Jack Jones ALL Sports Picks
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-25-12||Clemson -11.5 v. Wake Forest||42-13||Win||100||46 h 7 m||Show|
15* Clemson/Wake Forest ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Clemson -11.5
Provided Clemson doesn't commit numerous self-inflicted wounds, it should win this game by three-plus touchdowns against overmatched Wake Forest Thursday. The Tigers simply have the edge in talent and speed in this one, and the Demon Deacons aren't going to be able to keep up on the scoreboard.
The No. 14 Tigers (6-1, 3-1) are averaging 40.9 points and 492.9 yards per game, and they haven't scored fewer than 37 points since a season-opening 26-19 win over Auburn on Sept. 1. They rank 1st in red zone scoring offense, converting 32 of 33 trips into points, including 23 touchdowns. They are also a surprising 16th in red zone defense, giving up just 18 scores in 26 trips, including a mere 12 touchdowns.
Wake Forest is nowhere near as good as its 4-3 record would indicate. Three of those wins have come against Liberty, Army and Virginia. The Demon Deacons rank just 112th in the country in total offense (316.1 yards/game), and they are scoring a mere 22.0 points/game. They have been much better on the other side of the ball, ranking 73rd in total defense (405.0 yards/game).
Clemson has won three straight over Wake Forest by a combined score of 99-41. Sure, the Tigers only won 31-28 at home last year, but that final score was very misleading. Clemson outgained Wake 522-317 for the game, but it was -3 in turnovers and allowed a punt return for a touchdown.
When teams outgain opponents by more than 200 yards, they usually win by at least two touchdowns. I expect the Tigers to eliminate their self-inflicted wounds this time around.
The Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 conference games, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Demon Deacons are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win, and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 vs. a team with a winning record. Wake is 1-11 ATS versus terrible defensive teams - allowing >=6.25 yards/play since 1992. Clemson is 8-1 ATS after scoring 31 points or more in 2 straight games over the last 2 seasons. Take Clemson Thursday.
|10-24-12||Detroit Tigers -163 v. San Francisco Giants||Top||3-8||Loss||-163||28 h 8 m||Show|
25* MLB Postseason GAME OF THE YEAR on Detroit Tigers -163
The San Francisco Giants won't lay down in Game 1, but they are essentially conceding this contest by throwing Barry Zito out there against Justin Verlander. They know they don't want to use one of their horses against Verlander, so they are basically throwing Zito to the wolves.
I know Zito came up big for them against St. Louis last series, but let's be honest, he is far past his prime and no match for Verlander. Zito has posted a 4.02 ERA and 1.392 WHIP in 34 starts this season.
That's a far cry from Verlander, who is 20-8 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.017 WHIP in 36 starts this season. The 2011 AL Cy Young and AL MVP winner has been untouchable in the postseason. Verlander is 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 0.617 WHIP in three postseason starts, allowing just two earned runs over 24 1/3 innings.
San Francisco is likely to relax in Game 1 after winning three straight elimination games to close out St. Louis last series. They will take a collective sigh of relief, and I look for them to put forth a sloppy performance in this one. In fact, they have lost Game 1 in each of their first two series this postseason. Detroit will come out ready to go after having so much time off to rest after sweeping the Yankees in the ALCS.
The Tigers are 5-0 in their last 5 overall. Detroit is 6-0 in its last 6 playoff games as a favorite. The Tigers are 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. Detroit is 4-0 in its last 4 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. These four trends combine for a perfect 22-0 system backing the Tigers. Also, Detroit is 44-10 in Verlander's last 54 starts as a favorite of -151 to -200. Bet the Tigers in Game 1.
|10-23-12||Arkansas State +4.5 v. Louisiana-Lafayette||Top||50-27||Win||100||25 h 17 m||Show|
20* Arkansas State/LA-Lafayette ESPN 2 ANNIHILATOR on Arkansas State +4.5
The Arkansas State Red Wolves won the Sun Belt last season with an unbeaten 8-0 record in conference play. They have the talent again in 2012 to repeat as champs, and a win over Louisiana-Lafayette tonight would be a big step in that direction.
Arkansas State is off to a 4-3 start this season. Its only losses have come on the road against Oregon and Nebraska out of conference, and Western Kentucky within the conference. The Red Wolves blew a 13-0 halftime lead to the Hilltoppers, who are arguably the best team in the Sun Belt.
Louisiana-Lafayette has played a much softer schedule than Arkansas State, which is a big reason why it is 4-2 right now. Its four wins have come against Lamar, Troy, Florida International and Tulane. Despite playing a weaker schedule than the Arkansas State, the Rajin' Cajuns have posted worse numbers.
The Red Wolves rank 35th in the country in total offense (448.7 yards/game) and 52nd in total defense (376.3 yards/game). The Rajin' Cajuns rank 62nd in total offense (404.5 yards/game) and 81st in total defense (422.2 yards/game). As you can see, Lafayette is actually getting outgained on the season.
Lafayette lost at North Texas last Tuesday 23-30, while Arkansas State beat South Alabama 36-29 at home last Saturday. That means the Red Wolves have had three extra days to prepare for the Rajin' Cajuns, which is clearly advantage. Also, Lafayette's top two receivers in Harry Peoples and Javone Lawson were knocked out of the North Texas game, and each is questionable to return Tuesday.
Arkansas State beat Lafayette 30-21 last year. Quarterback Ryan Aplin had a big day, throwing for 226 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 70 yards and a score. Aplin has been solid again this season, completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,572 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also rushed for 244 yards and three scores.
This play falls into a system that is 69-30 (69.7%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet against home favorites (LA LAFAYETTE) - off a close loss by 7 points or less to a conference rival, a good team (60% to 80%) playing a team with a winning record. Bet Arkansas State Tuesday.
|10-22-12||Detroit Lions +5 v. Chicago Bears||Top||7-13||Loss||-103||176 h 37 m||Show|
20* Lions/Bears ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Detroit +5
The Detroit Lions are simply catching too many points Monday night against the Chicago Bears. This NFC North rivalry will go right down to the wire. Chicago is getting too much credit here for coming off its bye week, which won't be as big of a factor as this line is indicating.
Detroit is one of the best 2-3 teams in the history of the NFL. All three losses have come by 8 points or less. It is coming off a huge 26-23 overtime victory at Philadelphia last week, giving it a ton of momentum heading into this showdown with the hated Bears.
The biggest indicator that the Lions are way underrated and better than their record is their offensive/defensive statistics. They rank 2nd in the NFL in total offense (419.6 yards/game) and 9th in total defense (324.2 yards/game). Those numbers would be more representative of a team that is 4-1 right now, instead of 2-3.
The biggest reason for Detroit's poor start is its inability to force turnovers. Safety Louis Delmas, one of the most underrated defensive backs in the league, came up with one of Detroit's two interceptions against Philly last week. It has not had a pick in any of its first four games. It's no surprise that Delmas' season debut, after missing the first four games due to injury, resulted in the team's first two picks.
Chicago is one of the most overrated teams in the league. It has forced 17 turnovers this season, and several have been returned for touchdowns. There's no way this team can keep forcing turnovers at this rate and turning them into scores like they have been. While the defense is solid, the offense still has a long ways to go. Chicago ranks just 20th in the league in total offense (346.2 yards/game).
Detroit put an end to a six-game losing streak to Chicago last season with a 24-13 home victory. It would lose the rematch 13-37 on the road, but the Lions simply gave that game away. Chicago had two interceptions returned for touchdowns and an 82-yard punt return for a score, getting 21 points from the defense and special teams. The Bears won in a blowout despite getting outgained 216-393! They won't be so fortunate this time around.
The Lions are 10-1 ATS versus excellent rushing defenses - allowing <=70 rushing yards/game since 1992. Chicago is 4-17 ATS after scoring 25 points or more in 2 straight games since 1992. The Lions are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in October. Bet Detroit Monday.
|10-22-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. San Francisco Giants -131||0-9||Win||100||9 h 0 m||Show|
15* Cards/Giants NLCS Game 7 ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco -131
The San Francisco Giants have fought back from a 3-1 deficit to force a Game 7. They have all the momentum right now, and my money will be on them in Game 7 because of it. Having ace Matt Cain on the mound doesn't hurt, either.
Cain has had another brilliant season at 17-7 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.052 WHIP over 35 starts. He's been his most dominant at home, going 8-4 with a 2.18 ERA and 0.916 WHIP in 16 starts. Cain hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his three postseason starts thus far.
The Cardinals are 8-18 in Lohse's last 26 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. St. Louis is 1-4 in Lohse's last 5 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. The Giants are 8-2 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. San Francisco is 21-10 in Cain's last 31 starts as a home favorite of -110 to -150. Take the Giants in Game 7 Monday.
|10-21-12||Pittsburgh Steelers -135 v. Cincinnati Bengals||24-17||Win||100||151 h 29 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Bengals NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Pittsburgh Money Line -135
I'm taking the Pittsburgh Steelers on the Money Line Sunday night when they travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals. This is one of the best 2-3 teams the NFL has ever seen, and they'll make a statement here on National TV on NBC as they simply want this one more.
Pittsburgh could easily be 5-0 right now as it has blown 4th quarter leads in all three of its losses, which have all come on the road. It will be extremely motivated to prove that it can win on the road, and I look for the Steelers to put forth their best effort of the season in this one.
Cincinnati is one of the most overrated teams in the NFL. After getting off to a 3-1 start, it has lost its last two games to the Dolphins and Browns to come back down to reality. The Bengals simply have weaknesses all over the field that the Steelers are going to exploit, especially defensively.
The Steelers have had a ton of injuries defensively, but what's amazing is that they still have one of the best stop units in the league. They rank 5th in the NFL in total defense (295.8 yards/game), including 4th against the pass (200.8 yards/game). That's huge because the Bengals have been able to pass the ball with consistency this season, but they have had very little success on the ground.
Pittsburgh is 17-5 SU in its last 22 meetings in Cincinnati. The Steelers have swept the season series with the Bengals each of the last two years, going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the process. Simply put, the Steelers aren't going to be denied tonight as they cannot afford to fall to 2-4 on the season.
The Steelers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. loss. The Bengals are 1-9-2 ATS in their last 12 vs. AFC, and 0-6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC North foes. Roll with Pittsburgh Sunday.
|10-21-12||Green Bay Packers -5.5 v. St. Louis Rams||Top||30-20||Win||100||144 h 1 m||Show|
25* NFC GAME OF THE YEAR on Green Bay Packers -5.5
The Green Bay Packers might be the best 3-3 team in the history of the NFL. Because of their three early losses, this team is actually a bit undervalued right now. They should be more than a 7-point favorite against the Rams this week, but since they're not I'll take advantage and back them at less than a touchdown as my strongest play in the NFC for the 2012 season.
The St. Louis Rams are way overrated right now after opening the season 3-3, which is one more win than they had all of last season. They suffered a big loss when Danny Amendola went out with a collarbone injury against the Cardinals two weeks ago. He was by far Sam Bradford's favorite target, and this offense has no chance of keeping up with the Packers without him.
St. Louis is only averaging 18.3 points/game and it ranks just 28th in total offense (308.8 yards/game). Green Bay features an improved stop unit that ranks 14th in the NFL in total defense (340.3 yards/game). It limited the Houston Texans to just 321 total yards in a 42-24 road victory on NBC's Sunday Night Football last week. I look for the Packers to build off of their strongest performance of the season and dominate the Rams Sunday.
Green Bay is 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in its last three meetings with St. Louis. It has won by 21, 19 and 19 points in those three contests, or by an average of 19.7 points/game. Two of those victories came on the road. I expect a similar blowout in this one as the Packers win their fourth straight over the hapless Rams.
The Packers are a perfect 7-0 ATS after a 2 game road trip over the last 3 seasons. They are winning in this spot 38.7 to 16.9, or by an average of 21.8 points/game. This could be one of the biggest blowouts of the season ladies and gents. Bet Green Bay Sunday.
|10-21-12||New Orleans Saints -2.5 v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Top||35-28||Win||100||144 h 1 m||Show|
20* NFC South GAME OF THE MONTH on New Orleans Saints -2.5
The New Orleans Saints might be the best 1-4 team in the history of the NFL. Because of their slow start, which includes four losses by 8 points or less and several blown leads, this team is way undervalued right now heading into Week 7.
New Orleans is still one of the best teams in the league despite its record, hands down. It finally got a taste of victory with a 31-24 triumph at home over San Diego in Week 5. After a bye in Week 6, this team is refreshed and ready to get back to its old dominant ways with a blowout victory at Tampa Bay Sunday.
The Bucs are just 2-3 this season, and they are easily as bad as their record, if not worse. Their only wins have come at home against the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, which are two teams with a combined 2-9 record. This team is hardly better off than it was a year ago.
I look for the Saints to go on a big run and possibly make the playoffs by season's end. Getting them as a 2.5-point favorite here is an absolute gift from oddsmakers as they are clearly the better team, and they're coming off a bye. Teams coming off a bye are 5-1 ATS this season.
This is a great match-up for the Saints. They are No. 1 in the NFL in passing offense (326.8 yards/game) behind more excellent play from star quarterback Drew Brees. He'll have his way with Tampa Bay stop unit that ranks 31st against the pass (312.2 yards/game).
This play falls into a system that is 24-4 (85.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet on road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (NEW ORLEANS) - with a terrible defense - allowing 360 or more total yards/game, after allowing 400 or more total yards/game in their last 3 games.
The Saints are 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams - scoring 24 or more points/game over the last 3 seasons. New Orleans is 8-1 ATS vs. poor passing defenses - allowing 235 or more passing yards/game over the last 2 seasons. The Saints are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a S.U. win. The Bucs are 8-22 ATS in their last 30 home games. Take the Saints Sunday.
|10-21-12||Arizona Cardinals +6 v. Minnesota Vikings||14-21||Loss||-110||144 h 59 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Arizona Cardinals +6
The Minnesota Vikings are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers heading into this contest with the Arizona Cardinals. Admittedly, BOTH teams are overrated after their 4-2 starts, but the clear value in this one is with the big road underdog.
Arizona has lost two straight after its 4-0 start, which included wins over the Patriots and Eagles. I look for it to want this one more after back-to-back defeats. I believe the betting public is simply making too big of a deal over the Kevin Kolb injury.
Remember, John Skelton beat Kolb out for the starting job coming into the season. The Cardinals have not been winning because of Kolb, they've actually been winning IN SPITE of him. In fact, Arizona ranks just 31st in total offense (283.5 yards/game), so if anything Skelton will be an upgrade. Plus, he'll be working on a full week of practice knowing he's the starter going in.
Arizona has been winning because of its defense. It ranks No. 10 in the league in total defense (329.5 yards/game), which is pretty impressive considering it has faced some of the best offenses in the NFL. Minnesota has faced some of the worst offenses in the league en route to its 4-2 start.
The Vikings are 0-8 ATS in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points over the last 3 seasons. They are losing in this spot 17.9 to 25.6, or by an average of 7.7 points/game. Arizona has an excellent chance to win outright. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
|10-21-12||Washington Redskins +7 v. NY Giants||23-27||Win||100||144 h 59 m||Show|
15* Redskins/Giants NFC East No-Brainer on Washington +7
I locked this line in early in the week. I still like the Redskins at anything +4.5 or more as they have an excellent shot at beating the New York Giants outright Sunday. Washington is showing its best value of the season in this contest.
This is an NFC East rivalry, which is always played close to the vest. In fact, not many gave Washington a chance last year, but it went out and swept the eventual Super Bowl champs in the season series. Eli Manning threw four interceptions and no touchdowns while losing to the Redskins 14-28 on the road, and 10-23 at home in 2012.
Robert Griffin III has been the most impressive of all the rookie quarterbacks this season, and he's clearly the real deal in leading the Redskins to a 3-3 start. All three of their losses have come by 7 points or less, so he has given his team a chance to win every game. Griffin III is completing 70.2 percent of his passes for 1,343 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for 390 yards and six scores.
The Giants are in a huge letdown spot here after going on the road and beating the San Francisco 49ers 26-3 last Sunday. They are also way overvalued after that win because the 49ers simply gave that game to them. Alex Smith threw three interceptions, and all three set New York up with great field position. New York will likely be feeling a little too good about itself coming into this one, and it won't have the kind of focus it takes to beat the 'Skins by more than a touchdown.
The Redskins are 34-16 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992. Washington is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC East opponents. The Redskins are 13-2 (87%) ATS in road games after gaining 175 or more rushing yards last game since 1992. Take the Redskins Sunday.
|10-20-12||Middle Tennessee State +20.5 v. Mississippi State||Top||3-45||Loss||-109||125 h 43 m||Show|
25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR on Middle Tennessee State +20.5
This Saturday, Middle Tennessee State represents my strongest bet for the entire 2012 college football season. I'll gladly take the 20.5 points at Mississippi State in a game that I believe the Blue Raiders could even win outright. This is way too many points given the situation.
I was big on Mississippi State coming into the season, and I backed them with success as a 3-point favorite in a 28-10 home win over Auburn, and as a 3-point favorite in a 41-31 home victory over Tennessee last week. However, I'm shifting gears this Saturday and fading them while they are overvalued.
First and foremost, the Bulldogs' only win by more than 20 points this season came in their opener against Jackson State. They only beat South Alabama 30-10 at home as a 31.5-point favorite. This team isn't built to blow out opponents as it relies on a dink and dunk offense, and a stout defense. It doesn't have the kind of offense that can just put teams away.
My biggest reason for fading Mississippi State here is the fact that it has No. 1 Alabama on deck. I look for these Bulldog players to come out disinterested in this non-conference game against Middle Tennessee State, which is why this thing has upset written all over it. There's no way these players can get up for the Blue Raiders after beating Tennessee, and with the Crimson Tide up next.
Another big reason I like the Blue Raiders to cover this week is the fact that they are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have opened 4-2 this season, which includes a 49-28 road win at Georgia Tech as a 24.5-point underdog. They have proven they can hang with BCS competition, and they'll make this thing interesting against the Bulldogs as well.
MTSU quarterback Logan Kilgore is a high percentage passer who will be able to move the ball on this solid Mississippi State defense. He is completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,422 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Look for him to target stud receiver Anthony Amos, who has 39 receptions for 580 yards and five touchdowns, a lot.
The Blue Raiders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Bulldogs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. Mississippi State is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 vs. Sun Belt foes. As you can see, they don't play their best when stepping out of conference in recent years. Bet Middle Tennessee State Saturday.
|10-20-12||Western Michigan v. Kent State -3||24-41||Win||100||121 h 13 m||Show|
15* MAC GAME OF THE WEEK on Kent State -3
The Kent State Golden Flashes have been going under the radar all season simply because they play in a small conference. Once again, this team is not getting the respect it deserves from oddsmakers as it hosts Western Michigan Saturday in MAC play.
Kent State returned 16 starters coming into the season and it may have its best team in school history. The Flashes are off to a 5-1 start this season with their only loss coming at Kentucky. Four of their five wins have come by 14 points or more, so this team isn't just squeaking by people.
Western Michigan is just 3-4 this season. It took a big hit when one of the top quarterbacks in school history went out with an injury. Alex Carder injured his throwing hand against UConn on September 22nd and has not played since. The Broncos have gone 1-2 without him, losing to Toledo 17-37 and Ball State 24-30. They're lone win during this stretch came against lowly UMass. Carder remains out Saturday.
Kent State is 2-0 at home this season while scoring 43.0 points/game. That's what is most impressive about its 5-1 start is that fact that it has played four road games already. Western Michigan is 0-3 on the road while scoring a mere 18.0 points/game in the process.
The Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games. The Golden Flashes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games. Kent State is 9-0 ATS in its last 9 games on fieldturf. The favorite is 8-0 ATS in the last 8 meetings in this series. These four trends combine for a perfect 26-0 system backing the Flashes. Roll with Kent State Saturday.
|10-20-12||South Florida +7 v. Louisville||25-27||Win||100||121 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on South Florida +7
The South Florida Bulls have certainly underachieved this season after coming into the year as one of the favorites to win the Big East. As a result, this team is way undervalued at this point in the season. They are simply catching too many points at Louisville Saturday, and I'll take advantage.
South Florida still has all of its goals in front of them. After dropping four straight games by 13 points or less, its bye week could not have come at a better time. The Bulls have not played since October 6th, so they'll be refocused, reenergized, and ready to go Saturday against a ranked opponent.
Louisville is overvalued right now after its 6-0 start which has put the program in the Top 25. The Cardinals have played a surprisingly easy schedule to this point and there's no way they are as battle-tested as USF, which has played the likes of Florida State, Rutgers and Nevada. Five of the six teams that Louisville has faced have losing records on the season.
South Florida is a perfect 7-0 ATS in road games after having lost 4 or 5 out of their last 6 games since 1992. It is winning in this spot 30.1 to 14.9, or by an average of 15.2 points/game. The Bulls will likely win this game outright folks. Bet South Florida Saturday.
|10-20-12||Indiana v. Navy -3.5||30-31||Loss||-105||121 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Navy -3.5
The Navy Midshipmen have been a completely different team since they made the switch to freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds. I look for them to roll at home tonight over the deflated Indiana Hoosiers, who have suffered some painful losses here of late in Big Ten play.
Reynolds entered the game in the second half against Air Force an led Navy to a 28-21 overtime victory on the road. He came back last week against Central Michigan and led the Midshipmen to a 31-13 road win. Reynolds threw three touchdown passes, becoming the first Navy quarterback to do that since 1957. He also rushed for 59 yards as the Midshipmen outgained the Chippewas 372-221.
I look for Reynolds and company to carry their momentum into Saturday's showdown with deflated Indiana. The Hoosiers have lost four straight, including back-to-back home losses to Ohio State and Michigan State by a combined seven points. They were down 18 with four minutes to go against the Buckeyes before making it interesting in garbage time.
Indiana players will suffer a hangover from those heartbreaking losses, and they'll have a hard time getting up for this contest after playing three straight Big Ten games. Plus, this is a terrible match-up for the Hoosiers because they simply cannot stop the run, and they won't be ready for Navy's triple-option attack.
Navy ranks 17th in the country in rushing offense (231.7 yards/game). Indiana ranks 109th in the country against the run (221.2 yards/game), which is easily its biggest weakness. The Hoosiers' strength is a passing offense (313.0 yards/game) that ranks 15th, but Navy's strength defensively is its 21st ranked pass defense (189.2 yards/game).
Indiana is 1-10 ATS after playing a game where 80 total points or more were scored since 1992. The Hoosiers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games. The Midshipmen are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. win. Take Navy Saturday.
|10-20-12||Virginia Tech +9 v. Clemson||17-38||Loss||-117||118 h 43 m||Show|
15* VA Tech/Clemson ESPN 2 Early ANNIHILATOR on Virginia Tech +9
The Virginia Tech Hokies are one of the most undervalued teams in the country right now due to their slow start. Under Frank Beamer, this has been a very resilient program, and these players will bounce back in a big way Saturday. I believe they can win this game outright at Clemson.
Virginia Tech wants revenge after getting swept in two games against Clemson last season. It lost in the regular season, and then again in the ACC title game. The Hokies have nine defensive starters back from that team, and they will be extremely motivated to shut down this Tigers' offense, which they are obviously very familiar with.
The Hokies can build off of their 41-20 win over Duke last weekend. They could not have started any worse, falling behind 7-20 to the underrated Blue Devils by the end of the 1st quarter. However, they would reel off 34 unanswered points the rest of the way while not allowing Duke to score a single point over the final three quarters. For three quarters, this team finally played up to its potential.
I believe Clemson is one of the most overrated teams in the country as it has played a very weak schedule thus far. The only game it wasn't favor in it lost at Florida State 37-49. This will be the second-toughest game the Tigers have faced all season, and they should not be favored by nine points against a hungry, talented team Saturday.
This play falls into a system that is 28-7 (80%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against home favorites (CLEMSON) - after having won 4 or 5 out of their last 6 games, a top-level team (>= 80%) playing a marginal winning team (51% to 60%). The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in this series. Take Virginia Tech Saturday.
|10-19-12||San Francisco Giants +148 v. St. Louis Cardinals||5-0||Win||148||9 h 38 m||Show|
15* Giants/Cardinals NLCS Game 5 No-Brainer on San Francisco +148
The San Francisco Giants are showing great value in Game 5 of this series in a must-win situation tonight. Trailing 3-1, the Giants know they just need this one game to send the series back to San Francisco, and I believe they get it.
Remember, the Giants fell down 0-2 to Cincinnati went on the road to win three straight games last series. This is a resilient bunch, and one that is not going to give in despite the situation, knowing that it has already been here before.
I actually believe that San Francisco has the edge on the mound, thus it should not be an underdog. Barry Zito is 15-8 with a 4.19 ERA on the season. He beat Lancy Lynn and the Cardinals in his lone start against them on August 7th this season, giving up just two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings of a 4-2 victory at St. Louis.
Lynn has struggled in his last two starts. He has posted an 8.00 ERA while allowing eight earned runs over nine innings of work. Lynn is 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco, giving up 13 earned runs over 15 innings.
The Giants are 7-0 in Zito's last 7 starts as an underdog. San Francisco is 6-0 in Zito's last 6 road starts. The Giants are 9-0 in Zito's last 9 starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. San Francisco is 5-0 in Zito's last 5 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. These four trends combine for a perfect 27-0 system backing San Francisco. Take the Giants in Game 5.
|10-19-12||Connecticut v. Syracuse -4||Top||10-40||Win||100||104 h 54 m||Show|
20* UConn/Syracuse Big East GAME OF THE WEEK on Syracuse -4
The Syracuse Orange should be a much heavier favorite Friday against the UConn Huskies. Syracuse is arguably the best 2-4 team in the entire country to this point. It has simply beaten itself time and time again this season, but now has a chance to get back on track at home here tonight.
Despite being 2-4, the Orange have actually outgained five of their first six opponents, but they have lost the turnover battle which has cost them. They outgained Rutgers in a 15-23 loss, Minnesota in a 10-17 loss, Northwestern in a 41-42 loss, and even USC in a 29-42 loss. This team is certainly battle-tested and better than its record.
UConn is one of the most overrated teams in the country. It just hasn't been the same since losing head coach Randy Edsall to Maryland. The Huskies are 3-4 on the season with their only wins coming against UMass, Buffalo and Maryland. They are coming off a 14-17 home loss to Temple last week.
Syracuse will be highly motivated to put an end to its 5-game losing streak in this series. It is favored for a reason here tonight as oddsmakers realize that the Orange are the superior team in 2012 despite their record. They rank 39th in the country in total offense (445.5 yards/game) and 28th in total defense (335.5 yards/game) despite playing a pretty tough schedule.
The Orange are 26-9 ATS (+16.1 Units) in home games after allowing 100 or less rushing yards last game since 1992. The Huskies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. The favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings in this series, and the home team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings. UConn is 0-6 ATS as a road underdog over the last 2 seasons. Bet Syracuse Friday.
|10-18-12||Oregon v. Arizona State +10||43-21||Loss||-113||81 h 55 m||Show|
15* Oregon/ASU ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Arizona State +10
The Arizona State Sun Devils are one of the most underrated teams in the country. I went against them last week against Colorado as a 23-point favorite, and I'll admit it was the wrong move as they dominated that contest on the road 51-17. I'm not going to make the same mistake again.
Oregon is one of the most overrated teams in the country because it has not played anyone. The Ducks have yet to play a true road games, and their six opponents have been Arkansas State, Fresno State, Tennessee Tech, Arizona, Washington State and Washington. This will be their first true road game, and by far their toughest test of the season.
ASU head coach Todd Graham has these players and these fans believing. He is one of the most underrated coaches in the land, and he turned Tulsa into a power before leaving there. ASU has opened 5-1 with its only loss coming at Missouri. It has played a tougher schedule, which includes a 27-17 road win at Cal, and a 37-7 home victory over Utah.
In fact, the Sun Devils have simply been rolling at home this year. They are 3-0 at home, outscoring opponents 48.3 to 9.0, and outgaining them 525.3 to 259.3. This team ranks 24th in the country in total offense (479.0 yards/game) and 8th in total defense (272.7 yards/game). Oregon is a mediocre 43rd in total defense (359.8 yards/game) despite its cupcake schedule.
The Sun Devils are 13-6-3 ATS in their last 22 conference games. ASU is 13-6-1 ATS in its last 20 home games. The Sun Devils are 20-8 ATS in home games after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins since 1992. The home team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. Take Arizona State Thursday.
|10-18-12||Seattle Seahawks v. San Francisco 49ers -7||Top||6-13||Push||0||24 h 34 m||Show|
20* Seahawks/49ers NFC West ATS ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco -7
The San Francisco 49ers will be highly motivated when they hit the field Thursday. They want to erase the sour tastes out of their mouth from a 3-26 loss to the New York Giants over the weekend. That was the worst they could have possibly played, and they are ready to make up for it in a big way.
The Seattle Seahawks are one of the most overrated teams in the league at this point of the season due to their fortune at home. They are 3-0 at home this season, and shouldn't have beat the Packers or the Patriots. After topping New England last week on a miracle in the closing minutes, the Seahawks are in a big letdown spot here tonight.
Seattle has gone 1-2 on the road this season with losses at Arizona and St. Louis. If it couldn't beat the Cardinals or the Rams away from home, it stands no chance against one of the best teams in the league in the 49ers. This one has blowout written all over it folks.
San Francisco's numbers prove that it is arguably the best team in the NFL. It ranks 1st in total defense (275.8 yards/game) and 7th in total offense (386.7 yards/game). Seattle ranks a woeful 29th in total offense (300.7 yards/game), and it likely won't score more than 10 points against this top-ranked 49ers' defense.
San Francisco is a perfect 7-0 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite over the last 3 seasons. They are beating opponents 22.6 to 10.7 in this spot, or by an average of 11.9 points/game. The Seahawks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. NFC West opponents. The home team is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings in this series. Bet the 49ers Thursday.
|10-18-12||New York Yankees -110 v. Detroit Tigers||1-8||Loss||-110||16 h 5 m||Show|
15* Yankees/Tigers ALCS Game 4 No-Doubt Rout on New York -110
It's do or die for the New York Yankees in Game 4 today after falling behind 0-3 in this series to the Detroit Tigers. They wouldn't want anybody other than C.C. Sabathia on the mound in this spot, and that's precisely what they'll get Thursday.
Sabathia gets the ball as he looks to build off his recent dominance. The left-hander is 17-6 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.116 WHIP in 30 starts this season, including 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 0.779 WHIP in his last three. In two starts against Baltimore this postseason, Sabathia allowed only three earned runs over 17 2/3 innings.
Max Scherzer has been pretty solid of late as well, but he's no Sabathia. The right-hander is 16-7 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.259 WHIP in 33 starts this season. He is only averaging 5.8 innings/start, while Sabathia averages 7.3/start. I look for the Yankees to get into Detroit's bullpen early, which will be a huge advantage for them.
Sabathia went 3-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts against Detroit this season. Scherzer faced New York once this year, allowing three earned runs and 14 base runners over 4 2/3 innings of a 2-6 loss. Sabathia is 7-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 postseason appearances since joining the Yankees in 2009. Bet New York in Game 4 Thursday.
|10-17-12||San Francisco Giants +117 v. St. Louis Cardinals||Top||1-3||Loss||-100||4 h 27 m||Show|
20* Giants/Cardinals Game 3 Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco +117
The San Francisco Giants should not be an underdog in Game 3 of this series with the St. Louis Cardinals. They have the better starter on the mound in Matt Cain, and I look for him to shut down this St. Louis line-up while outdueling Kyle Lohse.
Cain is 17-6 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.052 WHIP in 34 starts this season, striking out 202 batters in 230 innings. Lohse is having a career year, but I do not believe he is a better starter than Cain. Lohse has just 154 strikeouts in 223 2/3 innings.
The Giants are 6-0 in their last 6 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150. San Francisco is 5-0 in it last 5 playoff road games. The Giants are 7-0 in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog of +110 to +150. San Francisco is 4-0 in Cain's last 4 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150. The Giants are 10-1 in Cain's last 11 starts as a road underdog. These five trends combine for a 32-1 (97%) system backing San Francisco. Bet the Giants in Game 3 Wednesday.
|10-16-12||Louisiana-Lafayette -3.5 v. North Texas||Top||23-30||Loss||-113||49 h 39 m||Show|
20* Sun Belt GAME OF THE MONTH on Louisiana-Lafayette -3.5
The Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin' Cajuns are one of the most underrated teams in the entire country. They are one of the favorites to win the Sun Belt for good reason, and they're off to a great start in doing so this season.
Lafayette is 4-1 on the season, including 2-0 in Sun Belt play with a 48-20 home win over Florida International, and a 37-24 road win at Troy. Its only loss came on the road against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and its four wins have all come by double-digits.
North Texas is just 2-4 this season with its only wins coming against Texas Southern and Florida Atlantic. The Mean Green also played Troy, losing at home to the Trojans 7-14. So that's a common opponent between these teams. Lafayette won by 13 at Troy, while North Texas lost by 7 to Troy at home. That games shows how much better the Rajin' Cajuns are than the Mean Green.
Lafayette beat North Texas 30-10 at home last season. With 13 starters back from that team, including nine on offense, I like they chances of pulling off a similar blowout again in 2012. Lafayette has now won five straight meetings in this series.
Lafayette ranks 39th in the country in rushing offense (190.4 yards/game) and 19th in run defense (107.2 yards/game). That makes this an excellent match-up for them because North Texas' strength is their rushing offense (175.2 yards/game), which ranks 50th. Their weakness is a run defense (176.5 yards/game) that ranks 78th. Lafayette's biggest weakness is their pass defense, but the Mean Green only rank 85th in passing offense (206.7 yards/game).
This play falls into a system that is 30-6 (83.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against a home team (NORTH TEXAS) - after allowing 37 points or more last game against opponent after 2 straight wins by 28 or more points.
The Ragin' Cajuns are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Mean Green are 16-35 ATS in their last 51 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Louisiana-Lafayette is 21-8 ATS in its last 29 road games. The Mean Green are 6-20 ATS in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record.
Lafayette is a perfect 10-0 ATS after 1 or more consecutive losses against the spread over the last 3 seasons. The Rajin' Cajuns are 9-0 ATS in road games off 1 or more straight overs over the last 3 seasons. Lafayette is 6-0 ATS in a road game where the total is between 56.5 and 63 over the last 3 seasons. These three trends combine for a perfect 25-0 system that has not lost in three years. Bet Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday.
|10-16-12||New York Yankees +170 v. Detroit Tigers||1-2||Loss||-100||9 h 8 m||Show|
15* Yankees/Tigers ALCS Game 3 ANNIHILATOR on New York +170
It's now or never for the New York Yankees after falling down 0-2 in this series with the Detroit Tigers. Game 3 is a must-win for them, and I'll back the Yankees at an excellent price tonight given the situation.
Justin Verlander has come up big in big games for the Tigers, but this isn't exactly a huge game considering they have a 2-0 cushion. I don't expect him to be as sharp as he was against Oakland in Game 5 last Thursday. Plus, he pitched a complete game in that contest and may be a bit fatigued coming in.
Phil Hughes has pitched very well after a slow start this season. He's 16-13 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.258 WHIP in 33 starts this season. He has to have a lot of confidence coming in after giving up just one earned run over 6 2/3 innings while striking out eight batters in his first postseason start against Baltimore this year.
Hughes will also be confident knowing he already beat Verlander this season. These two faced off in Detroit on June 3rd. Hughes pitched a complete game while allowing only one earned run and seven base runners to earn the win in a 5-1 Yankees' victory. Verlander gave up five runs, 13 base runners and two homers over 6 1/3 innings to take the loss.
The Yankees are 6-0 in their last 6 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. New York is 22-7 in Hughes' last 29 starts following a team loss in their previous game. The Yankees are 21-7 in their last 28 games following a loss. The Tigers are 2-6 in Verlander's last 8 starts vs. Yankees. Take New York in Game 3 Tuesday.
|10-15-12||Denver Broncos +1 v. San Diego Chargers||Top||35-24||Win||100||10 h 15 m||Show|
20* AFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on Denver Broncos +1
After opening 2-3 this season, this is a very important game for the Denver Broncos tonight. They need it more than the 3-2 San Diego Chargers as they do not want to fall two games behind their division rivals.
I believe Denver is the better team this season. It has been dealt an absolutely brutal schedule with the likes of the Steelers, Falcons, Texans, Raiders and Patriots. In my opinion, it's the toughest schedule that any team has faced thus far. As a result, the Broncos are battle-tested.
Despite playing such a tough schedule, the Broncos rank 6th in the NFL in total offense (390.0 yards/game) and 13th in total defense (335.2 yards/game). They have been in every game they've played with a chance to win in the 4th quarter. The Chargers are just 24th in total offense (334.8 yards/game) despite playing a soft schedule.
The Chargers don't have a good win yet. Their three victories have come against the Raiders, Chiefs and Titans, three teams with a combined 4-13 record. They were handled in their two games against the Falcons and Saints.
The road team has won three straight and five of the last six meetings in this series over the past three seasons. As you can see, home-field advantage means nothing when these teams get together.
This play falls into a system that is 32-8 (80%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against home favorites (SAN DIEGO) - after failing to cover the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a losing team. Bet the Broncos Monday.
|10-15-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. San Francisco Giants -111||1-7||Win||100||10 h 38 m||Show|
15* Cards/Giants NLCS Game 2 No-Brainer on San Francisco -111
After losing Game 1 of this series, I fully expect the San Francisco Giants to bounce back with a victory in Game 2 tonight. They are 0-3 at home in the postseason, and there's no question they are going to be highly motivated to win in front of their home fans.
I love their chances of doing just that with the underrated Ryan Vogelsong on the mound at this steal of a price. Vogelsong is 14-9 with a 3.33 ERA in 32 starts this season, 7-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 home starts, and 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in his last three.
The right-hander has allowed just one earned run over 16 innings in his last three outings. Vogelsong is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his last two starts against the Cardinals, yielding just one earned run over 12 innings.
Chris Carpenter is 4-12 (-15.8 Units) against the money line after 2 or more consecutive wins over the last 2 seasons. The Giants are 9-2 in Vogelsong's last 11 starts as a home favorite. San Francisco is 14-5 in its last 19 games following a loss. Take the Giants Monday.
|10-14-12||Green Bay Packers +3.5 v. Houston Texans||Top||42-24||Win||100||122 h 25 m||Show|
25* NBC Sunday Night Football GAME OF THE YEAR on Green Bay Packers +3.5
The Green Bay Packers are way undervalued right now after their 2-3 start. This team is still every bit as good as it was a year ago when it went 15-1, but so far it just hasn't been able to find a way to win close games. As a result, they are going under the radar, which has provided us with some excellent line value here.
The Houston Texans are way overvalued after their 5-0 start. Sure, I picked the Texans to win the Super Bowl this season, but I know when to fade them and this is certainly the week to do so. Houston has benefited from an easy schedule that has featured ZERO teams that have a winning record in the Dolphins, Jaguars, Broncos, Titans and Jets. They are now without 2011 Defensive MVP Brian Cushing for the rest of the season, which is a huge loss.
Green Bay has played a much tougher schedule thus far as it has played only one team that is below .500 heading into Week 6. That was the New Orleans Saints, who are obviously much better than their record would indicate. Two of their three losses have come by three points or less, and the other came against San Francisco, which is the best team in the NFC in my opinion.
After falling to 2-3 on the season, the Packers are looking at this game as a must-win. They will want this game more than the Texans, who can afford a loss right now after their perfect start. I believe the Packers go out and get a this signature win, which will get them right back on track going forward.
This play falls into a system that is 26-4 (86.7%) ATS over the last 5 seasons. It tells us to bet on road teams where the line is +3.5 to -3.5 (GREEN BAY) - after 2 consecutive games where they forced 1 or less turnovers against opponent after 2 consecutive game where they committed 1 or less turnovers.
The Packers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. loss. Green Bay is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games following a ATS loss. The Packers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record. Mike McCarthy is a perfect 6-0 ATS in road games vs. good defensive teams who give up 17 or less points/game as the coach of Green Bay. He has never lost in this situation, and I expect him to stay undefeated in this spot tonight. Bet the Packers Sunday.
|10-14-12||New England Patriots -3.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||23-24||Loss||-102||118 h 59 m||Show|
15* Pats/Seahawks NFL Sunday No-Brainer on New England -3.5
The Seattle Seahawks are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers Sunday against one of the best teams in the league. Seattle is 2-0 at home this season, but they should really be 1-1 as they lost to the Green Bay Packers 7-12 but got bailed out by a fluke call from the replacement officials on ESPN's Monday Night Football.
Seattle gets put in its place Sunday against a superior team in the New England Patriots. New England is somewhat under the radar due to their 1-2 start that featured two losses by a combined three points. It has responded nicely since, thumping Buffalo on the road 52-28, then topping Denver 31-21 at home last week.
Quietly, the Patriots have gone a very profitable 4-1 ATS as they just continue to cover spreads at an alarming rate. Those two early losses have this team undervalued right now because I believe they are every bit as good as they were a year ago when they made the Super Bowl, and maybe even better despite the record.
The Patriots are as explosive as ever offensively as they rank 1st in the league in total offense (439.4 yards/game) while scoring 33.0 points/game. What's most impressive is that they have found a running game to compliment Brady. New England ranks 3rd in the league in rushing (165.4 yards/game). The stop unit is improved as well as it ranks 19th in total defense (374.4 yards/game) while giving up a respectable 22.6 points/game.
Seattle is not as good as its 3-2 record. The defense is legit, but the offense doesn't have the firepower to keep up with Tom Brady and company. The Seahawks rank just 27th in the league in total offense (287.2 yards/game) while scoring a mere 17.2 points/game. I look for the Patriots to go no-huddle offensively, which will cause confusion and lead to success against Seattle's defense.
This play falls into a system that is 24-4 (85.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet on road teams where the line is +3.5 to -3.5 (NEW ENGLAND) - with a terrible defense - allowing 360 or more total yards/game, after allowing 400 or more total yards/game in their last 3 games.
The Patriots are 24-6 ATS when playing against a marginal winning team (Win Pct. 51% to 60%) since 1992. New England is 35-16-2 ATS in its last 53 road games. The Seahawks are 6-23-1 ATS in their last 30 games after allowing less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
The Patriots are 6-0 ATS in road games off 3 or more consecutive overs over the last 3 seasons, winning in this spot 38.0 to 15.0, or by an average of 23.0 points/game. New England is 6-0 ATS in a road game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 2 seasons, winning 38.0 to 23.1 in this spot, or by an average of 14.9 points/game. Roll with the Patriots Sunday.
|10-14-12||St. Louis Rams v. Miami Dolphins -3||Top||14-17||Push||0||115 h 58 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Dolphins -3
The Miami Dolphins are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL this year. They are just 2-3 on the season, but they could easily be 4-1 right now. They have two overtime losses to the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals in games they really should have won. Their other loss came to the 5-0 Houston Texans in a game that was tied 3-3 until three turnovers over the final two minutes of the first half turned into 21 Houston points.
I just really like what I see from this Miami team on both sides of the ball. They rank 13th in the league in total offense (373.4 yards/game) behind a balanced attack that averages 135.6 yards/game on the ground and 237.8 yards/game through the air. Ryan Tannehill is the real deal and the QB of the future for this team.
Miami also ranks a respectable 14th in total defense (343.2 yards/game), including 1st against the run (61.4 yards/game). Their weakness is against the pass, but the St. Louis Rams do not have a good passing attack. St. Louis ranks 29th in total offense (278.2 yards/game), including 30th in passing offense (183.4 yards/game).
The Rams are simply overvalued at this point of the season after their 3-2 start. They are getting outgained by 57.2 yards/game this season, which is the sign of a 2-3 or 1-4 team rather than one with a winning record.
St. Louis is now without Danny Amendola to a collarbone injury, which is huge considering he's by far Sam Bradford's favorite target. Amendola has 32 receptions for 395 yards this season, and the No. 2 option is Brandon Gibson with only 13 receptions for 184 yards through five games. Bradford is going to miss Amendola greatly.
The Rams are 0-2 on the road this season as all of their wins have come at home. They are getting outscored 14.5 to 25.0 on the road, or by an average of 10.5 points/game to the likes of Detroit and Chicago.
This play falls into a system that is 68-27 (71.6%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against any team (ST LOUIS) - off an upset win over a division rival as a home underdog, with a winning record on the season.
The Dolphins are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games overall. The Rams are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games. St. Louis is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 vs. a team with a losing record. Miami is a perfect 9-0 ATS vs. in its last 9 a team with a winning record. Take the Dolphins Sunday.
|10-13-12||Tennessee v. Mississippi State -2.5||31-41||Win||100||58 h 41 m||Show|
15* Tennessee/Mississippi State ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on Mississippi State -2.5
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are a much better team than they are getting credit for with this line set by oddsmakers Saturday. They should be a heavier favorite against the Tennessee Volunteers.
At 5-0 and ranked No. 19 in the country, this is easily the best team that head coach Dan Mullen has had in his time at Mississippi State. I believe they should be ranked even higher, but after another win Saturday they'll move up quite a bit. They are highly motivated to put an end to their 6-game losing streak to the Vols in this series.
Tennessee is just 3-2 on the season, and it's easy to see that this team isn't ready to take the next step under head coach Derek Dooley. The Vols had their chances to prove they were for real, but they lost 20-37 at home to Florida, and 44-51 on the road to Georgia. Their three wins have come against Akron, Georgia State and NC State, which is unimpressive to say the least.
The Bulldogs are 3-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents 38.0 to 9.7 on average. That includes a 28-10 win over Auburn as only a 3-point favorite. I like the match-up here as Tennessee has a great passing game, but Mississippi State counters that with the 30th ranked pass defense (199.6 yards/game) in the country.
I also like the match-up for Mississippi State on offense. They have a balanced attack that is averaging 179.0 yards on the ground and 225.6 through the air. They'll be up against a Tennessee team that ranks just 83rd in the country in total defense (425.8 yards/game), giving up 186.2 yards on the ground and 239.6 through the air.
The Volunteers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record. Tennessee is 0-5-1 ATS in its last 6 games following a ATS win. The Vols are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in October. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Mississippi State is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 conference games. These five trends combine for a 25-2 system backing the Bulldogs. Roll with Mississippi State Saturday.
|10-13-12||Texas A&M -7.5 v. Louisiana Tech||59-57||Loss||-103||58 h 41 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Texas A&M -7.5
The Texas A&M Aggies are the superior team in this contest with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. While Texas A&M is ranked No. 22 in the country and LA Tech is No. 23, these teams couldn't be further apart talent-wise, and that will show on the field Saturday.
Texas A&M really should be 5-0 as its only loss came by three points against Florida 17-20 after blowing a 17-10 halftime lead. The Aggies have responded nicely since that loss, winning four straight, including three in a row by 45 or more points.
Texas A&M is coming off a nice 30-27 road win at Ole Miss in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. The Aggies overcame six turnovers while gaining 481 yards of total offense in the win. Without those turnovers, it would have been a lot more lopsided results. I look for the Aggies to focus on taking care of the football this week.
Louisiana Tech is a solid team at 5-0 this season, but it really hasn't played anybody near the caliber of Texas A&M. Its five wins have come against Houston, Rice, Illinois, Virginia and UNLV. While the Bulldogs have been explosive offensively, they have been atrocious defensively against a soft schedule, and I look for the Aggies to exploit that.
The Aggies rank 12th in the country in total offense (516.8 yards/game) while scoring 44.6 points/game. They'll be up against a Louisiana Tech defense that ranks 116th in the country (531.0 yards/game) while giving up 35.8 points/game.
Texas A&M actually has a solid defense, which will be be the difference in this contest. The Aggies rank 43rd in the FBS in total defense (363.6 yards/game) while allowing just 14.8 points/game.
Texas A&M is 10-0 all-time against Louisiana Tech, winning by an average score of 42-12. I look for this program dominance to continue as the Bulldogs are simply overmatched in this one talent-wise. Bet Texas A&M Saturday.
|10-13-12||South Carolina v. LSU -2.5||Top||21-23||Loss||-113||57 h 42 m||Show|
25* SEC GAME OF THE YEAR on LSU -2.5
Public perception is way too high on the South Carolina Gamecocks right now after their huge home win over Georgia last Saturday. As a result, oddsmakers have been forced to set this line much lower than it should be.
Public perception is down on LSU right now due to its road loss at Florida. I really don't believe that was that bad of a loss as the Gators are much better than they get credit for. LSU returns home Saturday with all of their goals still ahead of them as they control their own destiny in getting back to the SEC title game if they win out.
South Carolina is a quality team with a great defense, but it really has not been tested on the road. It has road wins over Vanderbilt (17-13) and Kentucky (38-17), which are two of the worst teams in the SEC. It will be tested in Baton Rouge Saturday against an amped up LSU team looking to take out its frustration on the Gamecocks.
This play falls into a system that is 56-23 (70.9%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (LSU) - after failing to cover the spread in 3 out of their last 4 games, top level team, winning 80% or more of their games on the season.
LSU is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 after playing a game where 20 total points or less were scored. It is winning in this spot by an average of 28.7 points/game. Bet LSU Saturday.
|10-13-12||Buffalo +13.5 v. Northern Illinois||3-45||Loss||-102||52 h 11 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Buffalo +13.5
The Buffalo Bulls should not be catching two touchdowns against the Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday. Buffalo is off to a 1-4 start, but this team is much better than its record would indicate, and that's why the Bulls are showing such great value here.
The Bulls have only had one bad game thus far. Three of their losses came on the road against very good teams. They lost at Georgia 23-45 as a 37.5-point underdog, at UConn 17-24 as a 16.5-point dog, and at Ohio 31-38 as a 14.5-point dog. This team has played its best football away from home.
Northern Illinois is way overvalued after five straight wins since losing to Iowa to open the season. This team has played a cake-walk schedule, beatting Tennessee-Martin, Kansas and Central Michigan at home, while also topping Army and Ball State on the road. Only two of those five wins came by more than 12 points.
Buffalo has 15 starters back from a team that lost 30-31 at home to Northern Illinois as a 14-point underdog last season. They outgained NIU 572-328 in that game, but committed five turnovers which really did them in. The Huskies only have 12 starters back from that team. There's no question that the Bulls want serious revenge from that one-point loss, and they easily could pull off this upset. Take Buffalo Saturday.
|10-13-12||Kansas State v. Iowa State +7||27-21||Win||100||49 h 40 m||Show|
15* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Iowa State +7
The Iowa State Cyclones have been one of the most underrated teams in the country ever since Paul Rhoads took over as head coach. They have had a knack for pulling off the upset. They beat then-No. 2 Oklahoma State 37-31 at home in overtime last year to prevent the Cowboys from playing in the National Championship.
Iowa State went on the road and handled then-No. 15 TCU 37-23 last week. I look for the Cyclones to give No. 6 Kansas State a run for its money Saturday at home. The Wildcats have been underrated for much of the season, but this team is way overvalued now that it is ranked inside the Top 10.
These are two teams that play very similar styles, which favors the home underdog. Both like to run the football and play smash mouth defense while trying to force turnovers at all times. Each relies on winning the turnover battle and not beating themselves. Both squads are very physical as well.
This is a trap game for the Wildcats as they will be looking ahead to a showdown with current No. 5 West Virginia next week. Iowa State will be focused as it wants revenge from a 23-30 loss at Kansas State last season as a 10-point underdog. The Cyclones outgained the Wildcats 368-359, but committed two more turnovers than K-State, which proved to be the difference.
Kansas State has now beaten Iowa State by a touchdown or less in four straight meetings. You can bet that the Cyclones want revenge after such a painful streak of losses to the Wildcats over the last four years. This rematch will likely be decided by a touchdown or less again, but this time in Iowa State's favor.
The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. The Cyclones are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Iowa State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 vs. a team with a winning record. Take Iowa State Saturday.
|10-12-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Washington Nationals -132||9-7||Loss||-132||10 h 21 m||Show|
15* Cards/Nationals NL No-Doubt Rout on Washington -132
After winning in walk-off fashion last night to avoid elimination with a Game 4 victory, the Washington Nationals have all of the momentum now. I look for them to win Game 5 tonight behind that momentum and the huge edge they have on the mound.
Gio Gonzalez will likely be the NL Cy Young winner this season. The left-hander is 21-8 with a 2.91 ERA and 1.140 WHIP in 33 starts this season, including 9-4 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.004 WHIP in 14 home starts. Gonzalez is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 1.143 WHIP in two career starts against St. Louis. He pitched a complete game shutout in his lone home start against the Cardinals.
Adam Wainwright has just been average this year at 14-13 with a 3.88 ERA in 33 starts, including 4-7 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 road starts. He's 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.462 WHIP in nine career starts against Washington.
Gonzalez is a perfect 11-0 against the money line against NL Central opponents this season. The Nationals are winning by 3.5 runs/game in this spot. Take Washington in Game 5 Friday.
|10-12-12||Navy v. Central Michigan OVER 59||Top||31-13||Loss||-110||73 h 28 m||Show|
20* Navy/Central Michigan ESPN 2 Total ANNIHILATOR on OVER 59
This contest has the makings of a shootout Friday night. I look for a similar final score to the 38-37 Navy victory when these teams met last in 2010. Navy rushed for 437 yards in the win, while Central Michigan threw for 394 yards in the loss.
I fully expect Navy to be able to move the ball at will on the ground in this one. Central Michigan ranks 95th in the country in total defense (457.6 yards/game), including 111th against the run (233.2 yards/game). They are giving up 5.8 yards/carry.
Navy ranks 16th in rush offense (230.4 yards/game). Playing on a short week is a huge disadvantage for the Chippewas' defense in trying to prepare for Navy's triple-option attack. This is a defense that has given up a combined 105 points the past two weeks in losses to Northern Illinois and Toledo.
Central Michigan has been moving the ball well through the air this season as it ranks 44th in pass offense (257.2 yards/game). Ryan Radcliff has thrown for 1,286 yards and nine touchdowns to six interceptions on the season. I look for Radcliff to have a big game against a Navy defense that is allowing 67.7 percent completions to opposing quarterbacks.
The Chippewas are 10-1 to the OVER when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 2 seasons. The OVER is 18-6-2 in Chippewas last 26 non-conference games. The OVER is 9-2 in Chippewas last 11 games following a S.U. loss. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|10-11-12||Detroit Tigers v. Oakland A's +127||6-0||Loss||-100||10 h 11 m||Show|
15* Tigers/A's AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Oakland +127
The Oakland A's have to be the most resilient team in baseball. They swept the Rangers in three games needing all three wins to win the AL West division to close out the season. Trailing 0-2, they have battled back with two home wins, including a 4-3 walk-off victory last night after trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th.
The A's have so much momentum now that I don't believe even Justin Verlander is going to be able to slow them down. I look for them to complete the comeback and stun the already shocked Tigers by winning Game 5 tonight.
Jarrod Parker is one of the most underrated starters in baseball. He's 13-9 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.263 WHIP in 30 starts this season. He has been at his best at home, going 6-5 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.180 WHIP in 15 starts at the Coliseum. He has posted a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against Detroit.
There's no question that Verlander remains one of the best starters in the game after winning the Cy Young and MVP last season. However, he has been very human on the road this season, posting a 3.57 ERA in 18 starts away from home.
The Tigers are 0-5 in their last 5 playoff road games. Detroit is 0-6 in Verlander's last 6 starts as a road favorite of -110 to -150. The Tigers are 0-4 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. The A's are 5-0 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record. These four trends combine for a perfect 20-0 system backing Oakland. Roll with the A's Thursday.
|10-11-12||Arizona State v. Colorado +23||51-17||Loss||-110||71 h 24 m||Show|
15* ASU/Colorado ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Colorado +23
The Colorado Buffaloes should not be catching more than three touchdowns at home against the Arizona State Sun Devils Thursday. They clearly aren't off to their best start this season to say the least, but as a result, they are showing tremendous value in this spot.
The Buffaloes are just 1-4 this season, but they haven't been in the national spotlight like they are going to be tonight. This game will be nationally televised on ESPN, so these players have every reason to get up for this contest. Plus, they will be looking to revenge a 14-48 loss at Arizona State last season.
The Sun Devils are an improved team this season, but they are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers because of their 4-1 start. Three of those four wins came at home against a weak schedule that has featured Northern Arizona, Illinois and Utah. They did win at Cal 27-17, but the Bears are down this season.
Their other road game resulted in a 20-24 loss at Missouri as the Tigers were playing without their starting quarterback, and they are down this season as well. I really can't say that the Sun Devils even have a great win on their resume considering they were favored in four of those five games.
Arizona State is 1-9 ATS in road games off a double-digit road win since 1992. It is losing in this spot by an average of 14.6 points/game. The Sun Devils are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Buffaloes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a bye week. Take Colorado Thursday.
|10-11-12||Pittsburgh Steelers -5 v. Tennessee Titans||Top||23-26||Loss||-110||71 h 49 m||Show|
20* NFL Thursday GAME OF THE MONTH on Pittsburgh Steelers -5
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the clear choice Thursday when they visit the Tennessee Titans, who I believe are the worst team in the league. The Titans certainly aren't going to get their problems fixed on a short week.
Pittsburgh fixed its problems thanks to a bye in Week 4 after a 1-2 start. It beat the Eagles 16-14 last week in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. They held the Eagles to just 246 total yards while forcing two turnovers in the win. This short week won't affect the Steelers one bit since they had a bye the previous week.
Pittsburgh got James Harrison and Troy Polamalu back on defense last week. It had been playing without these two for most of the season. I know Palamalu isn't expected to play Thursday, but the Steelers still rank 5th in the NFL in total defense (280.0 yards/game). They have finished in the Top 5 in total defense for five straight years, including No. 1 three times.
The offense has been sharp as well, averaging 347.7 yards/game this season. They have been especially effective through the air, ranking 11th in the NFL in passing offense (265.0 yards/game). Rashard Mendenhall made his season debut last week, rushing for 81 yards as he returned from an ACL injury. His return will allow the Steelers to be much more effective on the ground going forward.
Tennessee is simply atrocious, opening 1-4 while getting outscored 17.6 to 36.2 in the process, or by an average of 18.6 points/game. It ranks just 26th in total offense (305.0 yards/game) and 28th in total defense (423.8 yards/game). Opponents are rushing for 144.2 yards/game, and opposing quarterbacks are completing 74.6% of their passes for an average of 280 yards/game.
It's safe to say that Roethlisberger, Mendenhall and company are going to have their way with this Tennessee defense. Also, the Titans are going to be without starting quarterback Jake Locker (shoulder) for a second straight week. Backup Matt Hasselbeck, who has already thrown three interceptions in 1.5 games in Locker's place, stands no chance against this Steelers' defense.
The Titans are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall. Tennessee is 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points. The Titans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Tennessee is 0-5-1 ATS in its last 6 vs. AFC foes. These four trends combine for a 23-2 system backing Pittsburgh. Bet the Steelers Thursday.
|10-10-12||Detroit Tigers v. Oakland A's -104||Top||3-4||Win||100||9 h 7 m||Show|
20* Tigers/A's AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Oakland -104
The Oakland A's should be a bigger favorite tonight at home against the Detroit Tigers in Game 4. They avoided the sweep with a 2-0 victory last night, and this team continues to be resilient. Their only shot to win the AL West was to sweep the Rangers in three games to close out the season, and they did just that. So this team believes they can do the same thing against the Tigers.
Max Scherzer is one of the most overrated starters in baseball. The right-hander is 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.274 WHIP in 32 starts this season, including 9-4 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.306 WHIP in 18 road starts.
A.J. Griffin is one of the most underrated starters in the league. He's 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.129 WHIP in 15 starts this season, including 3-0 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.024 WHIP in eight home starts.
The Tigers are 0-4 in their last 4 playoff games as an underdog. The A's are 5-0 in Griffin's last 5 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. Oakland is 6-0 in Griffin's last 6 starts when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game. These three trends make for a 15-0 system backing the A's. Bet Oakland Wednesday.
|10-09-12||Detroit Tigers v. Oakland A's OVER 7||Top||0-2||Loss||-105||10 h 3 m||Show|
20* Tigers/A's AL Tuesday Night BAILOUT on OVER 7
The Detroit Tigers and Oakland A's should have no problem combining to score eight-plus runs tonight in Game 3 of this series. Both starting pitchers are getting too much credit tonight with this small total set.
Anibal Sanchez has not been that good all season. He's 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts this year. In his lone career start against Oakland on September 20th, Sanchez allowed six runs over 5 2/3 innings of a 4-12 home loss to the A's.
Brett Anderson has struggled in his last two starts for Oakland, giving up eight earned runs over nine innings for an 8.00 ERA. One of those starts came at Detroit on September 19th where he allowed three earned runs and six base runners in 2 2/3 innings before getting pulled in a 2-6 loss to the Tigers.
The OVER is 4-0 in Tigers last 4 playoff games as an underdog of +110 to +150. The OVER is 6-1-1 in Tigers last 8 vs. a team with a winning record. The OVER is 7-1 in A's last 8 games following a loss. The OVER is 5-1 in Anderson's last 6 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. These four trends combined for a 22-3 (88%) system backing the OVER. Bet the OVER in this game Tuesday.
|10-08-12||New York Yankees v. Baltimore Orioles +125||2-3||Win||125||9 h 48 m||Show|
15* Yankees/Orioles AL Monday No-Brainer on Baltimore +125
The Baltimore Orioles have been a resilient team all season. After dropping Game 1 of this series to the New York Yankees, I look for the Orioles to show that resiliency and win Game 2 at home tonight to get right back in this series.
Wei-Yin Chen has had a solid season as 12-11 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.261 WHIP over 32 starts for the Orioles. While he's a MLB postseason newcomer, Chen made 10 starts in the Japanese playoffs and two in the 2008 Olympics for Chinese Taipei.
Andy Pettite has been solid in limited action for the Yankees this season, but he's been at his worst on the road. Pettite is 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.326 WHIP in five starts away from home this year.
The Orioles are 4-0 in Chen's last 4 starts as a home underdog. Baltimore is 12-5 in Chen's last 17 starts as an underdog overall. The Orioles are 6-1 in their last 7 games as a home underdog. Baltimore is 23-9 in its last 32 home games overall. Bet the Orioles Monday.
|10-08-12||Houston Texans v. NY Jets +9||Top||23-17||Win||100||98 h 45 m||Show|
20* Texans/Jets AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on New York +9
The New York Jets are thoroughly embarrassed after their 34-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. They will be ready to take out their frustration on the 4-0 Houston Texans on Monday Night football to silence their critics.
The Jets are a much better team than they showed last week as nothing went right. As a result of that performance, public perception is down on them, which has provided us with some excellent line value here. Whatever these players have to give, they will be laying it on the field tonight, which will be good enough to stay within this inflated number.
Public perception on the Texans is at an all-time high right now as many believe they are the best team in the league. There's no question they are one of the best, but at 4-0, this team is simply overvalued tonight. Three of their wins came against the lowly Titans, Jaguars and Dolphins.
This play falls into a system that is 33-10 (76.7%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (NY JETS) - an average offensive team (18 to 23 PPG) against an excellent offensive team (>=27 PPG), after a loss by 14 or more points.
Houston has never beaten New York, going 0-5 SU & 1-4 ATS in five meetings all-time. The Texans are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 5. The Jets are 14-3 ATS in home games off a home loss since 1992. Bet New York Monday.
|10-07-12||San Diego Chargers v. New Orleans Saints -3||Top||24-31||Win||100||74 h 37 m||Show|
20* Chargers/Saints SNF GAME OF THE MONTH on New Orleans -3
This is a must-win for the New Orleans Saints Sunday night if they want to have any shot of making the playoffs. Only one team has come back to make the playoffs after an 0-4 start dating back to 1992. I look for the Saints to play with a sense of urgency tonight, which will allow them to cover this small number at home against the San Diego Chargers.
New Orleans is much better than its 0-4 record would indicate. All four losses have come by single-digits, including the last two by a combined four points. This team could just as easily be 4-0 instead of 0-4. I look for its best effort of the season tonight.
The Chargers are one of the most overrated teams in the league this year. Their three wins have come against the Raiders, Titans and Chiefs, which are three teams with a combined 3-9 record. Their true colors showed in a 7-27 home loss to the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons.
New Orleans is 7-0 ATS in home games vs. poor passing defenses - allowing 235 or more passing yards/game over the last 3 seasons. The Saints are 6-0 ATS in home games after 1 or more consecutive wins against the spread over the last 2 seasons. New Orleans is 6-0 ATS in home games after gaining 400 or more total yards/game over their last 3 games over the last 2 seasons. The Saints are 6-0 ATS in home games after the first month of the season over the last 2 seasons. These four trends make for a perfect 25-0 system backing New Orleans. Take the Saints Sunday.
|10-07-12||Tennessee Titans +6 v. Minnesota Vikings||7-30||Loss||-110||70 h 31 m||Show|
15* Titans/Vikings Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Tennessee +6
The Tennessee Titans are highly motivated for a win Sunday to save their season. After a 1-3 start, they are looking at this game as a must-win. The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most overrated teams in the league at 3-1 this season. They are getting way too much love from oddsmakers.
Minnesota beat Detroit 20-13 last week despite getting outgained 227-341. They did so due to two special teams touchdowns with a kick return and a punt return touchdown. It was seriously a fluke win to say the least, and they were lucky to beat Jacksonville 26-23 at home in overtime in Week 1.
Tennessee has played a brutal schedule this season. All three of its losses have come to New England, San Diego and Houston, including two on the road. Coming in battle-tested, the Titans will put their best effort forward Sunday, and it will be enough to cover this spread. In fact, there's a very good chance the Titans win outright.
Matt Hasselbeck has had a full week of practice to prepare for being the starter this week. He was thrown into the wolves against the Texans last week, and he threw two pick 6's, which turned a close game into a blowout. Hasselbeck will be much sharper this time around given the circumstances.
This play falls into a system that is 29-9 (76.3%) ATS over the last 5 seasons. It tells us to bet on road underdogs or pick (TENNESSEE) - with a turnover margin of -1 /game or worse on the season, after 2 consecutive games where they forced 1 or less turnovers.
The Titans are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. The Vikings are 9-19-1 ATS in their last 29 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. Minnesota is 1-5 ATS in its last 5 home games. Take the Titans Sunday.
|10-07-12||Philadelphia Eagles v. Pittsburgh Steelers -3||Top||14-16||Loss||-120||91 h 27 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Pittsburgh Steelers -3
There are quite a few different factors favoring the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, enough to earn GAME OF THE YEAR status folks. I fully expect them to beat the Philadelphia Eagles by four-plus points in a blowout.
Pittsburgh is coming off a bye and it couldn't have come at a better time. It has opened 1-2 after blowing fourth quarter leads to the Broncos and Raiders. Motivated to avoid dropping to 1-3, I simply cannot see the Steelers losing this contest.
The Steelers will be getting three of their best players back from injury this week. Most importantly, LB James Harrison and S Troy Polamalu will be back on the field, which will make Pittsburgh's defense a lot more formidable than it has been over the last few weeks. Also, RB Rashard Mendenhall makes his season debut.
Philadelphia is in a huge letdown spot against the Steelers after beating NFC East rival New York on NBC's Sunday Night Football last week. The Eagles are 3-1 this season, but their three wins have come by a combined four points. This team is not as good as its record would indicate, and it has been outscored by 10.0 points/game on the road this season against the Browns and Cardinals.
Ben Roethlisberger is 13-1 at home against NFC opponents in his career. The Steelers are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games following a S.U. loss. Pittsburgh 8-0 ATS is in home games after 1 or more consecutive losses against the spread over the last 3 seasons. The Steelers are 6-0 ATS in home games after playing their last game on the road over the last 2 seasons. These last three trends make for a perfect 23-0 system backing Pittsburgh. Bet the Steelers Sunday.
|10-07-12||Miami Dolphins +4 v. Cincinnati Bengals||17-13||Win||100||66 h 7 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Miami Dolphins +4
The Miami Dolphins will be playing with a sense of urgency Sunday as they try to avoid dropping to 1-4 on the season. The Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1 on the year and could be in for a big letdown here after their fast start. Miami wants this one more, and I believe it is the better team, which is why I'll side with the points.
The Dolphins really should be 3-1 this season instead of 1-3. They have lost a pair of overtime games to the Jets and Cardinals that they really should have won. This team is better than its record would indicate, while the Bengals are not as good as their 3-1 record. Cincinnati has only beaten Cleveland, Jacksonville and Washington. Remember, this is a team that only beat one squad with a winning record last season while going 9-7 and making the playoffs.
This play falls into a system that is 28-7 (80%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against any team (CINCINNATI) - off a upset win as an underdog against opponent off a road cover where the team lost as an underdog.
The Dolphins are 6-0 ATS versus poor rushing defenses - allowing >=4.5 rushing yards/carry over the last 2 seasons. Miami is 8-0 ATS in its last 8 games vs. a team with a winnng record. The Bengals are 1-7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. AFC foes. The Dolphins are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a S.U. loss. Miami is 22-5 ATS in its last 27 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Roll with the Dolphins Sunday.
|10-07-12||Baltimore Ravens v. Kansas City Chiefs +6||9-6||Win||100||66 h 6 m||Show|
15* Ravens/Chiefs AFC Sunday No-Brainer on Kansas City +6
The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the best 1-3 teams in the league this season. They have simply beat themselves so far this season, turning the ball over more times than any other team in the league. They have given it away 15 times this season and are -13 in turnover differential.
As a result, the Chiefs are going to be showing great value for a few weeks, especially this week at home against the Baltimore Ravens. When you look at the numbers, you can see that the Chiefs are a much better team than their record. Kansas City averages 419 yards/game offensively while giving up 334 yards/game defensively, so it is outgaining opponents by 85 yards/game.
Baltimore really misses 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs. Their stop unit is one of the most overrated in the league this season. Baltimore is giving up 390 total yards/game, which ranks 22nd in the league. Its last three opponents, including Cleveland, have thrown for over 300 yards.
This play falls into a system that is 32-10 (76.2%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (KANSAS CITY) - an average offensive team (18 to 23 PPG) against an excellent offensive team (>=27 PPG), after a loss by 14 or more points.
The Ravens are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record. The Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in October. Kansas City is 24-11 ATS after allowing 35 points or more last game since 1992. Bet the Chiefs Sunday.
|10-06-12||Nebraska v. Ohio State -3||Top||38-63||Win||100||50 h 50 m||Show|
25* Big Ten GAME OF THE YEAR on Ohio State -3
The Ohio State Buckeyes should be a much bigger home favorite over the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday. At 5-0 this season, the Buckeyes appear to me like the best team n the Big Ten. They went on the road and earned a hard-fought 17-16 victory at Michigan State last week.
Nebraska is way overrated this season. The Huskers are 4-0 at home against easy competition in Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Idaho State and Wisconsin. They really should have lost to the Badgers last week after trailing 10-27 in the third quarter, and we all know how down Wisconsin football is this season. In their lone road game this season, the Huskers lost at UCLA 30-36.
The Huskers came back in similar fashion on the Buckeyes last season at home. They were trailing 6-27, but scored 28 unanswered points to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. These Ohio State players remember that game, and they will be hungry for revenge. Nebraska won't be pulling any crazy comebacks on the road this time around.
Nebraska's weakness is a defense that ranks 60th against the run (152.8 yards/game) and its strength is a rush offense that ranks 5th (305.8 yards/game). That makes this an excellent match-up for the Buckeyes considering they rank 20th in run defense (100.8 yards/game) and 21st in rush offense (224.2 yards/game).
The Cornhuskers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 road games. Nebraska is 0-3-1 ATS in its last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Cornhuskers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. The Buckeyes are 43-18-1 ATS in their last 62 conference games. Ohio State is 37-18-1 ATS in its last 56 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Ohio State Saturday.
|10-06-12||Tulsa v. Marshall OVER 69.5||45-38||Win||100||45 h 19 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Tulsa/Marshall OVER 69.5
Oddsmakers have set the bar way too low for this contest Saturday between Marshall and Tulsa. These are two of the best offenses in the country, and two of the worst defenses as well. I look for both teams to score 40-plus in this one.
Tulsa is scoring 42.0 points/game and averaging 481 total yards/game. Marshall is scoring 41.0 points/game and averaging 556 total yards/game. Tulsa is giving up 40.0 points/game on the road this season. Marshall is yielding 44.4 points and 496 total yards/game this year.
This play falls into a system that is 80-37 (68.4%) to the OVER during the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet the OVER on any team against the total (MARSHALL) - after gaining 525 or more total yards/game over their last 2 games, with 5 defensive starters returning. Take the OVER in this game Saturday.
|10-06-12||Oklahoma -4.5 v. Texas Tech||41-20||Win||100||45 h 19 m||Show|
15* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Oklahoma -4.5
Steaming mad over their loss to Kansas State last time and with two weeks to boil over it, I look for the Oklahoma Sooners to roll right over the Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday. They have had two weeks to prepare for this game having last played the Wildcats on Saturday, September 22nd. That extra rest is a huge advantage heading into this one.
Texas Tech is one of the most overrated teams in the country. It has opened 4-0, but it has played a very soft schedule with the likes of Northwestern State, Texas State, New Mexico and Iowa State. Oklahoma is battle-tested heading into this one while the Red Raiders certainly are not.
Not only are the Sooners pissed off about their loss to Kansas State, they also want revenge from a shocking 38-41 home loss to Texas Tech last season. The Sooners came into that game as a 29-point favorite. They are not showing excellent value as only a 4.5-point favorite in this great spot.
The Sooners are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games following a S.U. loss. Oklahoma is 6-0 ATS in its last 6 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. The Sooners are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. The Red Raiders are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. These last three trends add up to a 16-0 system in favor of the Sooners. Roll with Oklahoma Saturday.
|10-06-12||Virginia Tech +6 v. North Carolina||34-48||Loss||-106||42 h 19 m||Show|
15* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Virginia Tech +6
The Virginia Tech Hokies should not be an underdog to the UNC Tar Heels, let alone a 6-point dog. This team is much better than it has shown so far, and I look for the Hokies to put their best foot forward Saturday after a heartbreaking 24-27 last-second loss at Cincinnati last week.
I know the Hokies have two losses this season, but if you look at who they played, it's really not all that shocking. They simply had a hard time getting up for Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, which are two teams from the Big East. Returning to ACC action will help get Virginia Tech focused.
North Carolina is a quality team, but it is getting too much respect here. Like VA Tech, the Tar Heels are also 3-2, but their three wins have come against cupcake opponents in Elon, East Carolina and Idaho. They don't have a quality win yet, and I don't see them getting one Saturday, either.
North Carolina is 0-6 ATS after a game where they forced 4 or more turnovers over the last 3 seasons. Virginia Tech is 59-37 ATS in all road games since 1992. The Hokies are 15-5 ATS in road games after playing 2 straight non-conference games since 1992. The Tar Heels are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. UNC is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games following a win. Bet Virginia Tech Saturday.
|10-06-12||Northwestern v. Penn State -2.5||28-39||Win||100||42 h 49 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Penn State -2.5
The Penn State Nittany Lions aren't getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers here. Penn State could easily be 5-0 right now. They blew leads against Ohio and Virginia before reeling off three straight impressive victories over Navy, Temple and Illinois.
Northwestern is way overrated after its 5-0 start. You could argue that the Wildcats don't have a quality win yet. They have four home victories over Vanderbilt, Boston College, South Dakota and Indiana. Their lone road win came at Syracuse against an Orange team that is 1-3 heading into their Pitt game Friday night. This is easily the Wildcats' toughest game of the season.
Penn State is a dominant defensive team that will be able to slow down this Northwestern offense that has clicked against soft competition. The Nittany Lions are only giving up 13.6 points/game this season. They also have one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country. Matt McGloin is completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 1,217 yards with 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
The Wildcats are 109th in the nation in pass defense (289.0 yards per game), and they've struggled to contain Matt McGloin before. The senior quarterback has thrown six touchdowns without an interception, taking only one sack, in beating Northwestern the past two seasons.
Northwestern has lost five straight to Penn State while giving up an average of 33 points/game. The Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Penn State. The Nittany Lions are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings, winning all four by double-digits.
The Wildcats are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 conference games. The Nittany Lions are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Penn State is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games overall as it is consistently undervalued each week. Take Penn State Saturday.
|10-05-12||Utah State +7 v. BYU||Top||3-6||Win||100||45 h 13 m||Show|
20* Utah State/BYU ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Utah State +7
The Utah State Aggies are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They will show tonight what they are capable of with a huge road victory over the BYU Cougars.
Utah State lost at BYU 24-27 last year on a heartbreaker. The Cougars scored a garbage touchdown with only 11 seconds left on a pass that was tipped to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. The Aggies want revenge in a bad way, and they'll get it tonight behind Chuckie Keeton and company.
Keeton is certainly one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He has led Utah State to a 4-1 start with its only loss coming at Wisconsin 14-16 as the Aggies missed a potential game-winning field goal late.
Keeton is completing 67.7 percent of his passes for 1,281 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also rushed for 218 yards on the year. Explosive tailback Kerwynn Williams has rushed for 519 yards and three touchdowns. He also has a team-high 18 receptions for 262 yards and two scores.
BYU's offense is simply atrocious. That's why they should not be favored by a touchdown here, especially against a better team like Utah State that is out for revenge. The Aggies rank 40th in the country in total offense and 12th in total defense against a reasonable schedule.
The Aggies are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Aggies are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Cougars are 8-17-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. WAC opponents. The Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Bet Utah State Friday.
|10-05-12||Baltimore Orioles +186 v. Texas Rangers||5-1||Win||186||8 h 17 m||Show|
15* Orioles/Rangers AL PLAY OF THE DAY on Baltimore +186
The Baltimore Orioles have had a magical season, and it's not about to end Friday. I look for the Orioles to take down the Texas Rangers in this one-game playoff in the American League wild-card.
Texas is still stunned after getting swept by the Oakland A's in their last three games. One win and Texas would have been AL West champs, instead they have to play in this one-game playoff. They don't come into this game in a very good state of mind to say the least.
Joe Saunders gets the ball tonight, and he thrives on the road. Saunders has posted a 2.66 ERA and 1.139 WHIP in 14 road starts this season. I like his chances against Yu Darvish, who sports a 3.90 ERA on the season, and a 3.88 ERA at home.
The Orioles are 4-1 in their last 5 games as an underdog. The Orioles are 17-5 in their last 22 games following a loss. The Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 overall. Roll with the Orioles Friday.
|10-05-12||St. Louis Cardinals +161 v. Atlanta Braves||6-3||Win||161||5 h 48 m||Show|
15* Cards/Braves NL PLAY OF THE DAY on St. Louis +161
The St. Louis Cardinals are one team that will not be afraid of the pressure they'll face Friday in this one-game series with Atlanta. I look for the defending world champs to win this game and advance to the next round.
Kyle Lohse is one of the most underrated starters in the game. He's 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.090 WHIP in 33 starts this season. Lohse sports a 3-1 record in four career starts against Atlanta.
Lohse is 14-2 against the money line vs. an NL team with a team batting average of .250 or worse this season. The Cardinals are 6-1 in their last 7 games as an underdog of +151 to +200. The Cardinals are 4-0 in Lohse's last 4 starts as an underdog of +151 to +200. Take the Cardinals Friday.
|10-04-12||USC v. Utah +14.5||38-28||Win||100||21 h 25 m||Show|
15* USC/Utah ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Utah +14.5
The USC Trojans are getting way too much respect on the road Thursday as greater than a two-touchdown favorite against the Utah Utes. Home teams have been dominant on Thursday night college football this season. We just saw Washington upset Stanford last week, and I look for the Utes to give the Trojans a run for their money tonight.
What makes Utah so competitive is a defense that is as good as almost anyone in the country. It ranks 30th in the land in total defense (329.5 yards/game), including 28th against the run (111.3 yards/game) and 50th against the pass (218.3 yards/game).
There's no question the offense has struggled en route to a 2-2 start for the Utes. However, they have been up against some of the best defenses in the country with the likes of Utah State, BYU and Arizona State. They managed 24 points in a 24-21 victory over BYU in their last home game, which was impressive considering the Cougars rank 5th in the country in total defense.
Utah wants revenge from a 23-14 road loss to USC last season. The Utes were trying to tie the game with a field goal on the game's final play, but it was blocked and return for a touchdown by USC that made the final score seem like more of a blowout than it really was. The Utes proved they could play with the Trojans on the road last year, and with 16 starters back from that team, they certainly can hang with them at home this time around.
This play falls into a system that is 36-10 (78.3%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet on home underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (UTAH) - after being outgained by 225 or more total yds in their previous game, with 8 or more offensive starters including the QB returning.
The Utes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. loss. Utah is 48-27 ATS in its last 75 games as an underdog. The Trojans are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. USC hasn't looked good in its two road games, losing at Stanford and beating Syracuse by just 13 points. Take Utah Thursday.
|10-04-12||Arizona Cardinals v. St. Louis Rams +2||Top||3-17||Win||100||21 h 51 m||Show|
20* NFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Rams +2
After a hard fought 19-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks, the St. Louis Rams now sit at 2-2 on the season. If they want any shot of winning the NFC West this season, this game against the 4-0 Arizona Cardinals is a must-win Thursday night.
I look for the Rams to take care of business against the most overrated team in the league tonight. It's a complete fluke that the Cardinals are 4-0 this season considering they have the 31st ranked offense (271.7 yards/game) and the 17th ranked defense (357.2 yards/game). That's right folks, they are getting outgained by 85.5 yards/game yet they are 4-0.
St. Louis has been a completely different team at home this season, beating two solid squads in Washington (31-28) and Seattle (19-13). They are a last-second touchdown at Detroit away from being 3-1 this season. Even their 6-23 loss at Chicago was a 6-10 game entering the 4th quarter before the Bears returned an interception for a touchdown to break it open.
Arizona is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 after 3 or more consecutive wins. The Rams are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. St. Louis is 3-0-1 ATS in its last 4 home games overall. The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC opponents. Bet the Rams Thursday.
|10-04-12||Arkansas State v. Florida International +2||34-20||Loss||-110||20 h 56 m||Show|
15* Arkansas State/FIU Sun Belt GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida International +2
The FIU Panthers are one of the most underrated teams in the country right now due to their 1-4 start. I'll gladly side with the value in this contest and back them as a home underdog to the Arkansas State Red Wolves Thursday.
FIU was one of the favorites to win the Sun Belt this season with 17 starters back from a team that went 8-5 last season. Arkansas State won the Sun Belt last year, but with only 10 starters back, it slipped in the preseason rankings and is unlikely to repeat.
After playing a brutal schedule through their first five games, I look for FIU to finall get on track and get revenge on an Arkansas State team that beat them 34-16 last season. The Red Wolves needed 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter at home to steal that victory from the Golden Panthers.
The home team has been dominant in this series, winning five straight and six of the last seven meetings. The home team is a perfect 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings. The Red Wolves are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games. Take Florida International and the points.
|10-03-12||Baltimore Orioles -107 v. Tampa Bay Rays||Top||1-4||Loss||-107||7 h 52 m||Show|
20* AL East GAME OF THE WEEK on Baltimore Orioles -107
The Baltimore Orioles trail the New York Yankees by one game in the AL East race. A win and a New York loss tonight, and Baltimore would host a tiebreaker Thursday between these teams. A win tonight would also assure that they would host the wild-card game even if the Yankees were to win the AL East.
The Orioles still have a lot to play for, and the same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays had their hopes of making the postseason crushed on Monday, and they went on to lose 1-0 to the Orioles last night. Tampa is deflated right now and will not be up for this Game 3 tonight.
Baltimore's Chris Tillman is one of the most underrated starters in the game. He has gone 9-2 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.062 WHIP in 14 starts this season, including 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 0.650 WHIP in his last three. In his last two starts against Tampa, Tillman is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA while allowing just two earned runs over 12 innings.
The Orioles are 7-0 in Tillman's last 7 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Baltimore is 4-0 in Tillman's last 4 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Orioles are 4-0 in their last 4 games as a favorite. The Rays are 0-5 in Hellickson's last 5 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. These four trends make for a 20-0 system backing Baltimore. Bet the Orioles Wednesday.
|10-02-12||Baltimore Orioles +125 v. Tampa Bay Rays||Top||1-0||Win||125||7 h 46 m||Show|
20* AL DOG OF THE MONTH on Baltimore Orioles +122
The Baltimore Orioles trail the New York Yankees by one game for the AL East lead. They will be the more motivated team tonight considering Tampa Bay was just eliminated from postseason contention Monday as Oakland clinched the final wild-card spot in the American League.
Baltimore will win tonight behind Miguel Gonzalez, who is one of the most underrated starters in the league. Gonzalez is 8-4 with a .45 ERA and 1.242 WHIP in 14 starts and three relief appearances this year, including 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.293 WHIP in his last three starts.
James Shield is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA in two starts against Baltimore this season, yielding nine earned runs and 20 base runners over 12 1/3 innings. Miguel Gonzalez is 0-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts against Tampa, giving up just two earned runs over 13 innings.
The Orioles are 7-1 in Gonzalez's last 8 starts vs. American League East. Baltimore is 16-5 in its last 21 games following a loss. The Orioles are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in this series. Bet the Orioles Tuesday.
|10-01-12||Chicago Bears v. Dallas Cowboys -3||Top||34-18||Loss||-125||125 h 56 m||Show|
20* Bears/Cowboys ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Dallas -3
The Dallas Cowboys are showing awesome value as only a 3-point home favorite over the Chicago Bears Monday night. Dallas is off to a 2-1 start this season with wins over the Giants and Bucs, and they've only played one home game thus far.
The Chicago Bears have played two homes games and just one road game en route to their 2-1 start. They beat the Colts and Rams at home, which is far from impressive. Their lone road game resulted in a 10-23 loss at Green Bay. Jay Cutler threw four interceptions and was sacked 7 times in that loss to the Packers.
I really like what Dallas did this offseason with the upgrades they made in the secondary, and it's clearly paying dividends. The Cowboys rank 1st in the league in total defense (250.0 yards/game), including 2nd against the pass (137.0 yards/game). Their cornerbacks have had a lot better coverage, which allows the defensive line to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
The Bears have not been very good on offense despite their 2-1 start. They rank just 27th in the league in total offense (290.0 yards/game). What is going to really hurt the Bears is the fact that Matt Forte is doubtful with a knee injury, and this offense is really going to miss his playmaking ability.
Chicago is 4-16 ATS in its last 20 vs. good passing defenses - allowing 175 or less passing yards/game. The Bears are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 road games vs. good passing teams averaging 7 or more passing yards/attempt. Dallas is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 home games vs. poor passing teams with a completion pct. of 53% or worse. The Cowboys are 19-6 ATS in their last 25 home games versus poor rushing teams - averaging <=3.5 rushing yards/carry. Bet the Cowboys Monday.
|10-01-12||San Diego Padres +141 v. Milwaukee Brewers||3-5||Loss||-100||9 h 48 m||Show|
15* NL Monday Undervalued Underdog on San Diego Padres +141
The Milwaukee Brewers made a valiant run over the last month and a half to compete for a playoff spot, but they ultimately fell short of returning to the postseason. One day after having those hopes dashed, I look for the Brewers to come out flat in Game 1 of this series with the San Diego Padres.
Clayton Richard is one of the most underrated starters in the game. He's 14-13 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.228 WHIP in 32 starts this season. He'll be up against Shaun Marcum, who is 3-1 with a 4.65 ERA and 1.402 WHIP in seven home starts this year.
"It was amazing, the run that we went on to get into contention," said reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun, who has a career-high and NL-best 41 homers. "I think that we're all proud of that. Ultimately, we're disappointed we didn't end up back in the postseason, but it certainly wasn't for a lack of effort."
The Brewers were shut out 7-0 by the Houston Astros yesterday to seal their fate. "For us to come out and get shut out, that was probably the last thing that I thought would happen," manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's hard right now. To play as well as we did to get back in it, this was a very disappointing series."
Just by these comments, you can tell that Milwaukee is deflated right now. The Padres are 11-1 in their last 12 vs. National League Central. San Diego is 6-0 in Richard's last 6 starts as an underdog. The Padres are 4-0 in Richard's last 4 road starts. The Brewers are 1-7 in Marcum's last 8 starts as a home favorite of -110 to -150. Roll with the Padres Monday.
|10-01-12||Baltimore Orioles +120 v. Tampa Bay Rays||3-5||Loss||-100||8 h 44 m||Show|
15* AL East PLAY OF THE DAY on Baltimore Orioles +120
The Baltimore Orioles clinched a playoff spot yesterday, but now they have their sights set on winning the AL East division. They are tied with the New York Yankees atop the division with three games to play having won four straight games by a combined score of 31-9.
The Tampa Bay Rays are three games back of the Oakland A's for the final wild-card spot in the American League. That means they would have to win out while having the A's lose three in a row for a chance to get in. They realize their chances are slim to none for that to happen.
Wei-Yin Chen has been solid for Baltimore this season, going 12-10 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.269 WHIP in 31 starts. He'll be up against Alex Cobb, who has posted similar numbers at 10-9 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.283 WHIP in 22 starts.
I just believe the Orioles have the edge in motivation here, and a slight edge on the mound as well. Chen has posted a 3.37 ERA and 1.162 WHIP in four starts against Tampa Bay this season. He pitched seven shutout innings of a 4-0 win at Tampa Bay in his last start there. Cobb gave up two earned runs and nine base runners over 4 2/3 innings of a 2-3 loss to Baltimore in his lone start against the Orioles this season.
The Orioles are 8-2 in their last 10 games as an underdog. Baltimore is 8-3 in Chen's last 11 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. The Orioles are 5-0 in their last 5 road games vs. a right-handed starter. Baltimore is 5-0 in Chen's last 5 starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. The Orioles are 5-0 in their last 5 meetings with the Rays. Take Baltimore Monday.
|09-30-12||NY Giants v. Philadelphia Eagles -1||17-19||Win||100||101 h 56 m||Show|
15* Giants/Eagles NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Philadelphia -1
The betting public is down on the Philadelphia Eagles after their bad loss at Arizona last week. As a result, oddsmakers have been forced to set them as less than a field goal favorite at home against the New York Giants on NBC's Sunday Night Football. I'll gladly take advantage of this line value and back the home team in this one.
Philadelphia is still one of the best teams in the league. I know they have turned the ball over 12 times in three games already, but the fact that the Eagles are 2-1 right now really shows how good they are. I have no doubt that ball security will be of huge importance all week in practice, and I look for the Eagles to carry that over into the game.
Just look at the numbers and you can see that this is one of the best teams in the NFL, yet they aren't getting credit for it because of the turnovers. The Eagles rank 5th in the NFL in total offense at 416.3 yards/game, and 5th in total defense at 275.7 yards/game. So they are outgaining opponents by roughly 141 yards/game.
Philly has the kind of defense that can slow down this Giants' offense. They tied for first in the league in sacks last season, and they made roster upgrades this offseason that have made them an improved stop unit in 2012.
New York gets too much credit for its defense. The fact of the matter is that the Giants rank just 18th in the league in total defense at 355.7 yards/game allowed. They have all kinds of issues in their secondary, and I look for Vick and these playmakers to exploit it.
The Eagles are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings with the Giants. Philly is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 vs. NFC East opponents. The Eagles are 18-5 ATS in their last 23 following a loss of 21 points or more. This trend just goes to show how resilient they have been under Andy Reid. They are 12-3 ATS off a loss of 21 points or more with Reid at the helm. Take the Eagles Sunday.
|09-30-12||Miami Dolphins +6.5 v. Arizona Cardinals||21-24||Win||100||97 h 32 m||Show|
15* Dolphins/Cardinals Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Miami +6.5
The Arizona Cardinals are getting way too much respect for their 3-0 start. There's no question it has been impressive, but now is the time to fade them while they're perception of being a great team is very high in the eyes of the betting public, and thus the oddsmakers.
Arizona is coming off wins over the Patriots and Eagles the last two weeks, which sets them up for a huge letdown here with 1-2 Miami coming into town. But the Dolphins are a much better team than they get credit for, and they should be 2-1.
The Dolphins dominated the Raiders 35-13 at home in Week 2, and they should have beaten the Jets last week. Dan Carpenter missed two field goals, including a potential game-winner in overtime, letting the Jets escape with a 23-20 overtime victory.
Even their 10-30 loss at Houston in their opener wasn't as big of a blowout as the score would indicate. This was a 3-3 game with less than two minutes to go before half, but the Texans converted three turnovers into three quick touchdowns before the break to pull away.
When you look at the numbers, it's easy to see how this is a more evenly matched game than the spread would indicate. Miami's offense has actually been very good this season as it is averaging 369 total yards/game. Arizona's offense is only putting up 263.3 yards/game, and it cannot sustain this kind of success with those woeful offensive numbers.
The Dolphins are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record. Miami is 21-5 ATS in its last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Arizona is 5-15 ATS in its last 20 home games after 2 or more consecutive wins. Bet the Dolphins Friday.
|09-30-12||New England Patriots -4 v. Buffalo Bills||Top||52-28||Win||100||94 h 49 m||Show|
25* AFC East GAME OF THE YEAR on New England Patriots -4
The New England Patriots have lost two straight heartbreakers by a combined three points. There's no question they are going to come out extremely hungry in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bulls, and I look for them to take care of business in blowout fashion given the situation.
The Patriots haven't lost three straight since 2002, so this has been an extremely resilient team in the Bill Belichick era. While the Patriots did blow a 21-point lead in a 31-34 loss at Buffalo last season, they certainly have the Bills' number to say the least.
New England has won 16 of the last 17 meetings with the Bills, including a 49-21 home victory in the rematch last season as it avenged the earlier 3-point loss. Fourteen of those 16 wins have come by 5 points or more in this series.
Buffalo doesn't have an impressive win yet. It lost 28-48 to the New York Jets in its opener, and its two victories have come against lowly Kansas City and Cleveland, two teams with a combined 1-6 record. The Bills are not ready to take that next step and beat a team like the Patriots in this spot.
The Pats are 6-0 ATS versus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.5 rushing yards/carry over the last 3 seasons. New England is 35-16-1 ATS in its last 52 games following a S.U. loss. The Patriots are 51-24-3 ATS in their last 78 road games. The Bills are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. Bet the Patriots Sunday.
|09-30-12||San Francisco 49ers v. NY Jets +4.5||34-0||Loss||-110||93 h 27 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on New York Jets +4.5
The San Francisco 49ers are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers. Also, the books are putting too much stock on the injury to Darrelle Revis. As a result, the New York Jets are showing tremendous value at home in Week 4.
There's no question that San Francisco is one of the better teams in the league. However, I believe after making the NFC Championship game last season, and opening 2-0, they are getting too much love. The 49ers showed they were vulnerable with a 13-24 loss at Minnesota last week.
These are two very similar teams that like to pound the rock on offense, while relying on two of the best defenses in the league. I expect a low-scoring, defensive battle which certainly favors the home underdog catching more than a field goal in this one. I look for the Jets to come together as a team and take it personal that they are a dog at home, largely due to Revis' absence.
"This is a team game, and as a team, we've got to step it up," Ryan said. "I think we'll respond. We certainly have to accept the challenge, and we're going to come out and compete. We might do it a little differently, but we're certainly going to give it our best shot, without question."
"Everybody's got to step up," Ryan said. "Whatever it takes, that's what we're going to do. We have enough to get it done here. ... This football team is a bunch of competitors. We will find a way to get this done."
New York rolled in its first home game, topping Buffalo 48-28 in the season opener. After two tough road games at Pittsburgh and Miami where they split 1-1, I look for them to come out with another great effort in front of their home fans.
The 49ers are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Jets are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games in September. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in this series. Roll with the Jets Sunday.
|09-30-12||Carolina Panthers +7 v. Atlanta Falcons||28-30||Win||100||93 h 27 m||Show|
15* NFC South GAME OF THE WEEK on Carolina Panthers +7
The Carolina Panthers have opened 1-2 after falling to the New York Giants in embarrassing fashion last Thursday. With a couple extra days of rest and essentially their playoff hopes on the line, I look for the Panthers to put forth their best effort of the season against NFC South rival Atlanta Sunday.
There's no denying that the Falcons have been impressive en route to their 3-0 start. However, with success comes lofty expectations from the oddsmakers and betting public, and as a result the books have set this number too high. This is a letdown spot for the Falcons, and they won't be ready for the effort they get from Carolina Sunday.
Carolina could get three players back who missed the Giants contest. Head coach Ron Rivera expects running back Jonathan Stewart, offensive tackle Byron Bell and linebacker Thomas Davis to play, with Bell and Davis returning to practice Monday.
"It is a divisional game, but the truth is, your biggest game is the one you are about to play," Rivera said. "I guess as far as the record goes and being in our division, yes it means a lot, it is a big game."
This play falls into a system that is 22-4 (84.6%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against home teams (ATLANTA) - opportunistic team (2.5+ TO/game forced) against a team with <=1.25 TO/game forced, after a game where they forced 4 or more turnovers. The Falcons have been fortunate in the turnover department to say the least, and that can't last. Take the Panthers Sunday.
|09-29-12||Oregon State v. Arizona -2||38-35||Loss||-110||71 h 48 m||Show|
15* Oregon State/Arizona CFB Late-Night BAILOUT on Arizona -2
The Arizona Wildcats should be a much bigger home favorite Saturday against the Oregon State Beavers. The Wildcats had every chance to make it a game against Oregon early last week, but they eventually fell 0-49 in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. As a result, this team is undervalued heading into Week 5.
Arizona managed a respectable 332 total yards on the Ducks, but it committed five turnovers and and wasted several red zone opportunities. Looking to redeem themselves, the Wildcats will come out hungry when they return home Saturday.
The Wildcats have been dominant at home this season, going 3-0 with impressive wins over Toledo and Oklahoma State. They are scoring 46.3 points/game at home this year while allowing only 18.3 points/game.
Oregon State is getting way too much respect for its 10-7 win over Wisconsin and its 27-20 victory over UCLA. This is the perfect time to fade the Beavers with the love they are getting from oddsmakers and the betting public after last week's results.
This play falls into a system that is 23-4 (85.2%) ATS since 1992. It tells us to bet against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (OREGON ST) - excellent passing team (>=275 PY/game) against a poor passing defense (230-275 PY/game), after allowing 8 or more passing yards/attempt last game. Plus, Oregon State is 9-23 ATS in its last 32 September road games. Roll with Arizona Saturday.
|09-29-12||Texas Tech v. Iowa State +3||24-13||Loss||-105||68 h 49 m||Show|
15* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Iowa State +3
The Iowa State Cyclones should not be an underdog at home to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in their Big 12 opener Saturday. Paul Rhoads is one of the best head coaches in the country, and he always gets the most out of his teams. That was evidenced last year when the Cyclones pulled off the upset of the season with a 37-31 home victory in double overtime over then-No. 2 Oklahoma State.
Rhoads has these Cyclones off to an impressive 3-0 start despite playing a tough schedule. Iowa State has already been an underdog twice, beating Tulsa 38-23 at home as a 1.5-point underdog, and going on the road to beat Iowa 9-6 as a 3.5-point dog. This team is much better than it gets credit for.
Unlike Iowa State, Texas Tech has not played anybody en route to its 3-0 start. The Red Raiders have stomped Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico in their first three games. They won't be prepared for the test they are going to get from the Cyclones Saturday. Iowa State is clearly battle-tested and ready to go.
The Cyclones have been sharp offensively, scoring 28.0 points while averaging 429.0 yards/game. They have one of the most underrated defenses in the land. Their stop unit is yielding 10.7 points/game and 280.0 total yards/game. I can't emphasize enough that they have played a tough schedule to this point, which makes these numbers all that more impressive.
All you have to do is look at recent history to realize that the Cyclones are always undervalued in this series. Iowa State beat Texas Tech 41-7 on the road last year as a 15.5-point underdog, which followed a 52-38 home victory over the Red Raiders in 2010 as a 6.5-point dog. Oddsmakers clearly haven't done their homework.
This play falls into a system that is 33-5 (86.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against any team (TEXAS TECH) - with an incredible defense - allowing 4.2 or less yards/play, after allowing 150 or less total yards in their previous game.
The Cyclones are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Iowa State is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 conference games. Texas Tech is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 after 2 straight covers as a double digit favorite. The Cyclones are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 home games after allowing 14 points or less last game. Roll with Iowa State Saturday.
|09-29-12||Florida International +7 v. Louisiana-Lafayette||20-48||Loss||-110||68 h 48 m||Show|
15* Sun Belt GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida International +7
Florida International should not be catching a touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday. I picked FIU to win the Sun Belt, and after a slow start, this team is clearly going under the radar. The Panthers returned 17 starters from a team that went 8-5 last year. There's still no doubt in my mind that this is the most talented team in the conference, and that will show on the field this weekend.
Florida International has opened 1-3, but it is due to a very tough schedule. All three of their losses have been as an underdog at Duke, at UCF and home against Louisville. Those aren't bad losses, and they even covered the spread in two of those games against UCF and Louisville.
FIU wants revenge from a 31-36 home loss to Louisiana-Lafayette as a 16.5-point favorite last year. The Panthers still have all of their goals in front of them as this will be their Sun Belt opener, and after playing a tough non-conference schedule, they are battle-tested coming in.
The Panthers lost starting quarterback Jake Medlock in the second quarter of a 21-28 loss to Louisville last week. That may have been a blessing in disguise considering talented freshman E.J. Hilliard got a chance to take his place. Hilliard played like a seasoned vet, completing 9 of 10 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. He is the quarterback of the future here, and he's ready now.
Lafayette is a quality team, but it clearly has some holes after a 24-65 loss at Oklahoma State last time out. The Cowboys racked up a ridiculous 742 total yards on the Rajin' Cajuns while limiting them to 376. Their two wins came against Troy and Lamar, which is unimpressive to say the least.
The Ragin' Cajuns are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games. Lafayette is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Rajin' Cajuns are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 home games when playing against a terrible team (Win Pct. <=25%). The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in this series. Take Florida International.
|09-29-12||Toledo v. Western Michigan +1||37-17||Loss||-110||68 h 48 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Western Michigan +1
The Toledo Rockets have no business being favored at Western Michigan Saturday. I know that the Broncos will be without starting quarterback Alex Carder, but as you'll see if you keep reading, it won't matter.
Western Michigan is hungry to avenge its 63-66 loss at Toledo last season. I picked the Broncos to win the MAC this season, and I still believe they are the best team in this conference. That will show on the field Saturday as they destroy the Rockets with revenge in mind.
The Broncos came into the season with 14 returning starters, while the Rockets came in as one of the most inexperienced teams in the country with only eight starters back. The Broncos have been tested early, which will only help them entering conference play.
WMU has already played the likes of Illinois and Minnesota, as well as Connecticut at home. They have gotten through that brutal schedule at 2-2. Carder went out with an injury in their 30-24 win over UConn last week, and junior Tyler VanTubbergen took his place while helping the Broncos hold onto the victory.
VanTubbergen will be dominant next season as a senior, but he has been given a great opportunity to lead the team with Carder out for at least the next few games. VanTubbergen started in place of an injured Carder against Akron last season, and he completed 19 of 21 passes (90%) for 252 yards with a whopping six touchdowns! It's safe to say that WMU is in good hands with this guy under center against the Rockets Saturday.
Toledo has opened 3-1 this season against a pretty soft schedule, and it is getting too much respect because of it. The Rockets lost at Toledo 17-24 in their opener, then followed that up with three lackluster victories over Wyoming (34-31), Bowling Green 27-15, and Coastal Carolina (38-28).
VanTubbergen is in line for a monster game against a Toledo defense that ranks 116th in the country against the pass (325.3 yards/game). The Rockets are giving up 483 yards/game against a weak schedule thus far, while the Broncos are yielding a respectable 353.5 yards/game against a tougher schedule. Coastal Carolina even threw for 356 yards on Toledo last week.
Toledo is 11-25 ATS in its last 25 road games vs. good passing teams with a completion pct. of 58% or better. The Rockets are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 road games after 3 or more consecutive straight up wins. The Broncos are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games. The underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings in this series. Bet Western Michigan Saturday.
|09-29-12||Arizona State v. California -1||27-17||Loss||-110||65 h 49 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on California -1
California is one of the best home teams in the country. In fact, they have the second-best home-field advantage of all teams in the six BCS conferences dating back to 1989. The Bears should be a much heavier favorite Saturday against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Cal is going under the radar right now because of its 1-3 start. But when you look at the schedule, it's easy to see why the Bears don't have more wins through three games. They lost to a very good Nevada team in their opener, and their last two games have come on the road against Ohio State and USC.
The Bears actually played both teams tough, losing 28-35 at Ohio State, and 9-27 at USC. It's safe to say that this team is battle-tested and hungry for a win when they return home Saturday for face an overrated Sun Devils team.
ASU is off to a 3-1 start, but it has played a much easier schedule. All three of their wins have come at home against Northern Arizona, Illinois and Utah. Their lone loss came on the road 20-24 at Missouri against a Tigers team that was playing without their starting quarterback.
Cal has won four straight and eight of its last nine meetings with Arizona State. The Bears won 50-17, 24-14, 49-21 and 27-0 in their last four home meetings with the Sun Devils. It's safe to say that Cal has ASU's number in this series, especially at home.
The Bears are 21-10 ATS in their last 31 home games. The Sun Devils are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Sun Devils are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 meetings in California dating back to 1997. Bet the Bears Saturday.
|09-29-12||Tennessee v. Georgia UNDER 61.5||Top||44-51||Loss||-110||96 h 47 m||Show|
25* SEC TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Tennessee/Georgia UNDER 61.5
Georgia beat Tennessee 20-12 on the road last season for 32 combined points. The Bulldogs put up 366 total yards, while the Vols were held to 284 yards. I look for a similar low-scoring affair in the rematch in 2012 as both teams return a ton of starters from last season.
Georgia remains one of the best defensive teams in the country. They are giving up just 16.5 points and 343.2 yards/game despite playing without several starters on defense at different times this season. Both safety Bacarri Rambo (55 tackles, 8 INT in 2011) and linebacker Alec Ogletree (52 tackles, 7.5 for loss in 2011) are expected to return Saturday.
Georgia's defense has steadily improved as the season has wore on, and it gave up only a field goal in a 48-3 victory over Vanderbilt last week. Tennessee has nine starters back on defense from last year's team, and there's no question this is an improved unit.
The UNDER is 33-12-1 in Bulldogs last 46 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Tennessee is 40-22 to the UNDER after a game where they forced 3 or more turnovers since 1992. The UNDER is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Georgia.
All you have to do is look at the history of this series to realize this total has been inflated. 15 of the last 17 meetings in this series have seen 57 or less combined points. That makes for a 15-2 (88%) system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|09-29-12||Minnesota v. Iowa -7||13-31||Win||100||61 h 50 m||Show|
15* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Iowa -7
The Iowa Hawkeyes have not gotten off to the start they wanted to this season. However, even at 2-2, they still have all of their goals ahead of them. They open their Big Ten schedule Saturday looking for revenge against a Minnesota team that has beaten them each of the last two years.
This is a huge rivalry between these schools, and there's no question that if Iowa had a better record right now, it would be a much bigger favorite. The Hawkeyes blew a 21-10 fourth quarter lead to the Gophers last season to lose 21-22 as a 14.5-point favorite.
There's no question these players have a sour taste in their mouths from that loss, and after blowing a 31-23 lead against Central Michigan over the final 45 seconds to lose 31-32. They allowed a touchdown, and then after the Chippewas recovered an onside kick, they marched down and kicked a game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Iowa will be giving its best effort of the season in front of a rowdy crowd at Kinnick Stadium. I believe the Gophers come in overrated after their 4-0 start because they really haven't played a worthy opponent yet. Their lone road win came in overtime against a terrible UNLV team by a final of 30-27. Because of these two team's records, this is a very soft line coming in and we're going to capitalize.
The home team has won six of the last seven meetings in this series. The Hawkeyes are 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 games following a S.U. loss, so this has been a very resilient team through the years. Iowa is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 home meetings with Minnesota. The Gophers are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog of 7 to 10 points. Take Iowa Saturday.
|09-28-12||Colorado Rockies v. Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5||0-8||Win||100||11 h 3 m||Show|
15* NL Friday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-123)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won two straight to get within three games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the final wild-card spot in the National League. They have scored a combined 16 runs over the past two days, and I look for them to stay hot at the plate tonight in Game 1 of this series with Colorado.
Ace Clayton Kershaw won't need much run support to win this game by 2 runs or more. The 2011 NL Cy Young winner has been dominant once again in 2012. He is 12-9 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.039 WHIP in 31 starts, 7-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 17 home starts, and he has posted a 0.95 ERA in his last three outings.
Colorado's Jeff Francis is no match for Kershaw. The left-hander is 5-6 with a 5.54 ERA and 1.481 WHIP in 22 starts this season, including 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.583 WHIP in his last three.
Kershaw is 15-2 against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) over the last 2 seasons. The Dodgers are winning by an average of 2.3 runs/game in this spot. Take the Dodgers on the Run Line Friday.
|09-28-12||Los Angeles Angels +100 v. Texas Rangers||7-4||Win||100||9 h 57 m||Show|
15* Angels/Rangers AL Friday No-Brainer on Los Angeles +100
This is a must-win for the Los Angeles Angels as they trail the Oakland A's by two games for the final wild-card spot in the American League. The Angels have won five of their last six, and I believe they have a huge edge on the mound in this one.
Ace Jered Weaver gets the ball for the Angels. The Cy Young contender is 19-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.002 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.787 WHIP in his last three starts when the stakes have been at the highest.
Ryan Dempster has not been nearly as good in the American League since he was traded to the Rangers from the Chicago Cubs before the deadline. He has posted a 4.76 ERA and 1.412 WHIP in his last three starts. Dempster has really struggled in two starts against Los Angeles, going 0-1 with a 14.63 ERA and 2.625 WHIP while allowing 13 earned runs and 21 base runners over 8 innings.
Weaver is 14-2 against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. The Angels are 8-1 in Weaver's last 9 road starts. Los Angeles is 21-6 in its last 27 during game 1 of a series. The Angels are 9-3 in Weaver's last 12 starts vs. Rangers. Roll with the Angels Friday.
|09-28-12||Hawaii v. BYU -27.5||Top||0-47||Win||100||53 h 56 m||Show|
20* Hawaii/BYU Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on BYU -27.5
This game simply screams blowout. BYU is pissed about losing two straight heartbreakers to Utah and Boise State on the road by a combined 4 points. I look for the Cougars to take out their frustration on National TV against a hapless Hawaii team when they return home Friday.
Hawaii is clearly down this season as evidenced by its 10-49 loss at USC, and its 24-69 home loss to Nevada last Saturday. The Warriors gave up 575 total yards to the Wolf Pack, including 355 on the ground.
BYU is a team that prefers to run the football, and it should have similar success on the ground that Nevada did last week. After committing five turnovers last week in a 6-7 loss at Boise State, including three interceptions, I look for the Cougars to get back to ground and pound and run it right down Hawaii's throats.
I've seen BYU play a couple times this season, and there's no question in my mind that it has one of the best defenses in the land. Despite playing a tough schedule, the Cougars rank 7th in the country in total defense, giving up 68.8 yards on the ground and 177.3 yards through the air. This stop unit won't give an inch Friday.
The Cougars won at Hawaii 41-20 last year in their regular season finale, outgaining the Warriors 530-299 for the game. I believe the Warriors have taken a step back this season, and I expect an even bigger blowout at home this time around. Hawaii doesn't travel well, and it will be working on two less days' rest considering the Cougars played last Thursday, and the Warriors played on Saturday.
BYU is 6-0 ATS after allowing 125 or less rushing yards in 3 straight games over the last 3 seasons. Hawaii is 0-6 ATS after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons. The Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. MWC opponents. These three trends combine for a perfect 18-0 system backing the Cougars. Bet BYU Friday.
|09-27-12||Los Angeles Dodgers -115 v. San Diego Padres||8-4||Win||100||10 h 34 m||Show|
15* Dodgers/Padres NL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -115
It's now or never for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After winning 8-2 last night over the Padres, they now trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 3.5 games for the final wild-card spot in the National League with seven games to play. They have a chance to pull within 3 with a victory tonight as the Cardinals have the day off.
I like the Dodgers' chances of beating San Diego again with Chris Capuano on the mound. The left-hander is 11-11 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.200 WHIP over 31 starts this season. Capuano has posted a 3.86 ERA in 10 career starts against the Padres, and he pitched 6 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run in his last start against them on July 15th.
San Diego's Casey Kelly is no match for Capuano in this one. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA and 1.687 WHIP in five starts this season. Kelly has really struggled of late, going 1-2 with a 7.11 ERA and 2.054 WHIP in his last three starts while allowing 10 earned runs and 26 base runners over 12 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers are 6-0 in Capuano's last 6 starts when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game. Los Angeles is 4-0 in Capuano's last 4 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. The Padres are 2-8 in their last 10 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. Roll with the Dodgers Thursday.
|09-27-12||Stanford -6 v. Washington||13-17||Loss||-110||30 h 56 m||Show|
15* Stanford/Washington ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Stanford -6
The Stanford Cardinal continue to go under the radar after the departure of Heisman Trophy winner Andrew Luck. What most folks don't realize is that Stanford still has a lot of talent, as evidenced by the fact that head coach David Shaw brought in the fifth-best recruiting class in 2012.
This team had a ton of talent left over from last year's team that went 11-2 and made it to the Fiesta Bowl. Shaw welcomed back 13 starters and 61 lettermen from that squad, and the Cardinal have opened 3-0 this season.
After beating San Jose State and Duke, the Cardinal proved they were for real with a 21-14 victory over then-No. 2 USC as a 9.5-point underdog. Their defense limited the high-powered Trojans offense to just 380 total yards, including 26 on the ground on 28 carries. The offense put up 417 yards on a very good USC defense, too.
Quarterback Josh Nunes has filled in nicely for Luck, throwing for 615 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions through three games. Don't forget, the Cardinal have 2011 leading rusher Stepfan Taylor back, and he has rushed for 338 yards and three scores.
Stanford has one of the best defenses in the country. It ranks 26th in the land in total defense, including 1st against the run (41.7 yards/game). The Cardinal have one of the best front 7's in the land and it will cause Washington fits all game.
The Huskies are 2-1 this season, but their two wins came at home against San Diego State 21-12 and Portland State 52-13. Washington's true colors showed in a 3-41 loss at LSU in Week 2. It managed just 183 total yards against the Tigers, and it won't be able to move the ball with any consistency against this Stanford defense, either.
Washington's defense is in for a long day. It has had injuries to several starters this season, especially along the front seven. That's a big reason why the Huskies rank 80th in the country in run defense, allowing 174.7 yards/game despite playing a pretty soft schedule.
Stanford simply owns Washington, winning four straight and six of the last seven meetings. The Cardinal won 65-21, 41-0, 34-14 and 35-28 in the last four meetings, respectively. While I don't expect another 40-plus point victory for a third straight year, I do believe the Cardinal easily cover this small number tonight.
The Cardinal are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Huskies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. Washington is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games following a win. The Huskies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. The Cardinal are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Stanford is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 meetings at Washington. The Cardinal are 8-0 ATS in September games over the last 3 seasons. Stanford is 9-0 ATS after allowing 125 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games over the last 3 seasons. These eight trends combine for a 44-0 system backing the Cardinal. Take Stanford Thursday.
|09-27-12||Cleveland Browns +12 v. Baltimore Ravens||Top||16-23||Win||100||30 h 33 m||Show|
20* AFC North GAME OF THE MONTH on Cleveland Browns +12
The Cleveland Browns have opened the season 0-3 with three straight losses by 10 points or less. This is a must-win for Cleveland, and I fully expect it to brings its best effort for the field Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore is coming off a huge 31-30 home victory over the New England Patriots on NBC's Sunday Night Football in Week 3. That win sets the Ravens up for a big letdown spot tonight against the Browns. The Ravens have been prone to letdowns over the years, and this is the perfect spot for one. They are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
In their final meeting last season, Cleveland went into Baltimore as a 12.5-point underdog and lost by a final of 14-20. This was a very evenly matched game as the Browns totaled 256 yards, while the Ravens had 284.
Seneca Wallace was the starter for Cleveland in that one, and the Browns have certainly upgraded this offseason with Brandon Weeden as their new starting quarterback. Cleveland's defense limited Joe Flacco to 11 of 24 passing for 132 yards last season in that 14-20 loss.
With an underrated defense and an improved offense, the Browns are going to be much more competitive as the year goes on. Like I said, their first three losses have come by 10 points or less, and they are getting no love from oddsmakers in this contest.
Baltimore's defense gets way too much credit. The Ravens are clearly getting older, and they miss 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs. They rank 27th in the league in total defense, allowing 401.3 yards/game through three contests.
This play falls into a system that is 54-23 (70.1%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against home favorites of 10.5 or more points (BALTIMORE) - after covering the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a losing record.
The Browns are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Cleveland is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Browns are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 vs. AFC North opponents. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. These four trends combine for a perfect 18-0 system backing the Browns. Bet Cleveland Thursday.
|09-26-12||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels -134||Top||3-4||Win||100||10 h 9 m||Show|
20* Mariners/Angels AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -134
The Los Angeles Angels sit just two games behind Oakland and 2.5 games behind Baltimore for the two wild-card spots in the American League. They have won four straight and 19 of their last 26 to put themselves in great position with only eight games to play.
Seattle has lost six of its last eight and has nothing to play for. It will send Felix Hernandez to the mound tonight. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA and 1.800 WHIP in his last three starts. Hernandez is 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA in three starts against the Angels in 2012, allowing five runs in each of those outings.
C.J. Wilson is 12-10 with a 3.82 ERA in 32 starts this season, including 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander is 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.262 WHIP in 11 career starts against Seattle. Wilson is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his last three starts against the Mariners, allowing just three earned runs over 19 1/3 innings.
Los Angeles is 15-3 after allowing 4 runs or less 5 straight games this season. The Angels are 18-2 when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. Los Angeles is 6-0 in its last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing record. The Mariners are 0-4 in Hernandez's last 4 starts. Seattle is 1-7 in Hernandez's last 8 road starts vs. Angels. Bet the Angels Wednesday.
|09-26-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Houston Astros +1.5||0-2||Win||110||8 h 9 m||Show|
15* NL Run Line PLAY OF THE DAY on Houston Astros +1.5 (+110)
I know the Houston Astros own the worst record in baseball. However, I fully expect them to try and play the role of spoiler tonight against St. Louis. I like their chances of staying within one run or winning the game outright with Bud Norris on the mound.
Norris has been spectacular at home, going 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA and 1.040 WHIP with 75 strikeouts over 66 1/3 innings in 10 home starts this year. He also has St. Louis' number, going 7-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.216 WHIP in 14 career starts against the Cardinals.
Chris Carpenter just recently returned from the disabled list after missing all of the season up to this point. He wants to try and help the Cardinals down the stretch and into the postseason, but he's simply cannot be his old self just yet. Carpenter lasted just five innings of a 4-5 loss to Chicago on September 21st in his 2012 debut.
St. Louis is 1-7 after 4 or more consecutive wins this season. Carpenter is 1-8 against the money line as a favorite of -175 to -250 over the last 2 seasons, and the Cards are losing in this spot 2.6 to 4.6 on average. Carpenter is 0-6 against the money line after 3 or more consecutive team wins over the last 2 seasons. Roll with the Astros on the Run Line Wednesday.
|09-26-12||Miami Marlins +135 v. Atlanta Braves||0-3||Loss||-100||7 h 13 m||Show|
15* NL Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Miami Marlins +135
The Atlanta Braves just clinched a playoff spot last night with a 2-run walk-off home run from Freddie Freeman for a 4-3 victory over the Marlins. After achieving their goal, the Braves are in a huge letdown spot tonight against Miami. I believe the Marlins are showing great value because of it.
Ace Josh Johnson gets the ball for the Marlins. He has posted a 3.84 ERA and 1.273 WHIP in 30 starts this season, including a 3.60 ERA and 1.100 WHIP in his last three. Johnson is 6-5 with a 2.37 ERA in 18 career starts against Atlanta, so he certainly loves facing this team.
Paul Maholm has posted a 3.87 ERA in 29 starts this season, including a 6.55 ERA in his last two which resulted in Atlanta losses to the Brewers and Marlins. Maholm is 4-5 with a 4.89 ERA in 10 career starts against Miami.
Miami is 14-6 in Johnson's last 20 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150. Atlanta is 2-7 in home games after having won 8 or more of their last 10 games this season. The Marlins are 8-3 in their last 11 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150. Take the Marlins Wednesday.
|09-25-12||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels -1.5||Top||4-5||Loss||-105||10 h 6 m||Show|
20* AL Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Los Angeles Angels -1.5 (-105)
The Los Angeles Angels (84-69) have won three straight and seven of 10 to pull within two games over the Oakland A's for the AL's final wild-card spot. Six of those seven victories have come by 2 runs or more, and I fully expect Los Angeles to win by multiple runs in Game 1 of this series against Seattle (72-81) Tuesday.
Zach Greinke gets the ball for the Angels, and he's 14-5 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.185 WHIP in 32 starts this season. The right-hander is 7-2 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.014 WHIP in 14 home starts, and 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA and 0.772 ERA in his last three outings.
Greinke is 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA and 0.875 WHIP in nine career starts against Seattle. This guy loves facing the Mariners, and he has been unstoppable at home, which you will see with the following trends.
Greinke is 27-4 against the money line in home games over the last 2 seasons, and his teams are winning by 2.3 runs/game in this spot. Greinke is 17-1 against the money line at home when the total is 7 to 7.5 over the last 2 seasons, and his teams are winning by 2.7 runs/game in this situation. Greinke is 17-0 against the money line in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons, and his teams have won by 3.1 runs/game on average. Bet the Angels on the Run Line Tuesday.
|09-24-12||Green Bay Packers -3.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||12-14||Loss||-100||170 h 4 m||Show|
25* NFL West Coast GAME OF THE YEAR on Green Bay Packers -3.5
The Seattle Seahawks are getting way too much credit for their home field in this one. If the Cowboys were favored by 3.5 at Seattle last week, the Packers should be at least a 6 to 7-point favorite in Week 2.
There's no question the Seahawks have great fans, but the fact of the matter is that the Packers are simply the better team, and that will show on the field Monday. Green Bay knows it cannot afford to fall to 1-2, so it won't be taking the Seahawks lightly.
The Packers are simply the better team on both sides of the ball. Their defense answered the bell last week in a 23-10 victory over the Bears. They allowed only 168 total yards, forced four interceptions of Jay Cutler, and sacked him seven times. This stop unit will have its way with a Seattle offense that is only putting up 284 total yards per game.
Green Bay has won six of the last seven meetings in this series, scoring 23 or more points in all seven contests. The last three have been blowout victories by Green Bay by finals of 48-10, 27-17, an 42-20. They have outscored the Seahawks 117-47 in those three contests, averaging 39 points while giving up 15.7 points.
This play falls into a system that is 53-20 (72.6%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet on favorites (GREEN BAY) - off a win against a division rival, when playing on Monday night.
The Packers are 23-10 ATS in their last 33 games overall. The Seahawks are 15-33-3 ATS in their last 51 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Seattle is 9-21-1 ATS in its last 31 games following a S.U. win. The Packers are 3-0-2 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Head coach Mike McCarthy is 9-1 ATS in road games after a 2 game home stand as the coach of Green Bay. Bet the Packers Monday.
|09-24-12||St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 v. Houston Astros||6-1||Win||100||8 h 55 m||Show|
15* NL Monday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (-124)
The St. Louis Cardinals sit 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the final wild-card spot in the National League. They want to clinch that spot as soon as possible, and they'll have an excellent chance of doing that starting with Game 1 of this series against the lowly Houston Astros.
St. Louis (82-71) is closing out strong against this season, just as it did last year en route to winning the World Series. The Cardinals have won six of their last seven games overall. Houston (50-103) owns the worst record in baseball and I'll gladly fade the Astros here Monday.
The Cards have a huge edge on the mound behind Lance Lynn, who is 16-7 with a 3.79 ERA this season, including 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA in his last two starts. Lynn has allowed just one earned runs over 12 1/3 innings in those two outings. He is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in three career starts against Houston, and the Cards have won by finals of 9-2, 14-2 and 5-0 in those three contests.
Fernando Abad is one of the worst starters in baseball. He has gone 0-5 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.682 WHIP in five starts and 30 relief appearances. In those five starts, Abad is 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA and 1.982 WHIP. In two home starts, he's 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA and 2.350 WHIP.
Lynn is 12-1 against the money line against division opponents this season, and the Cards are winning by an average of 4.1 runs/game in this spot. Houston is 7-37 against the money line as an underdog of +175 to +250 this season, losing by an average of 3.2 runs/game. Take the Cardinals on the Run Line Monday.
|09-24-12||Kansas City Royals v. Detroit Tigers -1.5||2-6||Win||100||7 h 55 m||Show|
15* AL Central PLAY OF THE DAY on Detroit Tigers -1.5 (-115)
After losing two games of a double-header against Minnesota yesterday, the Tigers now find themselves one game behind the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead with 10 games to play. With ace Justin Verlander on the mound tonight, I have them bouncing back to win by multiple runs over the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of this series.
Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young and AL MVP winner, won't let his team down with what's at stake. The right-hander is 15-8 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.061 WHIP in 31 starts this season, including 8-2 with a 1.60 ERA and 0.928 WHIP in 14 home starts. Verlander is 14-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.118 WHIP in 22 career starts against Kansas City.
He'll be opposed by Luke Hochevar, who is one of the worst starters in the league. The right-hander is 8-14 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.373 WHIP in 30 starts this season. Hochevar is 4-5 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.652 WHIP in 11 career starts against Detroit. In his lone start against the Tigers this season, Hochevar gave up nine earned runs and 15 base runners over four innings of a 3-9 loss at Detroit on May 1st.
Verlander is 20-3 against the money line in home games in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons, and the Tigers are winning by 3.0 runs/game in this spot. Roll with Detroit on the Run Line Monday.
|09-23-12||New England Patriots +3 v. Baltimore Ravens||30-31||Win||100||146 h 49 m||Show|
15* Pats/Ravens NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New England +3
Rarely will you ever get the New England Patriots as an underdog, and it's time to take advantage Sunday night. That's especially the case when they are coming off a loss. There's no question New England is going to be highly motivated in this one after a poor performance at home against the Cardinals.
I know Baltimore is going to want revenge after losing in the AFC Championship game last year, but it simply should not be the favorite in this one. I have no doubt that the Patriots have the stronger team, and the numbers certainly show that through the first two weeks.
New England is averaging 388 total yards per game to Baltimore's 377. The biggest advantage the Patriots have is on defense. They have allowed only 264 total yards per game as they are clearly improved on this side of the ball in 2012. Meanwhile, the Ravens have yielded 404 total yards per game, and there's no question they are missing 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs.
New England has simply dominated this series, winning eight of the last nine meetings between these teams. That includes a 4-1 record in five meetings since 2007.
The Patriots are 7-0 ATS in a road game where the total is between 45.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons. They are winning in this spot by an average of 17.8 points/game.
The Patriots are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games following a S.U. loss. New England is 50-24-3 ATS in its last 77 road games. Roll with the Patriots Sunday.
|09-23-12||Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5 v. Oakland Raiders||31-34||Loss||-100||142 h 48 m||Show|
15* Steelers/Raiders AFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh -4.5
The Oakland Raiders are one of the worst teams in the league in 2012. They lost at home 14-22 to the San Diego Chargers, then went on the road and lost to the Miami Dolphins by a final of 13-35. I look for the Steelers to dominate the Raiders in this one as well.
The Dolphins racked up 452 total yards on the Raiders. Darren McFadden has done nothing thus far for Oakland. The Raiders rank 31st in the league in rushing at 34 yards per game and 2.0/carry. If they couldn't run on San Diego and Miami, they definitely won't be able to run on Pittsburgh.
The Steelers bounced back nicely with a 27-10 victory over the New York Jets last week. They know they cannot afford to drop to 1-2, so they will not be taking the Raiders lightly. Pittsburgh finished No. 1 in the league in total defense last season, and it has only given up 276 total yards per game through two contests this season.
This play falls into a system that is 43-16 (72.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet on favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (PITTSBURGH) - after allowing 99 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games against opponent after gaining 99 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games.
Pittsburgh won the last meeting between these teams 35-3 at home in 2010. It outgained the Raiders 431-182 for the game in a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. I expect a similar result in this one.
The Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Oakland is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. The Raiders are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points. Take the Steelers Sunday.
|09-23-12||Cincinnati Bengals v. Washington Redskins -3.5||Top||38-31||Loss||-110||138 h 24 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Redskins -3.5
The Washington Redskins are showing great value as a small home favorite over the Cincinnati Bengals. After blowout a 21-6 lead to St. Louis last week, the Redskins are going to be highly motivated when they head back to Washington for their first home game of the season.
Robert Griffin III is clearly the real deal, and Washington fans will pack the seats as he makes his home debut Sunday. He'll be up against a Cincinnati team that has been atrocious defensively this season.
The Browns gave up 44 points to the Ravens in Week 1, then 27 points to the lowly Cleveland Browns in Week 2. They also gave up 439 total yards to Cleveland. They have given up 35.5 points and 434 yards per game through two contests.
The Bengals are 1-7-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Cincinnati is 0-3-2 ATS in its last 5 road games. The Bengals are 0-4-3 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss. The Redskins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. Bet the Redskins Sunday.
|09-22-12||Clemson v. Florida State -14||37-49||Loss||-102||98 h 33 m||Show|
15* Clemson/Florida State ABC Saturday No-Brainer on Florida State -14
I picked Florida State to be the 2012-13 national champion in college football. The Seminoles have done nothing to sway my opinion. They have outscored their first three opponents 176-3, which includes a 52-0 victory over ACC foe Wake Forest last week.
Sure, Clemson presents a much tougher challenge, but the Seminoles will be hungry for revenge after falling to the Tigers on the road 30-35 last season. Remember, starting QB E.J. Manuel did not play in that game, which was probably the difference.
With 17 starters, 68 lettermen, and arguably the most talented roster in the entire country back, I fully expect the Seminoles to roll by two-plus touchdowns in the rematch at home this time around.
There's no doubt that Clemson has an explosive offense, but so does Florida State. The Seminoles are averaging 58.7 points and 544 total yards per game, and that's even with resting their starters in the second half of each of their first three contests.
The difference in this game is going to be defense. FSU is giving up 1.0 points/game and 103 total yards/game, and this is the best defense in the country in my opinion. Clemson has plenty of holes defensively as it is giving up 369 total yards/game. The Tigers have been extremely vulnerable on the ground, yielding 181 yards/game and 4.8/carry.
Ball State put up 380 total yards against Clemson two weeks ago, and Furman finished with 352 total yards last week. I know FSU has played a soft schedule, but Ball State and Furman aren't exactly powerhouses! E.J. Manuel being healthy this time around, FSU having by far the more dominant defense, and the revenge factor will lead to a blowout victory for the Seminoles at home.
This play falls into a system that is 42-12 (77.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against a road team (CLEMSON) - after gaining 475 or more total yards in their previous game against opponent after gaining 6.75 or more yards/play in 2 consecutive games. The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. Take Florida State Saturday.
|09-22-12||Kansas State v. Oklahoma -14||24-19||Loss||-108||97 h 22 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma -14
This is a complete mismatch in every sense of the word. That was on display last year as Oklahoma won at Kansas State 58-17 as a 13-point favorite. The Sooners outgained the Wildcats 690-240 for the game, and I expect a similar blowout at home this time around in 2012.
Both teams return a similar amount of talent. I believe the Wildcats are overrated, while the Sooners are a legitimate national title contender. Oklahoma has a big advantage as it comes in with an extra week to prepare after having last week off. Meanwhile, Kansas State is coming off a lackluster 35-21 home win over North Texas as a 27-point favorite. The Wildcats only outgained the Mean Green by 20 yards in that contest.
Collin Klein is an excellent leader for Kansas State, but he's simply asked to do too much. He was very ineffective against Oklahoma last season, and that will be the case again in this rematch. Klein was held to 8 of 16 passing for 58 yards, and 92 rushing yards on 26 carries in their 17-58 loss to the Sooners last season.
Landry Jones had his way with the Kansas State secondary last season, throwing for 505 yards and five touchdowns. Expect Jones to have another big day against this soft K-State secondary, while Klein once again struggles against an Oklahoma defense that is giving up just 10.0 points and 245 total yards per game.
Opposing quarterbacks from the likes of North Texas, Miami, and Missouri State are completing 67.3 percent of their passes for an average of 251 yards per game through the air against the Wildcats' secondary. You can only imagine what a Heisman Trophy candidate like Jones is going to do to this K-State defensive backfield.
Oklahoma is 62-8 in its last 70 meetings with Kansas State dating back to 1935. It has won five straight in this series all by double-digits. The Sooners are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games. Bet Oklahoma Saturday.
|09-22-12||Michigan v. Notre Dame -5.5||Top||6-13||Win||100||97 h 6 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Notre Dame Rivalry GAME OF THE WEEK on Notre Dame -5.5
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish badly want revenge from their 31-35 road loss to Michigan last year. The Irish led 24-7 going into the fourth quarter, but they simply unraveled. The Wolverines scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass from Denard Robinson to Roy Roundree with only 2 seconds left.
There's no question that the Irish have had this game circled on their calendars all offseason, and you can bet they'll give 100% effort for four quarters while not letting off the gas. Notre Dame gets Michigan at home this time around, only adding to their advantage.
I have been really impressed with Notre Dame en route to a 3-0 start. They just beat a good Michigan State team on the road last week 20-3, and I expect a similar blowout against a Michigan team that is not as good as it was a year ago.
The Wolverines were overmatched in a 14-41 loss to Alabama in their opener, and they were equally unimpressive in a 31-25 home victory over Air Force in Week 2 as a 21.5-point favorite. Sure, they beat UMass 63-13 last week, but both UConn and Indiana pulled off similar blowouts over the Minutemen, so that's not saying much.
Notre Dame's biggest advantage here is a run defense that has only allowed 96 yards/game and 3.0/carry on the ground. That's impressive considering they've played three very good rushing teams in Navy, Purdue and Michigan State. There's no question Michigan is going to try to run it with Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Touissant, but I believe the Irish will be up to the task.
The Wolverines haven't been able to stop anyone on the ground, giving up 211 rushing yards/game and 4.3/carry. I look for Notre Dame's Cierre Wood, who returned from a two-game suspension last week, to have a huge day on the ground against this soft Michigan run defense.
Michigan is 1-10 ATS off 1 or more straight overs over the last 3 seasons. Notre Dame is 6-0 ATS after allowing 17 points or less in 2 straight games over the last 3 seasons. The Wolverines are 0-6 ATS vs. excellent teams - outscoring opponents by 17+ PPG on the season over the last 3 seasons. Bet Notre Dame Saturday.
|09-22-12||Miami (Fla) v. Georgia Tech -14||42-36||Loss||-110||64 h 25 m||Show|
15* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Georgia Tech -14
After losing three straight to Miami in this series, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets want revenge Saturday. I believe they get it and roll by two-plus touchdowns at home to really make a statement and erase three years of frustration in this series.
Georgia Tech is one of the most underrated teams in the country. I was really impressed with the Yellow Jackets in a 17-20 loss in overtime at Virginia Tech in their opener. They responded with a 59-3 home victory over Presbyterian, then followed that up with an emphatic 56-20 home win over Virginia as a 10-point favorite.
The Yellow Jackets have been running wild on teams, averaging 374 yards on the ground and 6.9/carry. They are also a better passing team these days, averaging 157 yards per game through the air and 11.2/attempt. They have the best offensive line they've ever had in the Paul Johnson era, and almost all of their key skill players are back from last year. This offense is explosive to say the least.
I really like the improvement I've seen from Georgia Tech's defense, and I believe this is the best stop unit that Johnson has ever had. The Yellow Jackets are giving up just 14.3 points per game and 289 total yards per game. They'll have their way with this Miami offense.
The Hurricanes are clearly in rebuilding mode, and that was evident with their 13-52 loss at Kansas State in Week 2. They managed just 262 total yards of offense in that contest, and they gave up 498 total yards to the Wildcats. They yielded 542 total yards against Boston College the week before, but found a way to win 41-32.
This soft Miami run defense going up against the best rushing team in the country is my biggest reason for this pick. The Hurricanes are yielding 207 yards per game on the ground this season. They gave up 233 rushing yards to Bethune-Cookman at home last week if that tells you anything about how poor their run defense is.
Georgia Tech is 7-0 ATS in September games over the last 2 seasons. The Yellow Jackets are 7-0 ATS after scoring 42 points or more in 2 straight games since 1992. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in this series. Roll with Georgia Tech Saturday.
|09-22-12||Massachusetts Minutemen +26 v. Miami (OH)||16-27||Win||100||61 h 24 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on UMass +26
The UMass Minutemen have clearly been one of the worst teams in college football through the first three weeks. As a result, they are showing excellent value against the spread in Week 4 against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. I'll gladly take advantage of this inflated line and back the big dog despite how poorly they've played.
This is UMass's first season as a member of the FBS. It has not gone well early as they've failed to cover the spread in each of their first three games, losing at UConn 37-0, at Michigan 13-63, and at home against Indiana 6-45. The one thing that you can say is that they are battle-tested having faced three BCS schools.
Now, they finally get a bit of a break against a Miami (Ohio) team that isn't nearly as strong as their first three opponents. The Redhawks are 1-2 this season, getting blown out at Ohio State 10-56 and at Boise State 12-39. Their lone win came at home against Southern Illinois 30-14, but they were actually outgained in that contest 349-336. I have no doubt that UMass is a stronger team than Southern Illinois, thus it should have no problem staying within the number Saturday.
The Redhawks are getting outgained 292-495 on the season. They simply have no business being this heavily favored with how poorly they have played. UMass scored two touchdowns on Michigan's first-team defense, and I look for their offense to put up 20-plus points against this soft Redhawks defense. That will be more than enough to cover this inflated number.
The Redhawks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in September. Miami (Ohio) is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games following a SU loss of more than 20 points. The Redhawks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Take UMass Saturday.
|09-21-12||San Diego Padres v. San Francisco Giants -143||1-5||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
15* Padres/Giants NL Late-Night BAILOUT on San Francisco -143
San Francisco (87-63) continued its blistering pace with a 9-2 victory over Colorado on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep. Pablo Sandoval homered from both sides of the plate and Buster Posey also connected as the Giants won for the eighth time in nine games and reduced their magic number for the NL West crown to three.
With a 10-game lead over Los Angeles, San Francisco could wrap up the division as early as Saturday. The Giants are 24 games above .500 for the first time since ending the 2003 season 100-61. San Diego (72-78) has played pretty well over the last month, but it really doesn't have anything to play for heading into this series with the Giants.
Ryan Vogelsong has been off his game of late, but I look for him to get back on track against this weak Padres' line-up. Vogelsong is 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA and 1.263 WHIP in 28 starts this season, including 6-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.211 WHIP in 14 home starts.
There's no question that Vogelsong is the better starter in this one, and he'll be highly motivated heading in. San Diego counters with Casey Kelly, who is 2-1 with a 5.85 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in four starts this season, including 1-1 with an 8.36 ERA and 1.786 WHIP in his last three.
San Francisco is a perfect 11-0 in home games vs. a starting pitcher who lasts less than 5 innings per start over the last 3 seasons. It is winning in this spot 5.7 to 2.5, or by an average of 3.2 runs per game. Roll with the Giants Friday.
|09-21-12||Baylor v. Louisiana-Monroe +7.5||Top||47-42||Win||100||97 h 38 m||Show|
20* Baylor/ULM ESPN Friday No-Brainer on Louisiana-Monroe +7.5
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks have been one of the most impressive non-BCS schools in the country in the early going. They beat Arkansas on the road 34-31 in overtime in their opener as a 30-point dog, then took Auburn to overtime on the road as a 14.5-point dog before losing 28-31.
This team has proven that it can hang with the big boys. Now they get a chance to prove it on National TV at home against a Baylor team that you could argue is not strong as the two teams that it has already taken to overtime. I look for UL-Monroe to easily stay within this spread, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Warhawks pull off another upset.
ULM quarterback Kolton Browning deserves to be in the Heisman conversation. He has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 649 yards with six touchdowns and one interception against two SEC defenses. Browning also has a team-high 127 rushing yards and two scores, and he'll give this weak Baylor defense a lot of problems Friday.
ULM is loaded with weapons outside as they already have four players that have double-digit receptions through only two games. Brent Leonard has led the way with 18 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown, while Je'Rom Hamm has caught 11 balls for 149 yards. Tavarese Maye (13, 121) and Colby Harper (11, 101, one TD) can beat you as well.
Baylor is in a huge letdown spot here with their Big 12 opener at West Virginia on deck. The Bears have a soft defense once again this year, allowing 23.5 points and 459 total yards per game against the likes of SMU and Sam Houston State in two home games to open the season. This will be their first road games of the year, which is always tough.
The Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Warhawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. La-Monroe is 15-6 ATS in its last 21 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. The Warhawks have outgained Arkansas and Auburn 480-397.5 in their two games. Bet Louisiana-Monroe Friday.
|09-21-12||Baltimore Orioles +110 v. Boston Red Sox||4-2||Win||110||7 h 59 m||Show|
15* AL Friday Undervalued Underdog on Baltimore Orioles +110
The Baltimore Orioles should not be an underdog to the hapless Boston Red Sox tonight. Boston is in a free fall right now, and it blew a 4-1 lead in the 9th yesterday to lose to the Tampa Bay Rays. At 68-83 on the season, the Red Sox have clearly packed it in.
Baltimore is surging, winners of four straight to get to 85-64 on the season. The Orioles trail the Yankees by just one game for the AL East lead, and they are tied with Oakland for the two wild-card spots in the American League, 4.5 games clear of Los Angeles.
They have the edge on the mound tonight behind Miguel Gonzalez, who is one of the most underrated starters in the league. The right-hander is 6-4 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.272 WHIP in 12 starts and three relief appearances, including 4-2 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.073 WHIP in seven road starts.
Jon Lester has been off his game all season, and that hasn't changed here late in the year. The left-hander is 9-12 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.383 WHIP in 30 starts this season. Lester has been atrocious at home, going 3-8 with a 6.51 ERA and 1.638 WHIP in 16 home starts this year.
The Orioles are 4-0 in their last 4 road games. Baltimore is 7-2 in its last 9 games as an underdog. The Red Sox are 1-7 in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Boston is 3-13 in Lester's last 16 home starts vs. a team with a winning record. The Red Sox are 1-5 in Lester's last 6 starts as a home favorite. Take the Orioles Friday.
|09-20-12||Texas Rangers v. Los Angeles Angels -118||3-1||Loss||-118||11 h 2 m||Show|
15* Rangers/Angels AL West GAME OF THE WEEK on Los Angeles -118
Despite their loss last night, the Los Angeles Angels still trail the Oakland A's by just 3.5 games for the final wild-card spot in the American League. This is a much more important game for them tonight than it is for the Rangers, who are all but guaranteed to make the postseason.
I like Los Angeles' chances of getting a win tonight behind Zach Greinke, who is 14-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.208 WHIP in 31 starts this season, 7-2 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.050 WHIP n 13 home starts, and 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 0.851 WHIP in his last three. Greinke has also posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.194 WHIP in 10 career starts against Texas.
Greinke is 27-2 (+23.9 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -110 or higher over the last 2 seasons. Greinke is 17-0 (+17.0 Units) against the money line at home when the total is 7 to 7.5 over the last 2 seasons. This guy simply does not lose at home. Roll with the Angels Thursday.