Triple Play is on New Mexico State (10:30 EST).
Both teams are out for redemption after sub-par season’s a year ago.
NMSU has won just three games in each of the last two years. But the Aggies have big expectations this season, as they’re now the most experienced team in their conference, with 16 starters back.
The NMSU defense was bad, allowing 38.8 PPG last year, but it’s expected to take a major step forward this season.
The Aggies offense has improved each year under Doug Martin. QB Tyler Rogers had 2,603 yards, 16 TD’s and 12 INT’s last season and seven of his top eight receivers are all back.
The run game is expected to be tops in the Sun Belt as well, led by senior Larry Rose and who will be running behind the fourth best offensive line in the league.
ASU finished 5-8 last year. The offense averaged 33.3 PPG and it returns seven starters from last season. Manny Wilkins threw for 2,329 yards, 12 TD’s and nine INT’s.
The run game also looks strong with Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard, but the receiving corps is thin.
The Sun Devils were also brutal on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 39.8 PPG last season. 20 of 36 lettermen return from last year so the unit is also expected to improve significantly.
I’ll point out though that NMSU is 5-2 ATS in its last seven against the Pac-12, while ASU has struggled in this position for bettors for years now, going just 1-4 ATS in its last five games played in the month of August.
The Aggies won’t be intimidated whatsoever here and clearly the pressure is on the home side. I’m not predicting an outright epic upset, but I do think that the visitors can keep this one a lot closer than whan the oddsmakers are leading us to believe. Play New Mexico State.
|08-26-17||Oregon State v. Colorado State -2.5||Top||27-58||Win||100||1590 h 40 m||Show|
My 10* GAME OF MONTH is on Colorado State.
Hopes are high at Colorado State, where the Rams have plenty of talent back from last year’s half-decent (7-6) team and should get a boost from playing their first game in their new stadium. With Alabama and powerful Colorado among the first four opponents, this is almost a must-win situation for CSU. While Oregon State no doubt will try to control the tempo of this one, the Rams hope to make it a shootout behind QB Nick Stevens, who passed for 19 TDs in less than a season in 2016. A strong effort by Stevens in the opener on national TV could result in some Heisman talk and help put CSU on the college football map. Look for Colorado State’s strong defensive front to take a toll on Oregon State’s O-line, which has been re-worked since last season. The Beavers have talent, but most of it is on the offensive side of the ball – not unusual in today’s high-scoring college game. This one has the look and feel of a field-goal game, with CSU having a slight edge at home in its new digs, which has the awkward name Sonny Lubick Field at Colorado State University in a nod to the school’s former longtime coach.
|02-05-17||Patriots v. Falcons +3||Top||34-28||Loss||-106||322 h 7 m||Show|
My 10 SUPER BOWL 51 TOP SIDE PLAY is on the Atlanta Falcons (6:30 EST).
The Super Bowl-champion Atlanta Falcons.
Maybe not, but even if they don’t beat the Patriots in the 51st running of America’s favorite game, they will cover and reward bettors who risk some of their hard-earned cash.
It won’t be easy. Taking down the Patriots in a big game never is. But the Falcons are a freight train right now, they have the league’s MVP, they have one of the top three receivers in the world, they have a defense that is getting stops and turnovers, and it is all coming together at the right time.
Atlanta will win it by taking a page out of the New York Giants’ SB playbook and pressuring Tom Brady, especially up the middle. Houston also had (a little) success coming straight at Brady, who is at his weakest when flushed from the pocket. And the Falcons’ offense has progressed far enough to understand and adjust to New England’s constantly changing defensive schemes.
Oddsmakers opened with the Falcons getting three from the 4-time Super Bowl champs, who have had to lay points in their last 8 games after showing that they are indeed for real. Grab the 3, put it in your back pocket.
The Falcons are ready to take flight. Grab the points.
|01-22-17||Steelers v. Patriots -5.5||Top||17-36||Win||100||153 h 33 m||Show|
My 10* 33-Club Play is on the New England Patriots (6:40 EST).
The 13-5 Pittsburgh Steelers are at New England to take on the 15-2 Patriots and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the home side.
Last week the Steelers barely held on for an 18-16 road win in Kansas City. The Patriots were in neutral in their victory over the Texans last week before hitting the gas in the second half to pull away for the 34-16 win.
Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t playing, but the Patriots won 27-16 at Heinz Field in Week seven.
The Steelers finished the regular season by posting 24.9 PPG, ranked 11th overall. The defense was ranked tenth, conceding an average of 20.4 PPG.
The Patriots though were step above in both departments, finishing third in the league in scoring with an average of 27.6 PPG, while finishing No. 1 on the defensive end in conceding 15.6 PPG. Last week the unit held the Texans to just 285 yards and had three INT’s.
I’ll point out that Pittsburgh is just 4-11 ATS in its last 15 against New England, while the Pats are 6-0 ATS in their last six following a SU win and 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records.
The Pats strength on defense was stopping the run, which clearly doesn’t bode well for Steelers’ RB Le’Veon Bell. Note that Pittsburgh allowed an average of just 88.6 yards per game on the ground. So far Roethlisberger has two TD’s and three INT’s in the playoffs.
It’s a lot to ask a team to win on the road in the postseason, so to say it’s difficult to win SU twice away from friendly confines as the underdog would be a bit of an understatement I think.
The Steelers’ secondary is average at best, so New England QB Tom Brady should be able to move the ball in this one. Also note that the Pats were able to rush for 140 yards in their Week 7 win over the Steelers.
Lay the points.
|01-22-17||Packers +4.5 v. Falcons||Top||21-44||Loss||-115||153 h 34 m||Show|
My 10* Championship Sunday Las Vegas Insider is on the GB Packers at 3:05 ET.
Both Championship Sunday games have terrific QB matchups, with this Green Bay/Atlanta game featuring the NFL's hottest QB in Aaron Rodgers up against Matt Ryan, who many believe will win this year's MVP award (however, Rodgers could have something to say about that!). Rodgers owns a Super Bowl ring and the Packers are participating in the playoffs for the EIGHTH consecutive season. As for the Falcons, they did capture the NFC's No. 2 seed with an 11-5 record in 2016, but this is the team's first postseason appearance since 2012.
Rodgers proved to be a man of his word when he told reporters that the Green Bay Packers were capable of running the table to secure a playoff bid. Six consecutive wins later and the Packers won the NFC North at 10-6. They've then beaten the Giants 38-13 at Lambeau in the wild card round before last Sunday's thrilling 34-31 last-second win in Dallas over the Cowboys, who had earned the NFC's No. 1 seed at 13-3. Rodgers finished the regular season with an NFL-high 40 TD passes and just seven INTs (QB rating of 104.2), which all followed him struggling down the stretch last season and in the early going of 2016. Despite losing Jody Nelson (led the NFL with 14 TDs among his 97 receptions) to a rib injury against teh Giants, Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four TDs without an INT in 40 attempts. Without Nelson against Dallas, Rodgers threw for 356 yards with two TDs, although he did throw his first INT since a Nov 13th game at Tennessee. Rodgers has 21 TDs and just one INT in the team's 8-0 run plus a Green Bay defense which allowed 24.2 PPG on the season (to rank 21st), has held opponents to 19.5 PPG during its winning run.
As good as Rodgers has been, Matt Ryan has delivered a "career season" for the Falcons. The Falcons scored 71 more points than any other team in the NFL during the regular season, leading all teams by averaging 33.8 PPG. He just missed throwing for 5,000 yards (4,944), while passing for 38 TDs and just seven INTs. His 117.1 QB rating not only led the NFL, but was the fifth-best in NFL history. In fact, he topped 100 in passer rating in 12 of 16 regular-season games, then did it again against Seattle (125.7) in the divisional round when threw for 338 yards with three TDs and zero INTs against Seattle, which owned the best defense of any NFC playoff team. In Julio Jones (83 catches for 1,409 yards), Ryan has one of the three-best WRs in the NFL plus the RB duo of Freeman and Coleman, have turned into a real force. Each can run, catch and gain yards after the catch. Freeman gained 1,541 yards from scrimmage (13 TDs) and Coleman 941 yards with 11 TDs during the regular season. However, defense has been an issue for the Falcons all season, allowing 25.4 PPG (27th) on 371.2 YPG (25th).
Then again, this is not grandfather's NFL or your father's, for that matter. Atlanta ranked 27th in the NFL in points allowed and Green Bay 21st but ONE of them is headed to Super Bowl 51. The knock on Ryan was his dismal 1-4 playoff record coming into this postseason and while he was great vs Seattle, did that real "get the monkey off his back?" The Falcons defense didn't get much of a test against Seattle, a team which averaged only 14.8 PPG on the road during the regular season and then 'laid an egg' in Atlanta. Seattle scored on its opening drive, then didn't get into the end zone again until 3:21 left in the game, when the team was down 36-13! Is the Atlanta defense really ready for Rodgers?
When these teams met in Atlanta back in Week 8, the Packers took the lead with just under four minutes to go but Ryan drove the Falcons 75 yards (in 11 plays) for the tying TD, with the extra-point being the game-winner (33-32). Can't see giving Rodgers and Green Bay any points in this one. I made "The Pack" a top-rated 10* last weekend and will do so again, here.
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