|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|10-17-13||Seattle Seahawks v. Arizona Cardinals +7||Top||34-22||Loss||-120||20 h 19 m||Show|
20* Seahawks/Cardinals NFL Thursday No-Brainer on Arizona +7
The Arizona Cardinals were clearly one of the most underrated teams in the league heading into 2013. They have opened 3-3 this season despite playing a tough schedule to this point that has featured four road games with two of them coming against San Francisco and New Orleans. They are playing their best football at home, going 2-0 while beating a pair of quality opponents in the Lions (25-21) and Panthers (22-6).
The defense recently returned linebacker Daryl Washington, and he and Karlos Dansby have been a force in recent weeks. This is one of the more underrated stop units in the league as well, allowing a respectable 21.2 points per game on the season. Arizona actually outplayed San Francisco last week, but lost 20-32 despite outgaining the opposition 403-387 for the game. The Cardinals simply gave that game away by committing four turnovers. After playing the 49ers tough on the road, they have a good chance of keeping it close against the Seahawks at home.
Seattle has been at its worst on the road this season. Despite being 2-1, it was fortunate to beat both Houston (23-20) and Carolina (12-7) after needing to come behind in the second half to do so. They even erased a 20-3 halftime deficit against the Texans that was aided by yet another pick-six from Matt Schaub late. The Seahawks were outgained by 206 total yards in that contest. They also lost at Indianapolis 28-34 in their last road contest. As you can see, the Seahawks have not won a road game yet this season by more than five points.
Home-field advantage has been huge in this series as the home team has won each of the last four meetings over the past two seasons. Arizona has won six of its last seven home meetings with Seattle. It clearly wants revenge from the worst loss of the season last year, which was a 58-0 drubbing in Seattle late in the season. The Cardinals had nothing to play for at the time, and these players have not forgotten that defeat. They'll be playing with a chip on their shoulder in this one. The Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home meetings with Seattle.
Seattle has some big injury concerns heading into this game. Its leading tackler from last season in Bobby Wagner is doubtful with an ankle injury. Its leading sacker from last season in Chris Clemons (11.5 sacks) is also doubtful with an elbow injury. Marshawn Lynch is nursing a hip injury as well and sat out of practice Tuesday, though he is expected to go Thursday. Arizona got some good news when DE Calais Campbell, LB Karlos Dansby and WR Larry Fitzgerald all practiced Tuesday. All three are expected to play in this one.
The Cardinals are 26-9 against the spread in their last 35 games vs. a team with a winning percentage of better than 75% on the season. Arizona is 39-16 against the number in its last 55 games vs. good teams that outscore their opponents by 6 or more points per game. Bruce Arians is 8-0 against the spread in home games in all games he has coached. The Cardinals are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games following an ATS loss. Arizona is 5-0 against the number in its last five games after allowing more than 30 points in its previous game. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. These last four trends combine for a perfect 22-0 system backing Arizona. Bet the Cardinals Thursday.
|10-17-13||Miami (Florida) v. North Carolina +9.5||27-23||Win||101||19 h 10 m||Show|
15* Miami/UNC ESPN Thursday ANNIHILATOR on North Carolina +9.5
|10-15-13||Louisiana-Lafayette v. Western Kentucky -4||Top||37-20||Loss||-110||9 h 55 m||Show|
20* LA-Lafayette/WKU Sun Belt GAME OF THE MONTH on Western Kentucky -4
After opening the season with an impressive 35-26 win over Kentucky, the Hilltoppers dropped their next two road contests at Tennessee and South Alabama. They have been a completely different team since, reeling off three straight blowout victories over Morgan State (58-17), Navy (19-7) and Louisiana-Monroe (31-10). This team is hitting its stride under first-year head coach, Bobby Petrino.
Western Kentucky is scoring 31.2 points and averaging a whopping 473.7 yards per game to rank 30th in the country in total offense. Quarterback Brandon Doughty has thrived in Petrino
|10-14-13||Indianapolis Colts v. San Diego Chargers UNDER 50.5||Top||9-19||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
20* Colts/Chargers ESPN Monday No-Brainer on UNDER 50.5
I believe the recent OVER run on Monday Night Football has forced the oddsmakers to inflate tonight's total set. Each of the last three MNF games have gone OVER the number, and five out of six on the season. With the way the public likes to bet MNF as it is, the oddsmakers can not longer continue to take a pounding by setting the number too low.
What I really like about this UNDER is that it's strength vs. strength, which clearly favors a defensive battle. Indianapolis ranks 5th in the league in pass defense, giving up just 201.4 yards per game through the air. San Diego features a very one-dimensional offense, ranking 3rd in the league in passing offense at 311.2 yards per game.
I look for the Colts to slow down Philip Rivers in this one, especially with the pressure they'll get from the front four, including NFL sack leader Robert Mathis. San Diego has had one of the most underrated run defenses in the league over the last several years. It is strong at the point of attack again, allowing 117.2 yards per game despite going up against five offenses that average 127 yards per game on the ground. Stopping the run will be big considering the Colts rank 4th in the league in rushing offense at 142.0 yards per game.
Five of the last six meetings between San Diego and Indianapolis have seen 50 or less combined points. The Colts and their opponents had combined for 44 or less points in each of their first four games of the season before a high-scoring affair with Seattle last week that ended with a final score of 34-28. The Colts were very fortunate to score 34 points considering they had just 317 yards of total offense in the game. I believe that misleading final score last week also has this total inflated.
San Diego is 31-16 UNDER in home games vs. good offensive teams - scoring 24 or more points/game since 1992. The Colts are 12-3 UNDER against AFC opponents over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 5-0 in Colts last 5 road games. The UNDER is 10-3 in Colts last 13 vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 5-0 in Chargers last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The UNDER is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|10-13-13||Washington Redskins +6 v. Dallas Cowboys||Top||16-31||Loss||-110||53 h 56 m||Show|
25* Redskins/Cowboys NBC Sunday Night GAME OF THE YEAR on Washington +6
The Washington Redskins have given the Dallas Cowboys all they have wanted and more over the last several years. They won both meetings last year, winning 38-31 in Dallas and 28-18 at home with the NFC East title on the line. In fact, only once in the last 13 meetings has Washington lost to Dallas by more than 5 points. That
|10-13-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +27.5 v. Denver Broncos||19-35||Win||100||49 h 30 m||Show|
15* Jaguars/Broncos AFC Sunday No-Brainer on Jacksonville +27.5
Even with how bad Jacksonville has been, any time the books are going to give me nearly four touchdowns in an NFL game, I'm going to look to take it. There
|10-13-13||Carolina Panthers +1 v. Minnesota Vikings||35-10||Win||113||45 h 26 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Upset Special on Carolina Panthers +1
Carolina has held a halftime lead in each of its first four games of the season. It has blown three of those leads in the second half, and it
|10-13-13||Cincinnati Bengals v. Buffalo Bills +7||Top||27-24||Win||100||45 h 25 m||Show|
20* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Buffalo Bills +7
Oddsmakers have certainly over-adjusted for Thaddeus Lewis being named the starting quarterback this week. The Bills were going to be somewhere around a 3.5-point underdog if E.J. Manuel was the starting quarterback this week, and I do not believe he's worth anywhere close to 3.5 points, which is the difference in the line adjustment. There is a ton of value here in backing the Bills as a touchdown home underdog Sunday due to the quarterback situation. After all, Buffalo doesn
|10-13-13||Pittsburgh Steelers +1 v. NY Jets||19-6||Win||105||45 h 25 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Pittsburgh Steelers +1
The Pittsburgh Steelers are desperate for a win to turn their season around. They realize there is still a lot of football left to be played with three-fourths of their season remaining. Their bye week came at a perfect time, which will allow them to regroup after an 0-4 start. Meanwhile, the Jets are coming off a big win at Atlanta on Monday Night Football, which puts them on a short week and in a letdown spot here. The edge in rest and preparation clearly favors Pittsburgh.
When you look at the numbers, it
|10-12-13||California +25.5 v. UCLA Bruins||Top||10-37||Loss||-110||44 h 11 m||Show|
20* Cal/UCLA Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on California +25.5
The California Bears are simply catching too many points against UCLA Saturday. You won't find many teams that have played a tougher schedule than Cal to this point, which is the biggest reason for its 1-4 start. It has actually handled itself well, losing 30-44 to Northwestern, 34-52 to Ohio State, 16-55 to Oregon and 22-44 to Washington State.
Many of those final scores were very misleading. Cal actually outgained Northwestern 548-508 and Washington State 585-570. It was only outgained by Ohio State 503-608 and by Oregon 325-383. As you can see, only one of those losses came by more than 22 points. I simply believe that UCLA is overvalued as a 25-point favorite here considering it has faced such an easy schedule to this point.
Cal is certainly battle-tested and we'll always have a chance for a cover in this game due to its electric offense. The Bears rank 18th in the country in total offense at 515.4 yards per game, including 4th in passing offense at 402.6 yards per game. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff has already thrown for 1,801 yards and nine touchdowns against five interceptions. Chris Harper (37 receptions, 558 yards, 4 TD) and Bryce Treggs (36, 418, 1 TD) are absolute studs at receiver.
My biggest reason for betting against UCLA and on Cal in this one is the fact that the Bruins are in a huge letdown spot. They have Stanford on deck next week, whom they lost two twice last season, including a setback in the Pac-12 Title Game. They also have Oregon the week after. There's no question that UCLA will be looking ahead to those two games, and overlooking 1-4 Cal.
The Golden Bears absolutely dominated UCLA last season by a final of 43-17. They put up 481 total yards, while limiting the Bruins to just 381 total yards. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw four interceptions in the loss. Zach Maynard threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns in the win for Cal, and I look for Goff to have a big day as well against this suspect UCLA defense.
UCLA is 3-13 against the spread off two consecutive covers as a favorite since 1992. It is coming back to lose 27.2 to 29.2 in this spot. The Bruins are 16-35-1 against the number in their last 52 games vs. a team with a losing record. The underdog is 12-4-1 against the spread in the last 17 meetings in this series.
You have to go all the way back to 2001 to find the last time that UCLA beat Cal by more than 17 points, which was a 56-17 victory. In fact, that was the only time in the last 21 meetings that UCLA beat Cal by more than 18 points. That makes for a 20-1 system backing the Golden Bears when you factor in the spread for this game. Bet California Saturday.
|10-12-13||Texas A&M v. Ole Miss +6||Top||41-38||Win||100||42 h 12 m||Show|
20* Texas A&M/Ole Miss SEC GAME OF THE WEEK on Ole Miss +6
Few teams in the country have faced a schedule as tough as the one that Ole Miss has been up against in the early going. In all reality, it has done an excellent job of opening 3-2 considering it has already faced four road games against the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Texas and Vanderbilt. This is still one of the better teams in the country that returned 19 starters from last year. Now, the Rebels get to start a stretch in which they play six straight home games.
Ole Miss clearly wants revenge from last year
|10-12-13||Oregon v. Washington +14||45-24||Loss||-110||38 h 38 m||Show|
15* Oregon/Washington Pac-12 No-Brainer on Washington +14
|10-12-13||Florida +7 v. LSU||6-17||Loss||-110||37 h 9 m||Show|
15* Florida/LSU CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Florida +7
Florida has been a completely different team since inserting Tyler Murphy in as their starting quarterback. He led them to a comeback win over Tennessee by a final of 31-17 after replacing the injured Jeff Driskel on September 21. Since then, he led the Gators to a 24-7 victory at Kentucky as an 11-point favorite, and a 30-10 home victory over Arkansas as a 12.5-point favorite.
Murphy is making plays and not turning the ball over like Driskel did. Murphy is completing 72.2 percent of his passes for 530 yards and five touchdowns against one interception, while also rushing for 135 yards and two scores. Matt Jones has recently returned at running back to give the offense a boost as well. He has rushed for 322 yards and two scores. Solomon Patton (19 receptions, 348 yards, 4 TD), Trey Burton (23, 282, 1 TD) and Quinton Dunbar (18, 274) are all solid targets outside for Murphy.
|10-12-13||Boston College +24.5 v. Clemson||Top||14-24||Win||100||37 h 16 m||Show|
25* ACC GAME OF THE YEAR on Boston College +24.5
The Boston College Eagles are clearly an improved team in 2013. They brought back 18 starters and have gotten off to an impressive 3-2 start this year. They have improved as the season has gone on with their last two performances being their best two heading into this one. Boston College only lost by a final of 34-48 at Florida State as a 24-point underdog on September 28. It put up 407 total yards on a very good FSU defense, which shut out Maryland 63-0 last week.
Boston College amassed 523 total yards in a 48-27 beat down of Army as a 12.5-point favorite last weekend. Quarterback Chase Rettig is gaining confidence with each start, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 896 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions on the season. However, the biggest playmaker on the Eagles is running back Andre Williams. He has already rushed for 768 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Receiver Alex Amidon is a beast as well, catching 32 balls for 431 yards and two touchdowns.
This is a huge letdown spot for Clemson. It has a meeting lined up with No. 6 Florida State next week on October 19. The Tigers will clearly be overlooking Boston College and looking ahead to that showdown with the Seminoles. That
|10-12-13||Missouri +7.5 v. Georgia||41-26||Win||100||34 h 37 m||Show|
15* Missouri/Georgia ESPN Early ANNIHILATOR on Missouri +7.5
The Missouri Tigers are the real deal in 2013. While they haven
|10-12-13||Nebraska v. Purdue +14.5||44-7||Loss||-110||34 h 40 m||Show|
15* Big Ten Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Purdue +14.5
|10-11-13||Temple v. Cincinnati UNDER 51.5||Top||20-38||Loss||-110||21 h 33 m||Show|
20* Temple/Cincinnati ESPN Friday Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 51.5
I fully expect a defensive battle Friday night between Temple and Cincinnati in American Athletic Conference action. While Cincinnati may get to 30 points by game's end, I don't see Temple being able to surpass 10-14 points in this one. I expect somewhere in the neighborhood of a 31-10 final.
Cincinnati has been atrocious offensively in games outside of Purdue and Northwestern. I managed just 17 points against Illinois, scored 14 points against Miami Ohio with both touchdowns coming in the fourth quarter, and managed just 20 points against winless South Florida.
What has been the saving grace for the Bearcats is a defense that is one of the best in the entire country. They are giving up just 17.4 points and 251.0 total yards per game to rank 4th in the FBS in total defense.
The Bearcats have not allowed an offensive touchdown since the second quarter of the Northwestern State game on September 14, a span of 10 quarters. In the lost to South Florida last time out, they gave up a fumble recovery for a score, and a 75-yard return for at touchdown on a blocked field goal. This defense is the real deal.
I look for this fierce Cincinnati defense to completely shut down a very suspect Temple offense. In fact, the Owls are scoring just 15.8 points per game while averaging 342.4 yards per game to rank 102nd in the FBS in total offense.
Four out of five of Temple's games this season have seen 50 or less combined points. Those four were losses to Notre Dame (6-28), Houston (13-22), Idaho (24-26) and Louisville (7-30). Three of Cincinnati's five games have seen 49 or less combined points. They were wins over Purdue (42-7) and Miami Ohio (14-0), as well as a loss to South Florida (20-26).
Last year, Cincinnati beat Temple 34-10 on the road as an 8-point favorite with a total set of 55 points. Cincinnati outgained Temple 472-267 in the win. I look for the Bearcats to get a big lead early into the 3rd quarter, and to run out the clock with their solid rushing attack that is averaging 200 yards per game.
The UNDER is 35-20 in Cincinnati's last 55 home games. The UNDER is 24-9 in Cincinnati's last 33 October games. The UNDER is 12-5 in Temple's last 17 road games. The UNDER is 5-1 in Bearcats last 6 vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 4-1-1 in Owls last 6 games overall. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|10-10-13||Arizona +6.5 v. USC||31-38||Loss||-106||11 h 9 m||Show|
15* Arizona/USC Pac-12 BAILOUT on Arizona +6.5
This has been an extremely competitive series in recent years. Each of the last seven meetings between USC and Arizona have been decided by 7 points or less, including last year
|10-10-13||NY Giants +8 v. Chicago Bears||Top||21-27||Win||100||78 h 37 m||Show|
20* Giants/Bears NFC Thursday ANNIHILATOR on New York +8
Even with an 0-5 start, head coach Tom Coughlin will still be able to keep his team motivated. That
|10-10-13||Rutgers v. Louisville UNDER 56||10-24||Win||100||8 h 9 m||Show|
15* Rutgers/Louisville ESPN Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 56
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between Louisville and Rutgers. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle, which has been the theme in this rivalry in recent years.
Each of the last four meetings between Rutgers and Louisville have seen 53 or less combined points scored. In fact, the last two years, they have combined for 37 and 30 points, respectively. Louisville beat Rutgers 20-17 on the road last season as both offenses were held in check for a second straight year.
Both Louisville and Rutgers have a key loss on offense heading into this one. Rutgers is expected to be without leading rusher Paul James, who has ran for 573 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Louisville is expected to be without leading receiver DaVante Parker, who has caught 21 balls for 375 yards and six scores.
Louisville boasts one of the best defenses in the entire country. It is giving up just 6.8 points and 228.0 total yards per game to rank 3rd in the FBS in total defense. It has held Rutgers to 17, 14 and 13 points in the last three meetings in this series.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (RUTGERS) - average defensive team (330 to 390 YPG) against an excellent defensive team (<=280 YPG) are 77-38 (67%) over the last 10 seasons.
The UNDER is 19-8 in Rutgers' last 27 games overall. The UNDER is 8-1 in Scarlet Knights last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The UNDER is 13-5 in Louisville's last 18 home games. Take the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|10-07-13||NY Jets +10 v. Atlanta Falcons||Top||30-28||Win||100||9 h 28 m||Show|
20* Jets/Falcons ESPN Monday No-Brainer on New York +10
The New York Jets have surprisingly been one of the best teams in the league in 2013. The numbers don
|10-06-13||Houston Texans +7 v. San Francisco 49ers||Top||3-34||Loss||-130||54 h 6 m||Show|
20* Texans/49ers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Houston +7
|10-06-13||Carolina Panthers -1 v. Arizona Cardinals||Top||6-22||Loss||-110||50 h 42 m||Show|
25* NFC GAME OF THE YEAR on Carolina Panthers -1
The Carolina Panthers are coming off their most lopsided win in the franchise's 19-year history. They beat the New York Giants 38-0 at home on September 22, limiting them to just 150 total yards while forcing three turnovers. That win gave them a ton of confidence heading into their bye week, and now they're refreshed and ready to go Sunday at Arizona.
While Carolina is just 1-2 this season, its two losses came by a combined six points to Seattle (7-12) and Buffalo (23-24). I really like the improvement I've seen from the defense, which ranks 3rd in the league in scoring, allowing just 12.0 points per game.
This defense should have its way with an Arizona offense that ranks 25th in scoring (17.2 points/game) and 26th in total offense (320.2 yards/game). The Cardinals have been held to a combined 20 points in their last two games, a 7-31 loss at New Orleans, and a 13-10 victory at Tampa Bay. That win over the Bucs was far from impressive, and a late comeback for the victory has the Cardinals getting more respect than they deserve from oddsmakers heading into this one.
Carolina's offense put up 402 total yards in the win over the Giants to get untracked. DeAngelo Williams rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries and has averaged 125.3 yards on 6.0 per carry over his last four games since last season.
The Panthers have won seven of their last eight regular season meetings with the Cardinals with their only loss during this stretch coming in 2011. That was Cam Newton's rookie debut, and all he did was throw for 422 yards and two touchdowns. This Carolina team has come a long way since then, and I believe it is one of the most underrated teams in the league to this point.
I love looking at teams coming off a bye, especially when they are on the road and they are favored. In fact, road favorites off a bye are 39-14 (73.6%) ATS since 2003. Not only do I believe Carolina is the superior team in this one, I also love the extra rest and preparation it has coming into this contest.
Plays against home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (ARIZONA) - slow starting team - outscored by 5+ PPG in the first half, after scoring 14 points or less last game are 30-7 (81.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cardinals are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. Arizona is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games following a S.U. win. Bet the Panthers Sunday.
|10-06-13||Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 v. Tennessee Titans||26-17||Win||100||47 h 36 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Kansas City Chiefs -2.5
The Kansas City Chiefs are a completely new team under first-year head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith. While the offense has been vastly improved under the guidance of these two, it
|10-06-13||Seattle Seahawks -1 v. Indianapolis Colts||28-34||Loss||-129||47 h 36 m||Show|
15* Seahawks/Colts NFL Sunday No-Brainer on Seattle -1
There's no question in my mind that the Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the league in 2013. Even in an off performance last week, they managed to find a way to rally and beat Houston 23-20 in overtime on the road. This team is gaining a lot of confidence as the season goes on with each victory.
Seattle ranks 6th in the league in scoring offense at 27.2 points per game, and 2nd in the league in scoring defense at 11.8 points per game. This team is consistently undervalued on the road because of the reputation they get for having such a dominant home-field advantage. Well, they have won five of their last six road games dating back to last season with their only loss coming to the Falcons in the Georgia Dome on a last-second field goal in the playoffs by a final of 28-30.
Russell Wilson continues to lack the respect he deserves. He ranks ninth in the league with a 95.3 passer rating and is fifth among quarterbacks with 131 rushing yards. When the pocket breaks down, he has a sixth sense that is unmatched by any other quarterback in the league. Wilson rushed for 77 yards against Houston last week as he simply refused to go down time and time again.
I believe Indianapolis is one of the biggest frauds in the NFL. It went 11-5 last season, but won nine of ten games that were decided by a touchdown or less. It is also off to a 3-1 start this season, getting too much credit for wins at San Francisco and at Jacksonville over the past two weeks. The 49ers had huge injury problems that week and were deflated coming off a bad 3-29 loss to Seattle the previous week. The Colts have not looked good at home, needing to come from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Raiders 21-17 as an 11-point favorite in Week 1, and falling to Miami 20-24 in Week 2.
The Seahawks are a perfect 6-0 against the spread in their last six road games, further devaluing the theory that their not a good road team. Seattle is a perfect 8-0 against the spread in its last eight games vs. a team with a winning record. The Seahawks are 7-0 ATS vs. good teams - outscoring opponents by 6+ PPG on the season over the last 3 seasons. Seattle is 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams - scoring 24 or more points/game over the last 2 seasons. The Seahawks are 7-0 ATS after allowing 400 or more total yards in their previous game over the last 3 seasons. These five trends combine for a perfect 34-0 system backing Seattle. Take the Seahawks Sunday.
Note: I recommend buying the Seahawks to -2.5 or less if you have the option.
|10-06-13||New England Patriots +1 v. Cincinnati Bengals||6-13||Loss||-110||47 h 36 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on New England Patriots +1
After opening the season with a pair of ugly wins over the Bills and Jets, the Patriots have been scary good the last two weeks. They beat Tampa Bay 23-3 at home in Week 3 before picking up their biggest win of the season last week in a 30-23 victory at Atlanta. Almost nobody escapes the Georgia Dome with a victory, and the Patriots were able to accomplish that feat. The defense is thriving, and the offense is finally getting untracked now that Tom Brady is getting accustomed to his new receivers.
Brady is coming off his best performance of the season, throwing for 316 yards and two touchdowns against Atlanta. He is getting comfortable with new top targets Kenbrell Thompkins and Julian Edelman. Thompkins had six receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons, while Edelman caught seven balls for 118 yards in the win. The Patriots now rank 11th in the league in total offense at 367.2 yards per game. What has been most impressive is the improvement from the defense, which ranks 6th in the league in scoring (14.2 points/game).
|10-05-13||Washington Huskies +7.5 v. Stanford||Top||28-31||Win||100||103 h 45 m||Show|
20* Washington/Stanford ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Washington +7.5
The Huskies are one of the most improved teams in the country in 2013. They returned 18 starters and 58 lettermen, and this is clearly Steve Sarkisian
|10-05-13||Oregon v. Colorado +39.5||57-16||Loss||-110||40 h 59 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Colorado +39.5
The Colorado Buffaloes are certainly improved under first-year head coach Mike MacIntyre. After winning just one game all of last season, MacIntyre has already doubled that win total while leading his team to a 2-1 start. He has great credentials from his time at San Jose State. He took a team that had only one winning season in nine years to 16 wins over his final 22 games there. MacIntyre brought six assistants and both of his coordinators over with him from San Jose State to Colorado.
The improvements have been dramatic, especially offensively as the Buffaloes are averaging 32.0 points and 412.7 total yards per game. MacIntyre had high-octane offenses at San Jose State in his final two seasons there as well. Connor Wood has been solid at the quarterback position. The former Texas transfer is completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 887 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. He loves having wide receiver Paul Richardson back after the junior missed all of last season with an injury. Richardson already has 26 receptions for 487 yards and five touchdowns through three games.
Oregon is already starting to just go through the motions after a start in which it has blown out its first four opponents. After taking a 55-3 lead against California last week, it nearly allowed the Bears to come from behind to cover the 38.5-point spread. In fact, the Bears scored 13 points in garbage time late to lose by a final of 16-55 and miss covering the spread by a half-point due to a missed PAT. Oregon has been playing its reserves late in games, and that could very well happen again Saturday against Colorado, which could allow the Buffaloes to get a back-door cover if need be.
Big news has come out of Eugene in that starting running back De
|10-05-13||Central Florida v. Memphis +10||Top||24-17||Win||100||49 h 45 m||Show|
25* American Athletic GAME OF THE YEAR on Memphis +10
|10-05-13||Clemson v. Syracuse +14||Top||49-14||Loss||-106||37 h 29 m||Show|
20* Clemson/Syracuse ACC ANNIHILATOR on Syracuse +14
The Syracuse Orange have done just fine under first-year head coach Scott Shafer, who was the defensive coordinator here over the last four years before getting the promotion in 2013. This is a team that won eight games last year and is much better than they had gotten credit for coming into the season. Sure, they are just 2-2, but both of their losses came on the road against superior Big Ten opponents in Penn State and Northwestern. They hung tough against the Nittany Lions in a 17-23 loss, and their game against the Wildcats was much closer than the score would indicate as they racked up 434 total yards in the loss.
Syracuse has opened 2-0 at home this season with blowout victories over Wagner (54-0) and Tulane (52-17). It has one of the most underrated home-field advantages in the country inside the Dome. In fact, it is 6-1 at home over the past two seasons with its only loss coming to Northwestern (41-42) by a single point. It even beat then-No. 11 Louisville at home 45-26 last season. All Louisville did was go on to win a BCS Bowl over Florida and open 4-0 in 2013 as well.
Clemson struggled in its only road game this season, winning 26-14 at NC State as a 12-point favorite. It only outgained the Wolfpack 415-378 in the win. Syracuse has been very strong on both sides of the ball in 2013. It is scoring 37.5 points per game while ranking 55th in the country in total offense (423.5 yards/game). It is allowing just 22.0 points per game while ranking 32nd in total defense (337.7 yards/game).
The offense has exploded with the insertion of Terrel Hunt into the starting lineup against Wagner in Week 3. The sophomore is completing 76.7 percent of his passes for 462 yards with seven touchdowns without an interception this season. "We have a little more chemistry with [Hunt] because he was here in the springtime when we were going through the new offense," tailback Jerome Smith said. "Between extending plays and our chemistry being better, that's the difference."
Syracuse has had two full weeks to prepare for Clemson having last played on September 21. The Orange are an impressive 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games following a bye week. Syracuse is 6-0-1 against the number in its last seven home games. The Orange are 14-2 against the spread in their last 16 home games off a home win by 17 points or more. Take Syracuse Saturday.
|10-05-13||North Carolina State v. Wake Forest +7.5||13-28||Win||100||37 h 29 m||Show|
15* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Wake Forest +7.5
While the Demon Deacons are off to just a 2-3 start in 2013, they did go into Army and beat the Black Knights 25-11 as a 1.5-point favorite. This is a team that returned 15 starters from last year and should continue to improve as the season goes on. I do like what I
|10-05-13||Ohio v. Akron +5||43-3||Loss||-109||36 h 58 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Upset Special Akron +5
The Akron Zips are one of the most underrated teams in the entire country due to their 1-4 start this season. That start can be attributed to a schedule that has seen the likes of UCF, Michigan and Bowling Green on the road, as well as LA Lafayette and FCS power James Madison at home. Remember, the Zips were just one play away from beating Michigan in the Big House, falling by a final of 24-28 as a 35-point underdog.
This Zips had their chances against Bowling Green and Louisiana Lafayette, too. They led Bowling Green 14-10 at halftime before eventually falling 14-31 on the road. They fell 30-35 at home to a very good Louisiana team as a 7.5-point underdog. They were only outgained 455-460 in that defeat. They have certainly played some great football this season and are hungry for that first conference victory Saturday when the Ohio Bobcats come into town.
Conversely, the Bobcats are way overrated due to their 3-1 start. All three of their victories came at home, and they easily could have lost two of them as they squeaked by both North Texas (27-21) and Marshall (34-31). In that win over the Thundering Herd, the Bobcats were thoroughly ouplayed, getting outgained by 147 total yards for the game. However, that win over Marshall is earning them a lot more respect than they deserve, because ultimately they should have lost. In its lone road game this season, Ohio was throttled 7-49 at Louisville.
Ohio has some huge injury problems heading into this game with Akron. While the betting public pays attention to injuries to skill players, they rarely factor in injuries along the offensive and defensive lines, even though those players can be just as important to a team. Well, Ohio is going to be without FOUR, count it, FOUR starting offensive linemen Saturday against Akron. The Bobcats will be a mess offensively because of it, and I look for Akron's improved defense to take advantage.
Akron only lost 28-34 at Ohio last year as an 18.5-point underdog. It actually outgained the Bobcats 456-441 for the game. Jawaan Chisolm rushed for 177 yards in the loss. I look for Chisolm and Kyle Pohl, who is completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns to six interceptions this year, to have huge games against this Ohio defense. The Bobcats are giving up 423.5 total yards per game against a much softer schedule than Akron has faced.
Ohio is 1-9 against the spread after scoring 37 or more points in its last game over the last three seasons. The Bobcats are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight conference games. Ohio is 1-6 against the number in its last seven road games. The Bobcats are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games following a SU win of more than 20 points. These four trends combine for a 27-3 system backing the Zips. Bet Akron Saturday.
|10-05-13||Texas Tech v. Kansas +17||54-16||Loss||-115||34 h 58 m||Show|
15* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas +17
The Kansas Jayhawks are an improved team in 2013 under second-year head coach Charlie Weis. He did an excellent job of going out and nabbing numerous talented recruits from the JUCO level. It is paying off thus far as Kansas has doubled its win total from last season already. This is a team that lost five games last year by a touchdown or less, including a 34-41 road loss to Texas Tech in double-overtime as a 24-point underdog.
Texas Tech is overrated due to its 4-0 start that has featured wins over the likes of SMU, Stephen F Austin and Texas State. Even its 20-10 win over TCU doesn
|10-04-13||BYU +6.5 v. Utah State||Top||31-14||Win||100||76 h 26 m||Show|
25* BYU/Utah State Instate Rivalry GAME OF THE YEAR on BYU +6.5
The Utah State Aggies are finally getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers. Now, the books have over-adjusted in listing Utah State as a 6.5-point favorite in this instate rivalry. There is a ton of value with this line on the underdog BYU Cougars, who could easily be 4-0 right now as their two losses to Virginia (16-19) and Utah (13-20) came by a combined 10 points. In fact, the Cougars outgained both opponents despite losing those games and simply gave them away.
BYU has played a very tough schedule thus far as it has had no gimmes in games against Middle Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. It took care of business against Middle Tennessee (37-10) and Texas (40-21), outgaining those opponents by 274 and 234 total yards, respectively. Statistically, this is one of the best teams in the country. BYU ranks 22nd in the FBS in total offense at 492.5 yards per game, and 24th in total defense at 320.5 yards per game. Once again, you have to factor in the difficulty of their schedule thus far to appreciate how impressive those numbers really are.
A closer look at the numbers really shows how good they have performed. The four opponents that they have played have allowed an average of 404 yards per game on the season, and the Cougars have bested that by 88 yards (492). The four opponents that they have faced have averaged 418 yards of offense on the season, and they have bested that by 98 yards (320). Taysom Hill has thrown for 741 yards on the season, while also rushing for a team-high 565 yards and six touchdowns. He is going to be very difficult to stop Friday night.
Bronco Mendenhall is 8-0 against the spread in road games vesus good rushing teams that average at least 4.75 rushing yards/carry as the coach of BYU. BYU is 8-0 against the number in its last eight games as an underdog. The Cougars are 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 vs. Mountain West Conference opponents. The Cougars are 7-0 against the number in their last seven games after committing three or more turnovers in their previous game. These four trends combine for a 33-1 system backing the Cougars. Also, BYU has gone 22-2 straight up in its last 24 meetings with Utah State. Bet BYU Friday.
|10-03-13||Buffalo Bills v. Cleveland Browns -3||Top||24-37||Win||100||22 h 15 m||Show|
20* Bills/Browns AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Cleveland -3
The Browns have looked like a much improved team over the last two weeks. They have beaten back-to-back playoff opponents in Minnesota and Cincinnati by showing that they are very versatile. The offense carried the load in a 31-27 victory at Minnesota by amassing 409 total yards. The defense played spectacularly last week in a 17-6 home victory over the Bengals, limiting them to just 266 total yards.
The biggest reason for the Browns
|10-03-13||Western Kentucky v. Louisiana Monroe OVER 48||Top||31-10||Loss||-110||21 h 20 m||Show|
20* CFB Thursday Total ANNIHILATOR on Western Kentucky/LA-Monroe OVER 48
The books have set the bar too low in this Sun Belt showdown between Western Kentucky and Louisiana-Monroe. Both teams are coming off low scoring games over the weekend which has kept this total way lower than it should be. WKU beat Navy 19-7, and LA-Monroe lost 14-31 to Tulane. This has created some very nice line value on the OVER in what has been a very high-scoring series between these teams of late.
Under the guidance of offensive mastermind Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky has been putting up big numbers on the offensive side of the football all season. It is scoring 31.2 points and averaging 462.4 total yards per game to rank 44th in the country in total offense. Quarterback Brandon Doughty is completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 1,028 yards and five touchdowns. Antonio Andrews, arguably the most underrated player in the entire country, has rushed for 727 yards and eight scores already.
Look for Andrews to have a monster day on the ground against a Louisiana-Monroe defense that has allowed 305 rushing yards to Oklahoma, 311 rushing yards to Baylor, and 253 rushing yards to Tulane. I look for Western Kentucky to score at will because of its ability to move the ball on the ground with ease, and behind an underrated passing attack. LA-Monroe also gave up 470 yards passing to Baylor and 310 passing yards to Wake Forest, so it hasn't been good in any phase of the defense.
What may concern most is a Louisiana-Monroe offense that hasn't put up great numbers this year. However, it has played some very good defenses with the likes of Oklahoma and Baylor. It's not like Western Kentucky is shutting down everyone. It gave up 52 points to Tennessee, 31 to South Alabama and 26 to Kentucky. ULM, which returned eight starters on offense this season from a unit that put up 33.8 points and 433 total yards per game last year, will get untracked against Western Kentucky.
What I really like about the OVER is the high-scoring nature of this series. The last three meetings have seen 85, 59 and 65 combined points. That's an average of 69.7 points per game, which is 21.7 more than tonight's posted total of 48. Kolton Browning threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 69 yards and two scores in last year's 43-42 victory at Western Kentucky. Andrews rushed for 104 yards and a score, while quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns in the loss for the Hilltoppers.
Bobby Petrino is 27-12 to the OVER in road games in all games he has coached. Petrino is 13-2 to the OVER off a two-game home stand in all games he has coached. Todd Berry is 6-0 to the OVER vs. excellent ball control teams that average 32 or more possession minutes per game as the coach of Louisiana-Monroe. The OVER is 23-7-1 in Warhawks last 31 vs. a team with a winning record. Take the OVER in this game Thursday.
|09-30-13||Miami Dolphins v. New Orleans Saints -6.5||Top||17-38||Win||100||99 h 57 m||Show|
20* Dolphins/Saints MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on New Orleans -6.5
The New Orleans Saints were very smart in hiring defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who was the scapegoat in Dallas when everything went wrong last year. The fact of the matter is that he
|09-29-13||New England Patriots +2 v. Atlanta Falcons||30-23||Win||100||76 h 31 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Falcons NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New England +2
For what the Patriots have lacked offensively this season, they
|09-29-13||NY Jets +4 v. Tennessee Titans||13-38||Loss||-115||71 h 5 m||Show|
15* Jets/Titans AFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on New York +4
The New York Jets are clearly one of the most improved teams in the league. They are a 10-13 loss at New England away from being 3-0 on the season, which was probably more promising than either of their two victories over the Buccaneers and Bills. Even more impressive is the fact that they are -6 in turnover differential on the season, so there
|09-29-13||Seattle Seahawks -2 v. Houston Texans||Top||23-20||Win||100||68 h 1 m||Show|
25* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Seattle Seahawks -2
The Houston Texans are very fortunate to be 2-1 right now. They needed to erase a 21-point deficit to beat San Diego 31-28 in their opener, and they also had to come back late to beat Tennessee 30-24 in overtime. Against the best opponent they've face, they lost at Baltimore 9-30 last week. Now, Seattle becomes the best opponent that they've faced, and I look for a beat down at the hands of the Seahawks.
From what I've seen thus far, it's clear that Seattle is the best team in the league. It has opened the season with three straight victories, including blowouts over the 49ers (29-3) and Jaguars (45-17). With the leadership this team has in Russell Wilson and company, they won't let this fast start go to their heads. This team has far bigger goals that it wants to achieve. Beating a playoff team from last year like Houston will help them accomplish those goals.
Seattle has been dominant on both sides of the ball, ranking 8th in the league in total offense (379.7 yards/game) and 1st in total defense (238.3 yards/game). This is the best defense in the league, hands down, and it's the reason I look for the Seahawks to win Sunday. Houston has been shaky on offense, scoring just 23.3 points per game while Matt Shaub has already thrown two interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns.
Now, Schaub may be without one of the best receivers in the league in Andre Johnson, who is questionable to play Sunday with a shin injury. Johnson was forced out against the Ravens last week due to the shin injury, and he also suffered a concussion against Tennessee the week prior. Making matters worse is the fact that Schaub will be up against the league's top-ranked pass defense. Seattle is only giving up 52.8% completions and 146.7 passing yards per game on the season. Also, the Seahawks have forced 10 turnovers already.
Seattle is 8-0 ATS versus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.5 rushing yards/carry over the last 3 seasons. The Seahawks are 7-0 ATS hen playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons. Seattle is 8-0 ATS after gaining 6 or more yards/play in their previous game over the last 2 seasons. While the Seahawks are a tremendous home team, they are also 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points. These five trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing Seattle. Bet the Seahawks Sunday.
|09-29-13||NY Giants +4.5 v. Kansas City Chiefs||Top||7-31||Loss||-105||68 h 0 m||Show|
20* NFL DOG OF THE MONTH on New York Giants +4.5
It's now or never for the New York Giants. Whatever they have to give, they will be laying on the field Sunday to get a win. This is already a must-win situation for them as only one team in the history of the NFL has started 0-4 and made the playoffs. I believe their effort will not only be good enough to cover this generous spread, but to likely win the game outright as well.
Kansas City is getting too much love from oddsmakers this week due to its 3-0 start. Sure, I was one of the biggest Chiefs backers coming into 2013, but I know when to turn away. This is one of those spots I'll choose to fade the Chiefs laying more than a field goal at home. This is a solid football team, but it's not one that deserves to be this heavily favored against a desperate New York team Sunday.
New York has simply beaten itself this season. It has already committed 13 turnovers, which stems from falling behind early in each of their first three losses to the Cowboys, Broncos and Panthers. I'm willing to throw out last week's loss to Carolina as New York simply could not have played any worse. However, a closer look at their games against the Cowboys and Broncos, and it's clear that this team can play with some of the best teams in the league.
The Giants only lost 31-36 at Dallas despite committing six turnovers. They gained 478 total yards in the loss, showing what their offense is really capable of. They were only trailing 16-17 against Denver late in the third quarter before turnovers did them in again. They committed four of them in the loss. Considering Denver has been rolling its opponents this year, the fact that the Giants kept it close for three quarters really shows what this team is capable of.
While the Giants are -9 in turnover differential through three games, the Chiefs are +9. These turnovers usually even themselves out in the long haul. That's the biggest reason why the Chiefs are overrated right now, and the Giants are way underrated. I look for the Giants to get back on track this week against a team they have dominated in the past. In fact, New York is 6-1 straight up and a perfect 7-0 against the spread in its last seven meetings with Kansas City.
Plays on road teams (NY GIANTS) - after being beaten by the spread by 35 or more points total in their last three games, terrible team, winning 25% or less of their games on the season are 33-11 (75%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
The Giants are 6-0 ATS after allowing 175 or more rushing yards last game over the last 3 seasons. Kansas City is 0-6 ATS as a home favorite over the last 3 seasons. As mentioned before, the Giants are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 meetings with the Chiefs. These three trends combine for a perfect 19-0 system backing New York. Roll with the Giants Sunday.
|09-29-13||Cincinnati Bengals v. Cleveland Browns +5||6-17||Win||100||68 h 0 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Cleveland Browns +5
Many folks in the media are writing the Cleveland Browns off after the Trent Richardson trade. The people on the inside realize this team is not about to throw in the towel. That couldn't have been more evident than in a 31-27 road victory at Minnesota last week despite being a 7-point underdog. I picked the Browns in that game, and I'll ride them again this week as they simply aren't getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Emerging star Jordan Cameron caught three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead grab with 51 seconds remaining to help the Browns beat the Vikings last week. "We got together last week after the news about Trent and we kind of came closer as a team," said Cameron, who has 20 receptions for a career-high 269 yards and four scores. "The team leaders talked to us about trusting this organization and where we're going as a team."
I also wrote last week that the injury to Brandon Weeden was a blessing in disguise because I had more faith in Brian Hoyer. Well, Hoyer threw for a career-high 321 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Vikings. I also wrote how Josh Gordon's return would make the offense much more explosive. That was spot-on as Gordon caught 10 balls for 146 yards and a touchdown. His big-play ability stretches the field for the offense, and the Browns are glad to have him back following his two-game suspension.
Cincinnati is in a big letdown spot here after a huge home win over the Green Bay Packers last week, and with an even bigger game against New England on deck. That win over Green Bay is the reason the Bengals are getting too much respect from oddsmakers in this one. The Packers essentially gave that game away by turning the ball over four times, including a fumble late in the game that was returned for a touchdown that gave the Bengals a lead they would never relinquish. In all reality, Cincinnati was dominated in that contest, getting outgained 297-399.
Now only does Cleveland have a revived offense, it also features the most underrated defense in the entire NFL. In fact, the Browns rank 6th in the league in total defense, allowing just 300.0 total yards per game. They are stout against the run (84.3 yards/game) and against the pass (215.7 yards/game). A key to this game will be the most underrated cornerback in the league in Joe Haden, who will be charged with defending Cincinnati star receiver A.J. Green.
Haden missed a 34-27 loss in Cincinnati last September 16 last year while serving a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances. He returned in time for their October 14 showdown at home, recording an interception in Cleveland's 34-24 victory. Home-field advantage has been huge in this series to say the least as the home team has won six of the past seven meetings.
Plays against favorites (CINCINNATI) - off an upset win as a home underdog, with a winning record on the season are 70-33 (68%) ATS since 1983. The Browns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Cleveland is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games after scoring 30 or more points in its previous game. The underdog is 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings in this series. Roll with the Browns Sunday.
|09-28-13||Wisconsin +7 v. Ohio State||24-31||Push||0||67 h 31 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/Ohio State ABC ANNIHILATOR on Wisconsin +7
The Wisconsin Badgers haven
|09-28-13||Arizona v. Washington -10||Top||13-31||Win||100||67 h 31 m||Show|
25* Pac-12 GAME OF THE YEAR on Washington -10
The Washington Huskies are clearly one of the most improved teams in the country in 2013. That should come as no surprise considering they returned 18 starters and 58 lettermen in Steve Sarkisian
|09-28-13||Florida -12 v. Kentucky||Top||24-7||Win||100||66 h 33 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida -12
The Gators have no margin for error if they want to contend for a BCS Title in 2013. They already lost at Miami despite thoroughly dominating that game, outgaining the Hurricanes by 201 total yards. This team really should be 3-0 right now with the way it has been owning its competition in the yardage battle. It outgained Toledo by 210 total yards and Tennessee by 162 total yards.
The injury to quarterback Jeff Driskel is a blessing in disguise. Backup Tyler Murphy replaced Driskel and looked very good against Tennessee. Murphy completed 8 of 14 passes for 134 yards with one touchdowns and no interceptions, while also rushing for 84 yards and a score. Driskel had already thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown before leaving the game to put the Gators in the hole 7-0. Murphy did a great job of digging them out of it as Florida would outscore Tennessee 31-10 the rest of the way.
Kentucky is a team in rebuilding mode with a 1-2 start and its only victory coming against lowly Miami Ohio. It lost to Western Kentucky 26-35 on a neutral field while giving up 487 total yards. It also lost at home to Louisville 13-27 while allowing 492 total yards. It
|09-28-13||Ole Miss +15 v. Alabama||0-25||Loss||-110||65 h 1 m||Show|
15* Ole Miss/Alabama ESPN No-Brainer on Ole Miss +15
|09-28-13||Iowa -1 v. Minnesota||23-7||Win||100||62 h 58 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Big Ten Line Mistake on Iowa -1
The Iowa Hawkeyes have looked very sharp to start 2013 en route to a 3-1 start. Their only loss came against Northern Illinois on a last-second field goal, which is the same NIU team that played in a BCS Bowl last year. This team came into 2013 underrated off a 4-8 season last year in which the Hawkeyes lost five games by a combined 16 points.
Iowa is coming off its best game of the season in a 59-3 romp of Western Michigan, which is the same team that played Michigan State to a 13-26 game on the road. It held the Broncos to 209 total yards, forced four turnovers, and scored on special teams and defense. It was the kind of effort the Hawkeyes really needed as they head into Big Ten play this week.
Minnesota has yet to be really tested in the early going. Its four opponents have been UNLV, New Mexico State, Western Illinois and San Jose State. It was favored in all four games, and a double-digit favorite in three of them. Minnesota relies heavily on its running game as it is gaining 282 yards per game on the ground, and only 105 per game through the air. Iowa has the perfect antidote as it ranks 12th in the country against the run, allowing just 91.5 rushing yards per game and 3.7 per carry.
They Golden Gophers really don
|09-28-13||Oklahoma v. Notre Dame +3.5||35-21||Loss||-105||62 h 60 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Notre Dame NBC No-Brainer on Notre Dame +3.5
The Fighting Irish have already played a much tougher schedule than Oklahoma. They have faced the likes of both Michigan and Purdue on the road as well as Michigan State at home. Oklahoma
|09-28-13||Florida State -21.5 v. Boston College||Top||48-34||Loss||-104||62 h 2 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Florida State -21.5
The Seminoles came into the 2013 season underrated due to losing several starters to the NFL draft. The fact of the matter is that Jimbo Fisher doesn
|09-28-13||Toledo v. Ball State -2||24-31||Win||100||62 h 34 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Ball State -2
Ball State is a much-improved team in 2013 and a legitimate contender to win the MAC this season. It returned 13 starters, including seven on an offense that put up 33.6 points and 457 total yards per game a year ago en route to a 9-4 campaign. Quarterback Keith Wenning is back after completing 65.4 percent of his passes for 3,094 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions a year ago.
Wenning has all of his top skill players back. Leading rusher Jahwan Edwards (1,410 yards, 14 TD) returns, as do each of the top five receivers from a year ago, including Willie Snead (89 receptions, 1,148 yards, 9 TD) and Jamill Smith (69, 706, 6 TD). Wenning and company have averaged 42.2 points and 474.7 total yards per game en route to a 3-1 start in 2013.
Wenning is completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 1,315 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for two scores. Edwards has been held to 130 yards and four touchdowns, but Horactio Banks has picked up the slack, rushing for 300 yards and five touchdowns. Snead has 28 receptions for 480 yards and four touchdowns, while Smith has added 17 grabs for 298 yards and one touchdowns.
I like Ball State's chances of moving the ball and scoring points at will against a Toledo defense that returned just four starters from last year while losing four of its top five tacklers, including Dan Molls (166 tackles, and Robert Bell (100 tackles). I also don't believe Toledo's offense, which is averaging just 25.0 points and 385.0 total yards per game, has the firepower to keep up with the Cardinals in this one.
Both quarterbacks return from last year's 34-27 Ball State victory at Toledo. Wenning went 29 of 42 passing for 280 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Terrance Owens was held to 14 of 27 passing for 215 yards and one touchdown in the loss. Ball State's only loss this season came at North Texas by a final of 27-34. Despite gaining 496 total yards, the Cardinals committed five turnovers, which did them in. Look for Wenning and company to take much better care of the football in a key game Saturday that could determine the West MAC Title.
The Cardinals are 6-1 at home over the last two seasons with their only loss coming last year to Northern Illinois (23-35), which went on to win the MAC and play in a BCS Bowl game. Ball State is 17-6 ATS in its last 23 games overall. The Cardinals are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Ball State is 5-1 ATS in its last six conference games. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. Ball State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight meetings with Toledo. Roll with Ball State Saturday.
|09-28-13||Oklahoma State -18 v. West Virginia||21-30||Loss||-108||58 h 29 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Oklahoma State -18
This is an Oklahoma State Cowboys team that returned 15 starters from last season
|09-27-13||Middle Tennessee State v. BYU UNDER 59.5||Top||10-37||Win||100||46 h 7 m||Show|
20* CFB Friday Night Total DOMINATOR on Middle Tennessee/BYU UNDER 59.5
I'm siding with the UNDER Friday night in this game between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and BYU Cougars. I look for this to be a blowout as well, but mainly because BYU's defense shuts down Middle Tennessee, not because the Cougars pile on a ton of points. They have opened 1-2 this season and will be playing with a chip on their shoulder because of it.
BYU's defense has held its own against three very good offenses in Utah, Texas and Virginia. It is only allowing 20.0 points and 356.7 total yards per game against those teams, who combined to average 33.6 points and 452 total yards per game. That means they have held those three opponents to 13.6 points and nearly 100 total yards per game less than their season averages. This is a top-notch BYU defense that will shut down a Middle Tennessee team that hasn't faced a defense nearly as fierce as this one.
Another aspect that benefits the under is that BYU is primarily a running team and it will eat up clock as it puts together long, extended drives on the ground. The Cougars are rushing for 307 yards per game and only completing 34.8 percent of their passes on the season. You can bet they will be keeping it on the ground all game long in this one. Middle Tennessee also likes to run the football, averaging 196 rushing yards per game.
With both teams relying heavily on the run, it's imperative that each squad be good against the run. That has been the case for both teams in this season. In fact, Middle Tennessee is only yielding 3.7 yards per carry, while BYU is giving up just 3.2 yards per carry. This is strength versus strength ladies and gents, which clearly favors the UNDER.
BYU is 10-1 UNDER in home games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) since 1992. The Cougars are 22-5 UNDER vesus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.75 rushing yards/carry since 1992. BYU is 34-17 UNDER when the total is between 56.5 and 63 since 1992. Bronco Mendenhall is a perfect 8-0 UNDER in home games vs. good offensive teams - scoring 31 or more points/game as the coach of BYU. The UNDER is 10-1 in Cougars last 11 Friday games. The UNDER is 13-3 in Cougars last 16 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|09-26-13||San Francisco 49ers v. St. Louis Rams +3.5||35-11||Loss||-110||22 h 3 m||Show|
15* 49ers/Rams NFC West No-Brainer on St. Louis +3.5
The 49ers aren
|09-26-13||Virginia Tech +7 v. Georgia Tech||Top||17-10||Win||100||31 h 8 m||Show|
20* VA Tech/GA Tech ACC on ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Virginia Tech +7
Rarely will you find Virginia Tech catching a touchdown or more against anyone. The fact of the matter is that this team has overcome some adversity to open 3-1 this season. It has played a much tougher schedule than Georgia Tech as Alabama, East Carolina and Marshall are all quality opponents. The best team Georgia Tech has faced is North Carolina, and it needed to erase a 20-7 deficit in that contest to win at home last week. Its other two opponents have been Elon and Duke.
Virginia Tech is coming into this game way undervalued due to the nature of its close victories the past two weeks against ECU and Marshall teams that are better than they get credit for. The Hokies are winning games with their defense, allowing just 17.2 points and 233.2 total yards per game. From what I
|09-23-13||Oakland Raiders v. Denver Broncos OVER 48.5||Top||21-37||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
20* Raiders/Broncos MNF Total ANNIHILATOR on OVER 48.5
I expect a shootout tonight between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Denver should be able to score at will against this suspect Oakland defense. The Raiders will put up their fair share of points against this injury-and-suspension-plagued Broncos' defense.
Denver leads the league in scoring at 45.0 points per game. It is also averaging 463.0 total yards per game behind the great play of Peyton Manning. The four-time league MVP is completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 769 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.
Terrell Pryor has given this Oakland offense new life with his dual-threat ability. In fact, the Raiders are averaging a very impressive 356.0 total yards per game through their first two contests. Pryor is completing 64.2 percent of his passes, while also rushing for 162 yards thus far.
Denver is giving up 25.0 points and 384.5 total yards per game. It remains without Von Miller, while Champ Bailey is questionable. Oakland is going to be without starting safety Tyvon Branch, which will make it even more difficult to defend Manning and company.
The Broncos are 9-1 OVER (+7.9 Units) in a home game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons. The OVER is 7-0-1 in Broncos last 8 games following a ATS win. The OVER is 6-0-1 in Broncos last 7 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Denver is 6-0 OVER after gaining 400 or more total yards in their previous game over the last 2 seasons. These four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing the OVER. Bet the OVER in this game Monday.
|09-22-13||Chicago Bears v. Pittsburgh Steelers +3||40-23||Loss||-125||50 h 42 m||Show|
15* Bears/Steelers NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Pittsburgh +3
The Steelers haven
|09-22-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +19.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||17-45||Loss||-110||46 h 32 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Jacksonville Jaguars +19.5
This is a huge letdown spot for the Seahawks. They are coming off a blowout victory over their biggest rivals in the San Francisco 49ers. It
|09-22-13||Cleveland Browns +7 v. Minnesota Vikings||31-27||Win||100||42 h 7 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +7
This line of 7 points is an overreaction to the trade of Trent Richardson and the loss of Brandon Weeden. The fact of the matter is that Richardson only averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season, and he was only averaging 3.4 yards per carry through the first two contests this year. Plus, a change at quarterback could do this team some good as Weeden simply hasn
|09-22-13||St. Louis Rams +4 v. Dallas Cowboys||7-31||Loss||-110||42 h 7 m||Show|
15* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on St. Louis Rams +4
The St. Louis Rams are clearly a team on the rise. They went 7-8-1 last season in Jeff Fisher's first year on the job, which included a 1-0-1 record against the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. They have made all the right moves this offseason. They already had one of the best young defenses in the NFL, so they shifted their focus to the offense, where Sam Bradford now has the weapons he needs to be successful.
St. Louis brought drafted Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, and it also signed one of the best tight ends in the league in Jared Cook. Both Austin and Cook are off to solid starts in 2013. The Rams made sure Bradford's blindside will be protected for years to come by bringing in left tackle Jake Long from Miami as well. So far, this offense is much-improved from a year ago.
The Rams are scoring 25.5 points and averaging 393.5 total yards per game in 2013. Bradford has certainly made use of his new weapons, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 651 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions through two games. Cook has caught eight balls for 151 yards and two touchdowns, while Austin has 12 receptions for 88 yards and two scores.
You just can't trust the Cowboys when laying points. This team simply has too many issues and that was evident in a 16-17 loss at Kansas City last week. They are lucky to be 1-1 as the Giants simply gave away the game in Week 1 by committing six turnovers, and still nearly won in a 31-36 loss. The offensive line is still having trouble protecting Romo because Dallas hasn't been able to establish a running game. It is only averaging 62 rushing yards per game and 3.2/carry. St. Louis has one of the best pass rushes in the league. It tied for the league lead in sacks (52.0) last season and has everyone back along the defensive line, including Chris Long (11.5) and Robert Quinn (10.5).
Dallas is just 4-13 against the spread in all home games over the last three seasons. The Cowboys are 3-11 against the number in their last 14 games as a home favorite. St. Louis is 6-1 against the spread in its last seven road games. The Rams are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Jeff Fisher is 30-16 ATS after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game in all games he has coached. Bet the Rams Sunday.
|09-22-13||San Diego Chargers +3 v. Tennessee Titans||17-20||Push||0||42 h 6 m||Show|
15* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on San Diego Chargers +3
The San Diego Chargers should not be catching a field goal against the Tennessee Titans Sunday. The Chargers could easily be 2-0 had they not blown a 28-7 lead over the Texans in Week 1. They responded nicely with a 33-30 victory at Philadelphia in Week 2, racking up a whopping 539 yards in the win. Philip Rivers certainly looks comfortable in this offense.
He threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Eagles. Antonio Gates proved he still had plenty left in the tank, catching eight balls for 124 yards against Philadelphia. While there are many that don't believe the Chargers have enough weapons, newcomers Eddie Royal and Danny Woodhead would beg to differ. Royal caught seven balls for 90 yards and three touchdowns against Philly. Woodhead has 27 rushing yards and eight receptions for 37 yards in the win.
Tennessee is getting too much respect in the early going. It beat Pittsburgh on the road in the opener, which clearly has this team overvalued. Sure, it took Houston to overtime last week, but it was thoroughly outplayed in that contest. The Texans outgained the Titans 452-248, or by a total of 204 yards. Tennessee was gifted a touchdown on an interception return on a terrible pass from Matt Shaub, otherwise this would have been a blowout. I trust the Chargers as an improved team in 2013 much more than I trust the Titans to be.
The Titans still have one of the worst offenses in the league. In fact, they rank 30th in the league in total offense at 238.5 total yards per game. San Diego check in at No. 7 in total offense at 401.0 yards per game. The Jake Locker is completing just 56.0 percent of his passes for 273 yards thus far and hasn't developed into the franchise quarterback the Titans had hoped. San Diego, which has an underrated run defense, will be able to stack eight in the box to take away Chris Johnson and make Locker try to beat them. My money says he can't do it Sunday.
Plays on road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (SAN DIEGO) - after 2 consecutive games where they forced 1 or less turnovers against opponent after 2 consecutive games with a turnover margin of +1 or better are 23-4 (85.2%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. San Diego won't be giving the Titans the same gifts that the Steelers and Texans have through the first two games.
San Diego is 21-3 against the spread in its last 24 games vs. AFC South opponents. The Chargers are a perfect 9-0 S.U. in nine meetings with the Titans dating back to 1993. That includes a 38-10 home victory over Tennessee last season as San Diego outgained the Titans 416-212 in a dominant performance. This has been a one-sided series to say the least. Take the Chargers Sunday.
|09-21-13||Auburn +17 v. LSU||21-35||Win||100||43 h 26 m||Show|
15* Auburn/LSU ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Auburn +17
This is a completely different Auburn team with the arrival of first-year head coach Gus Malzahn. The former offensive coordinator at Auburn for three years, including the 2010 season in which the Tigers went 14-0 and won the BCS Championship, Malzahn has brought a different mentality to this team. Remember, he took Arkansas State to a Sun Belt Title last season in his first year there, and he is making his mark on Auburn already.
The good news for Malzahn is that many of the players on this team were recruited to run his system before he bolted for Arkansas State. The offensive mastermind has this Auburn offense scoring 31.0 points and averaging 441.0 total yards per game en route to a 3-0 start. Those three victories came against the underrated trio of Washington State, Arkansas State and Mississippi State. I would certainly argue that Auburn has played a tougher schedule than LSU to this point.
This has been a very closely-contested series in recent years. In fact, seven of the last nine meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less. That includes a 12-10 road victory for LSU last season despite being an 18-point favorite in that contest. Now, as a 17.5-point favorite in the rematch in 2013, LSU is overvalued once again. This is an improved Auburn defense that has eight starters back from last season and is only allowing 17.7 points per game thus far, which is less than what LSU (19.0) is giving up.
Auburn is 4-0 against the spread in its last four games following an ATS loss. LSU is 5-17 against the number in its last 22 games as a home favorite of 14.5 to 21 points. LSU is 30-52 against the spread in home games against SEC opponents since 1992. Auburn is 6-0 against the number after a game where it forced no turnovers over the last three seasons. LSU is 14-28 against the spread in its last 28 home games vs. good team that is outscoring its opponents by 10 or more points per game. Roll with Auburn Saturday.
|09-21-13||SMU +29.5 v. Texas A&M||13-42||Win||100||43 h 40 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on SMU +29.5
This is a huge letdown spot for Texas A&M. The Aggies just lost on ESPN
|09-21-13||Arizona State +6.5 v. Stanford||Top||28-42||Loss||-110||43 h 45 m||Show|
20* ASU/Stanford Pac-12 GAME OF THE MONTH on Arizona State +6.5
I believe that the Sun Devils are a legitimate Pac-12 Title contender. They are certainly the best team in the South and should play in the Title game come season
|09-21-13||Louisiana-Lafayette -5.5 v. Akron||35-30||Loss||-110||42 h 39 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Under the Radar BLOWOUT on Louisiana-Lafayette -5.5
Akron nearly upset Michigan last week in Ann Arbor. As a result, it is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers against a superior Louisiana-Lafayette team Saturday. I look for the Zips to suffer a hangover from that defeat to the Wolverines. They were stopped at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds, which is how close they came to pulling off the upset. Akron's players won't be able to recover in time to face the Rajin' Cajuns Saturday.
Louisiana-Lafayette is underrated right now due to opener the season 0-2 with road losses to Arkansas and Kansas State. It would rebound with a 70-7 victory over Nicholls State last week, and now I look for it to roll the rest of the season after getting its two toughest games of the year out of the way. Remember, this team went 9-4 last season and returned 13 starters and 56 lettermen from that squad. This is arguably the best team in the Sun Belt.
Akron, meanwhile, is just 2-13 over the past two seasons. Its only two wins have come against FCS opponents in Morgan State and James Madison. It barely beat James Madison (35-33) at home in Week 2 while getting outgained 498-356 for the game. It was blown out 7-38 in the opener by UCF, which is much more indicative of the talent on this team. Michigan simply just went through the motions last week off a big win over Notre Dame the previous week, and it nearly cost the Wolverines. They committed four turnovers against the Zips.
Lafayette is 6-0 against the spread vs. poor passing defenses - allowing 250 or more passing yards/game over the last 3 seasons. The Rajin' Cajuns are 8-0 against the number after a playing a game where 70 total points or more were scored over the last 3 seasons. The Zips are 0-5 against the spread in their last five home games. Akron is 0-6 against the number in its last six home games off one or more consecutive overs. These four trends combine for a 25-0 system backing Louisiana-Lafayette. Plus, the Rajin' Cajuns are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 road games. Roll with Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday.
|09-21-13||Michigan State +4.5 v. Notre Dame||Top||13-17||Win||100||39 h 16 m||Show|
20* MSU/Notre Dame Rivalry GAME OF THE MONTH on Michigan State +4.5
Admittedly, the Spartans did not look sharp offensively in beating Western Michigan by 13 and South Florida by 15 in their first two games to open the season. It was no secret that this offense was going to struggle in the early going after last year. However, it was also no secret that Michigan State was going to possess one of the best defenses in the entire country. That has proven to be the case thus far due to seven starters and seven of the top nine tacklers back on that side of the ball.
Michigan State is only allowing 12.0 points and 177.0 total yards per game en route to a 3-0 start. It has also forced eight turnovers to this point. There
|09-21-13||West Virginia v. Maryland -4.5||Top||0-37||Win||100||39 h 14 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Maryland -4.5
The Maryland Terrapins are one of the most improved teams in the country this season. They went just 4-8 last year due to injuries at the quarterback position. They were down to their 6th-string QB due to a fluke of injuries, including the starter out of the spring in C.J. Brown. Now, in 2013, they have opened 3-0 with double-digit victories over Florida International (43-10), Old Dominion (47-10) and Connecticut (32-21).
A big reason for that start has been Brown's play. The senior is completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 833 yards with six touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing for 257 yards and five scores. Stefon Diggs, arguably the most underrated receiver in the entire country, has 16 receptions for 387 yards and three touchdowns already. Maryland is one of only three teams in the nation that has compiled 500 or more yards of total offense in each of their first three games this season.
West Virginia went just 7-6 last season despite having a plethora of talent on offense in QB Geno Smith and WR's Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. All three players were taken within the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Now, with only 10 starters back, including three on offense, the Mountaineers are clearly in rebuilding mode. They are off to an ugly start to 2013 as well.
The Mountaineers opened with a 24-17 victory over William & Mary despite being a 31.5-point favorite. They managed just one touchdown in a loss to Oklahoma the next week in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. They also failed to cover against Georgia State last week, which is a team that has lost to Samford (21-31) and Chattanooga (14-42) at home. The score was only 20-7 WVU before the Mountaineers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to make the game appear to be a bigger blowout than it really was.
Maryland actually had a pretty strong defense last year in allowing just 337 total yards per game despite being on the field a ton due to inept quarterback play. It has been even stronger in 2013, allowing just 13.7 points and 296.3 total yards per game. In their 31-21 loss at West Virginia last season, the Terrapins were playing with their fourth-string quarterback. They easily covered as a 26-point underdog and were only outgained 363-351 for the game. There's no question that the Terrapins are the superior team in 2013, and they'll get revenge in blowout fashion Saturday.
West Virginia is 5-15 against the spread in its last 20 road games vs. ACC opponents. The Mountaineers are 0-5 against the spread in their last five non-conference games. The Terrapins are 5-0 against the number in their last five games overall. West Virginia is 5-16 against the spread in its last 21 road games versus good defensive teams that allow 4.5 yards per play or less. Take Maryland Saturday.
|09-21-13||Tennessee +16.5 v. Florida||17-31||Win||100||39 h 9 m||Show|
15* Tennessee/Florida CBS Saturday No-Brainer on Tennessee +16.5
The Volunteers are clearly on the rise under new head coach Butch Jones, who spent three years at Central Michigan and three years at Cincinnati before coming here. Jones is a proven winner, leading the Chippewas and Bearcats to at least a share of the conference championship four out of those six years. He inherited a Tennessee team with a lot of talent and 13 returning starters.
Tennessee opened the season 2-0 with blowout victories over Austin Peay (45-0) and Western Kentucky (52-20). I
|09-21-13||North Texas +34 v. Georgia||21-45||Win||100||36 h 0 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on North Texas +34
The North Texas Mean Green are a much improved team in 2013. Dan McCarney has done a fine job at this program in exceeding expectations in his first two years on the job. Now, in his third season here, McCarney easily has his best team yet. North Texas returned a whopping 17 starters this season, and that experience has led the program to a solid 2-1 start.
North Texas has beaten Idaho (40-6) and Ball State (34-27) at home for its two wins. Its only loss came at Ohio (21-27) against a very underrated Bobcats
|09-21-13||San Jose State +4 v. Minnesota||24-43||Loss||-115||36 h 40 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Upset Special on San Jose State +4
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are way overrated right now due to playing a very easy schedule to this point. UNLV and New Mexico State are two of the worst teams in the FBS. Also, Western Illinois is an FCS opponent, and the Gophers did not look sharp against them despite being a 24-point favorite and winning 29-12. In fact, Minnesota is only outgaining those three opponents by an average of 40.3 yards per game thus far.
San Jose State continues to be a covering machine, opening 2-0 against the number with a win over Sacramento State (24-0) as a 20-point favorite, and a loss at Stanford (13-34) as a 24-point underdog. This team does have plenty of talent back from last year
|09-20-13||Boise State v. Fresno State -3||Top||40-41||Loss||-120||44 h 31 m||Show|
20* Boise/Fresno MWC GAME OF THE MONTH on Fresno State -3
The Fresno State Bulldogs got their first conference title since 1989 last season under first-year head coach Tim DeRuyter. Many believe this is a sleeper team to crash the BCS due to returning 16 starters, including quarterback Derek Carr. They were +171.5 yards per game in Mountain West play last year which was 52 yards per game better than Boise State.
Carr is coming off a season in which he completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has guided the Bulldogs to a 2-0 start this season while completing 71.2 percent of his passes for 661 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception thus far. The offense has averaged 46.5 points and 460.5 total yards per game in wins over Rutgers and Cal Poly.
Boise State is in rebuilding mode this season and is nowhere near as strong as it has been over the past decade. It returns only nine starters and was embarrassed 6-38 at Washington in its opener. It followed that up with unimpressive victories over cupcakes in Tennessee-Martin and Air Force at home. The Broncos gave up a ridiculous 592 total yards in the loss to Washington, so Carr and company could certainly have their way with this suspect defense as they look to get revenge and put a halt to a 7-game losing streak in the series.
The Broncos are just 3-11 against the spread after scoring 37 or more points in their last game over the past three seasons. Boise State is 3-12 against the number in its last 15 conference games. The Bulldogs are 5-0 against the number in their last five conference games. Fresno State is 12-4 against the spread in its last 16 games overall. The favorite is a perfect 11-0 against the spread in the last 11 meetings in this series. Bet Fresno State Friday.
Note: I recommend buying Fresno State to -3 if you have to.
|09-19-13||Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 v. Philadelphia Eagles||Top||26-16||Win||100||19 h 11 m||Show|
20* Chiefs/Eagles NFL Thursday No-Brainer on Kansas City +3.5
Andy Reid has given this Kansas City franchise new life. It has already matched its win total from all of last year. The offense is in good hands with Alex Smith, who is completing 60.0 percent of his passes for 396 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions thus far. In fact, the offense has yet to turn the ball over as the Chiefs are already +4 in turnover differential after finishing -24 last year. Smith simply takes care of the football and is the best quarterback this franchise has had in years.
|09-19-13||Clemson -13.5 v. North Carolina State||26-14||Loss||-110||18 h 15 m||Show|
15* Clemson/NC State ACC ANNIHILATOR on Clemson -13.5
The Tigers are a legitimate national title contender in 2013. They opened the season with an impressive 38-35 victory over Georgia after closing out their 2012 campaign with a win against LSU. After beating two of the top teams in the SEC, there
|09-16-13||Pittsburgh Steelers +7 v. Cincinnati Bengals||Top||10-20||Loss||-107||90 h 2 m||Show|
25* AFC North GAME OF THE YEAR on Pittsburgh +7
|09-15-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Seattle Seahawks UNDER 44.5||3-29||Win||100||66 h 4 m||Show|
15* 49ers/Seahawks NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on UNDER 44.5
Oddsmakers have set the bar too high tonight in this showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. I look for a defensive battle between these two bitter NFC West rivals who are two of the favorites to win the Super Bowl because of their defenses.
Seattle finished 4th in the league in total defense (306.2 yards/game) and 1st in scoring defense (15.3 points/game) last season. San Francisco finished 3rd in the NFL in total defense (294.4 yards/game) and 2nd in in scoring defense (17.1 points/game) in 2012.
Both defenses have arguably gotten stronger this offseason with the additions they have made. Given their familiarity with the opposing offenses having played them twice each year, I have no doubt that points will be hard to come by in this one.
I look for a score similar to the 13-6 49ers' victory in the first meeting last season than the 42-13 Seahawks' victory in the second. Neither team gained more than 346 total yards in either meeting last year, so the offenses were held in check for the most part. Seattle just went off for 42 points in one of the meetings, which isn't even going to come close to happening again. The Seahawks were aided by a special teams touchdown in that one.
Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick had the element of surprise last year as each were in their first season as a starter. There is enough game tape out on both quarterbacks now that two top-notch defenses like these ones will be able to contain their respective opposing signal callers.
Plays on the UNDER on any team where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points (SAN FRANCISCO) - off a home win, in a game involving two teams that had winning records last season are 37-13 (74%) since 1983.
The UNDER is 7-0 in Seahawks last 7 September games. Their defense was in prime form last week in a 12-7 victory at Carolina. I look for a similar score in this Week 2 showdown as well. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-15-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +6 v. Oakland Raiders||Top||9-19||Loss||-110||62 h 19 m||Show|
20* AFC Non-Divisional GAME OF THE MONTH on Jacksonville Jaguars +6
The Oakland Raiders should never be this heavily favored against any team in the league, even the Jacksonville Jaguars. This line is simply an overreaction from last week's performances as the Jaguars were blown out by the Chiefs, while the Raiders played the Colts tough.
There are explanations for both results. First, I believe the Chiefs are going to be one of the most improved teams in the league this season, and they showed that in Week 1. Second, I believe the Colts are one of the most overrated teams in the NFL after making the playoffs last year. You have to remember that Indianapolis was actually outscored on the season last year and won 10 games. It went 9-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less and was much worse than its record.
Oakland is still one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst. Jacksonville is not a good team with Blaine Gabbert under center, but the good news is that he suffered a hand injury last week and will be out. That means that Chad Henne gets the start, and the Jaguars are much better with him under center. Henne threw for 2,084 yards and 11 touchdowns to 11 interceptions last season while giving Jacksonville a chance to win most weeks.
"If there's one good out of that now we have a guy that's seasoned, that's played a lot of football for us," Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley said. "We have a lot of faith in Chad. I know that he's a guy we felt strongly about going through the whole process."
Jacksonville is 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in its last five meetings with Oakland. Its lone loss came last season by a final of 23-26 as a 6-point underdog. I look for this game to go right down to the wire as well and to likely be decided by a field goal either way, which means there is a ton of value in the Jaguars here.
Jacksonville is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games after scoring six points or less in its previous game. The Jaguars are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 road games off a loss by 14 points or more. The Raiders are 20-43-1 ATS in their last 64 vs. a team with a losing record. Oakland is 1-5 ATS in its last six home games. The Raiders are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a ATS win. Bet the Jaguars Sunday.
|09-15-13||Denver Broncos v. NY Giants +4.5||41-23||Loss||-105||62 h 6 m||Show|
15* Broncos/Giants "Manning Bowl" ANNIHILATOR on New York +4.5
It's amazing that the New York Giants actually had a chance to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the closing minutes last week despite turning the ball over a ridiculous six times. They would eventually lose 31-36, but that effort really shows a lot about the character and talent of this team. You can bet that Tom Coughlin will preach ball security as his team fights to avoid falling to 0-2 as the Giants welcome the Denver Broncos to town Sunday.
This line is an overreaction from the Broncos' 49-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. Denver wanted that game badly after losing to the Ravens in double-overtime in the playoffs last year. That big win sets the Broncos up for a letdown spot this week. I certainly like the Giants' mental attitude heading into this one much better after falling in Week 1 and needing this victory more.
Denver has a plethora of injury/suspension issues heading into this one. All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey is expected to miss this game with a sprained left foot. All-Pro linebacker Von Miller continues to serve his six-game suspension. Starting center Dan Koppen is out for the season, and backup center J.D. Walton could miss the entire year. Starting guard Chris Kuper is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
This Denver offensive line will struggle against arguably the best defensive line in football in the Giants. It's the same defensive line that knocked Tony Romo out of the game last week and pressured him for four quarters. Peyton Manning will be under duress all game long.
Plays on home teams (NY GIANTS) - good team from last season - outscored opponents by 4 or more points/game, after scoring 30 points or more last game are 38-13 (74.5%) ATS since 1983.
The Giants are 9-1 ATS after gaining 6.5 or more yards/play in their previous game over the last 3 seasons. New York is 10-4-1 ATS in its last 15 vs. a team with a winning record. Tom Coughlin is 37-24 ATS as an underdog as the coach of New York. The home team has won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings in this series. Bet the Giants Sunday.
|09-15-13||Cleveland Browns +7 v. Baltimore Ravens||6-14||Loss||-115||59 h 55 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Browns +7
|09-15-13||St Louis Rams +7 v. Atlanta Falcons||Top||24-31||Push||0||59 h 54 m||Show|
20* NFC Non-Divisional GAME OF THE MONTH on St. Louis Rams +7
The St. Louis Rams are showing excellent value as a touchdown underdog to the Atlanta Falcons Sunday. I believe the Rams will be one of the most improved teams in the league in 2013, and they are off to a nice start with a 24-21 home victory over Arizona in Week 1.
Off a 13-3 season last year where almost everything went right in close games, the Atlanta Falcons are sure to regress in 2013. That has been the case already with a 17-23 loss at New Orleans in Week 1. The Falcons went 7-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less last season. There's a very good chance this game will fall into that category with the final margin being by a touchdown or less either way.
Atlanta lost a lot on defense in the offseason, and it was a below-average defensive team last season. I look for the Falcons to have to try and win a lot of shootouts this year. Meanwhile, the Rams have one of the best young defenses in the league. Now, they have finally added a plethora of weapons for Sam Bradford offensively. That includes tight end Jared Cook, who had seven receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns in his first game with St. Louis against Arizona.
St. Louis also upgraded its offensive line in the offseason after giving up a league-worst 55 sacks last year. They didn't allow any sacks against the Cardinals. "I can't say enough about those guys up front," Bradford said. "They played outstanding, and I think it shows that we've taken leaps and bounds from where we were last year."
Matt Ryan was sacked three times against the Saints last week. Some of these struggles are likely the result of the state of flux on the Falcons' offensive line. Left tackle Sam Baker and left guard Justin Blalock are the only holdovers from last year's starting unit, while Peter Konz has shifted from guard to center to replace the retired Todd McClure.
Atlanta's offense was held to just 17 points last week against a weak New Orleans defense. A big reason for that was the injury to Roddy White, who was simply used as a decoy. White had only two catches for 19 yards last week while playing injured. Both White (ankle) and Julio Jones (knee) are banged up but probable, and this offense is far less explosive without these two at 100%.
Jeff Fisher is 11-3 ATS as an underdog as the coach of St. Louis. The Rams are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games. Fisher is 23-9 ATS off a home win against a division rival in all games he has coached. Take the Rams Sunday.
Note: I recommend buying the Rams to +7
|09-14-13||Wisconsin v. Arizona State -5||Top||30-32||Loss||-110||52 h 17 m||Show|
20* Wisconsin/ASU ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Arizona State -5
I fully expect the Sun Devils to compete for a Pac-12 Title in 2013. That
|09-14-13||Ole Miss +3 v. Texas||44-23||Win||100||50 h 46 m||Show|
15* Ole Miss/Texas SEC vs. Big 12 No-Brainer on Ole Miss +3
Hugh Freeze has the Ole Miss football program on the rise. After guiding Arkansas State to 10 wins and a Sun Belt Title in his first year there in 2011, Freeze came to Ole Miss and got the Rebels to their first bowl game since 2009 last season. Now, with 19 returning starters and 59 lettermen, this team is clearly a sleeper in the SEC West Division.
The defense is loaded with 10 returning starters. The offense welcomes back QB Bo Wallace, who completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,994 yards with 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while also rushing for 390 yards and eight scores last year. Also back is leading rusher Jeff Scott as well as the top three receivers from 2012. Ole Miss is off to a solid 2-0 start, which included an impressive 39-35 victory at Vanderbilt in its opener.
Texas is in a world of hurt right now. It just gave up 679 total yards, including a ridiculous 550 rushing in a 21-40 loss at BYU last week. It will be changing defensive coordinators, but Greg Robinson cannot go out and play the game for his team. The fact of the matter is that Texas simply lacks good players on the defensive side of the football. Also, QB David Ash suffered a head injury in the loss and is expected to sit this week. Texas will have a hard time stopping an Ole Miss offense that is averaging 35.0 points and 510.5 total yards per game through its first two contests.
Don't underestimate the power of revenge. Sure, Texas will be motivated off its loss to BYU, but the Rebels want this one more after suffering their worst loss of the season to the Longhorns last year by a final of 66-31. Ole Miss is 15-5 in its last 20 non-conference games. The Rebels are 5-1 against the number in their last six road games. The Longhorns are 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Freeze is 21-6 against the spread in all games he has coached. Freeze is 10-2 against the number in road games as a head coach. Take Ole Miss Saturday.
|09-14-13||Maryland v. Connecticut +7||32-21||Loss||-115||49 h 15 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Night Line Mistake on Connecticut +7
This line is an overreaction from the results in the early going. Maryland has had two blowout wins, while Connecticut has had an ugly home loss to an FCS opponent. That provides some nice line value here with the home underdog, especially when you consider the Huskies have had two weeks to steam over their loss to Towson, and to prepare for Maryland. They last played on Thursday, August 29, so it has actually been over two weeks since they last played.
|09-14-13||Florida Atlantic +13 v. South Florida||Top||28-10||Win||100||49 h 47 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday Upset Special on Florida Atlantic +13
Despite being a covering machine, Florida Atlantic continues getting disrespected from oddsmakers. I'm 2-0 backing FAU this season with covers against Miami and East Carolina on the road. I'll back them again in Week 3 as they should not be a 13-point underdog to the lowly South Florida Bulls. I actually believe the Owls will win this game outright, but I'll take the points for some insurance.
FAU returned 15 starters from a team that was much better than its 3-9 record would indicate last season. It played a brutal schedule that included Alabama and Georgia, and the schedule hasn't been any easier in the early going with road games at ECU and Miami. It has handled itself well, and now it is battle-tested heading into this showdown with South Florida, which is by far its easiest game yet.
Carl Pelini's Owls returned 15 starters and 54 lettermen from last year's team, so this is a very experienced bunch. Meanwhile, South Florida is in rebuilding mode with just 13 starters and 43 lettermen back, and a new head coach in Willie Taggart. He takes over a USF program that has gone 8-16 over the past two seasons, including a 3-9 campaign last year.
South Florida has looked terrible in its 0-2 start. In fact, it lost to McNeese State 21-53 in its opener despite being a 20.5-point home favorite. While it did keep last week's game against Michigan State close, it still lost 6-21 and managed a mere 155 total yards. The offense has been atrocious for the Bulls, averaging just 13.5 points and 248.5 total yards per game. USF quarterbacks are completing just 37.9 percent of their passes on the season.
Florida Atlantic is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games overall. The Owls are 6-0 ATS off a road loss over the last two seasons. USF is 0-6 ATS as a favorite over the last two years. South Florida is 0-7 ATS in its last 7 games after scoring less than 20 points in its previous game. FAU is 8-0 ATS in its last 8 road games. The Bulls are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. USF is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games following an ATS win. These last six trends combine for a perfect 38-0 system backing the Owls. Take Florida Atlantic Saturday.
|09-14-13||Kent State +37 v. LSU||13-45||Win||100||49 h 46 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Kent State +37
With their SEC opener on deck against Auburn, this could be a big look-ahead spot for the LSU Tigers. They are getting a ton of love after covering the spread in their first two games against TCU and UAB. Asking them to win by more than 37 points against Kent State is asking a little too much in this one. I could easily see them just going through the motions here.
Remember, Kent State went 11-3 last season and was an overtime loss to Northern Illinois away from likely playing in a BCS game. The cupboard isn
|09-14-13||Memphis v. Middle Tenn State OVER 52||15-17||Loss||-111||49 h 46 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Memphis/Middle Tennessee OVER 52
I fully expect a shootout Saturday between Memphis and Middle Tennessee State. This has been a high-scoring series of late is one of the reasons I'm backing the OVER. Another is that both defenses are atrocious, so the offenses should have their ways in this one.
Memphis gave up 30.3 points per game last season. The defense is off to a poor start after allowing 470 total yards to Duke in the opener. Middle Tennessee gave up 28.0 points per game last year. It is off to a poor start as well, giving up averages of 32.0 points and 441.0 total yards per game while opening 1-1 against Western Carolina and North Carolina.
Both offenses should be improved this season. Memphis returned eight starters from an offense that put up 28, 37, 46 and 42 points over its final four games last season. Middle Tennessee has nine starters back from an offense that put up 31-plus points in six different games last year. The Blue Raiders are off to a hot start offensively, averaging 32.5 points and 438.0 total yards per game through two contests.
The last two meetings in this series have been shootouts. Middle Tennessee beat Memphis 38-31 at home in 2011 for 69 combined points. The Blue Raiders were also victorious on the road in 2012 by a final of 48-30 for 78 combined points. Given those recent meetings, plus the poor defenses and improved offenses, these two teams should have no problem combining for more than 52 points in this one.
The OVER is 4-0 in Tigers last 4 games following a S.U. loss. The OVER is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 vs. CUSA opponents. The OVER 13-4-2 in Blue Raiders last 19 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. The OVER is 8-3-1 in Blue Raiders last 12 games following a S.U. loss. The OVER is 9-4-1 in Middle Tennessee's last 14 games vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the OVER in this game Saturday.
|09-14-13||Washington -9.5 v. Illinois||34-24||Win||100||48 h 45 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Washington -9.5
The Huskies have put together identical 7-6 seasons in each of Steve Sarkisians last three years on the job. Now, Sarkisian finally has his best team yet with 18 starters and 58 lettermen returning in 2013. Washington is a real sleeper to win the Pac-12 this season, and it showed what it is capable of with a 38-6 season-opening victory over Boise State in Week 1.
Washington thoroughly dominated Boise State, outgaining it 592-346 for the game. To no surprise, this offense that returned 10 starters from last season was extremely explosive. Quarterback Keith Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Bishop Sankey, who rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago, picked up right where he left off. Sankey ran for 161 yards and two scores against Boise State.
The Huskies' offense put up those gaudy numbers against Boise State even without tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He was suspended due to an offseason DUI, but is expected to return this week against Illinois. That's a huge bonus considering Seferian-Jenkins caught 69 balls for 850 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He'll be a match-up nightmare for the Fighting Illini.
Illinois is coming off a 2-10 season in head coach Tim Bekman
|09-14-13||UCLA Bruins +4.5 v. Nebraska||41-21||Win||100||42 h 46 m||Show|
15* UCLA/Nebraska ABC Early ANNIHILATOR on UCLA +4.5
First and foremost, the Bruins are coming off a bye week following their 58-20 drubbing of Nevada in their opener. Getting two weeks to prepare for Nebraska is certainly a huge advantage heading into this one. UCLA pretty much dominated the Huskers in last year
|09-13-13||Air Force v. Boise State OVER 57||Top||20-42||Win||100||20 h 1 m||Show|
20* Air Force/Boise State ESPN Friday No-Brainer on OVER 57
From what I've seen from both defenses thus far, I have no doubt this is going to be a shootout tonight between Air Force and Boise State. These teams combined for 63 total points in a 37-26 Boise State victory in their most recent meeting in 2011, and I look for 63-plus in this one as well.
Air Force lost 20-52 at home to Utah State last week. It gave up 577 total yards in the defeat. I look for Boise State to approach 50 points against this soft Falcons' defense. The Broncos put up 63 points on Tennessee-Martin last week.
Boise State's opener showed how vulnerable its defense really is this year. The Broncos gave up 38 points and a ridiculous 592 total yards to Washington in Week 1. Boise State even allowed 357 total yards to Tennessee-Martin last week.
With the lack of experience each team has back on defense from last year, it's easy to see why both stop units are struggling in the early going. Boise State only returned four starters on defense and lost 10 of its top 16 tacklers from a year ago. Air Force only has six starters back on defense and loses each of its top three tacklers who had 128, 101 and 92 tackles, respectively.
Air Force is a running team that is averaging 285 rushing yards on 5.1/carry thus far. Boise State has been horrible against the run, giving up 207 rushing yards per game and 4.1 per carry. The Broncos gave up 268 rushing yards on 5.0/carry against Washington in Week 1.
The OVER is 6-1 in Falcons last 7 games in September. The OVER is 4-1 in Broncos last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|09-12-13||NY Jets +13 v. New England Patriots||Top||10-13||Win||100||55 h 33 m||Show|
20* Jets/Patriots AFC East GAME OF THE MONTH on New York +13
The Jets actually played a very good game against the Buccaneers overall in what should have been a bigger blowout last week. They put up a respectable 304 total yards behind rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who completed 24 of 38 passes for 256 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also showed some guts late in leading the Jets down the field to set up the game-winning field goal.
New York was even more impressive on the other side of the ball, holding a very solid Tampa Bay offense to just 250 total yards. It limited Josh Freeman to 15 of 31 passing for 210 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It also held the electric Doug Martin to only 65 rushing yards on 24 carries.
New England clearly had some chemistry issues against Buffalo, needing a last-second field goal to win 23-21 despite being a double-digit favorite. It will not be able solve those issues in less than a week
|09-12-13||Troy +7.5 v. Arkansas State||34-41||Win||100||54 h 54 m||Show|
15* Troy/Arkansas State Sun Belt ANNIHILATOR on Troy +7.5
The Trojans appear to have turned the corner in 2013. Remember, this is a team that has won or shared five straight Sun Belt Titles from 2006-
|09-12-13||Tulane +7.5 v. Louisiana Tech||Top||24-15||Win||100||54 h 39 m||Show|
20* Tulane/LA Tech Conference USA No-Brainer on Tulane +7.5
Louisiana Tech is clearly in rebuilding mode in head coach Skip Holtz
|09-09-13||Philadelphia Eagles v. Washington Redskins OVER 51.5||Top||33-27||Win||100||9 h 9 m||Show|
20* Eagles/Redskins MNF Total ANNIHILATOR on OVER 51.5
Chip Kelly is a big reason why I believe this game will go OVER the total. After holding back in the preseason, you can bet Kelly and company will unleash their new offense full throttle Monday, and Washington may not be ready for it because it really does not know what to expect. Look for the Eagles' offense to try and run a play every 12 seconds on average.
Washington was certainly vulnerable defensively last season. In fact, the Redskins finished 28th in the league in total defense, yielding 377.7 yards per game. It was also 22nd in scoring defense at 24.2 points per game allowed. Plus, Washington is missing some key pieces on defense once again as DE Jarvis Jenkins, LB Keenan Robinson, S Phillip Thomas, LB Rob Jackson, DE Adam Carriker and CB DeAngelo Hall are all expected to miss Monday
|09-08-13||NY Giants v. Dallas Cowboys UNDER 49.5||Top||31-36||Loss||-102||52 h 22 m||Show|
20* Giants/Cowboys NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on UNDER 49.5
I look for a low-scoring game in this NFC East rivalry between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys tonight. Both tams will be improved defensively from a year ago, and that will be on display in Week 1 Sunday.
Both teams were crushed by the injury bug last year defensively. The Cowboys had six defensive starters miss time down the stretch, and DeMarcus Ware was playing on one arm. In the switch to the new 4-3, Tampa 2 scheme under defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, I fully expect Dallas to give up fewer big plays and to be dominant in the red zone. This is one of the best linebackers corps and secondary's in the league, and then you have Ware wreaking havoc up front.
The Giants made some nice moves on defense by bringing in free agents in DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Mike Patterson, LB Aaron Curry, ILB Dan Connor and CB Aaron Ross. They also added rookies in NT Johnathan Hankins and DE Damontre Moore. It's clear that they wanted to get stronger up front, and they have done that. All these new additions will be nice compliments to the tandem of Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck.
New York is missing two starters along the offensive line in OT David Diehl and C David Baas. It will struggle to protect Eli Manning early and to open holes for David Wilson. Dallas has had offensive line problems every since Tony Romo took over as starter. It did little to address that need this offseason, so look for Romo to be scrambling for his life for four quarters in this one against a dominant New York D-Line.
The Giants are 25-9 to the UNDER in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 45.5 since 1992. The UNDER is 4-0 in Giants last 4 road games. The UNDER is 4-0 in Cowboys last 4 games in September. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-08-13||Green Bay Packers v. San Francisco 49ers UNDER 49||28-34||Loss||-104||48 h 44 m||Show|
15* Packers/49ers NFC Sunday No-Brainer on UNDER 49
The books have inflated this Week 1 total between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers due the shootout between these teams in the playoffs last year. Green Bay was not ready for Colin Kaepernick at all as the 49ers cruised to a 45-31 victory for 76 combined points. I'll gladly take advantage of this overreaction and back the UNDER in this contest Sunday.
Green Bay has had all offseason to prepare for Kaepernick after having just one week to do so before their playoff showdown last year. I look for the Packers to do a much better job of containing him this time around. Also helping matters is the fact that the 49ers have gotten weaker on offense with the loss of leading receiver Michael Crabtree, and do-it-all TE Delanie Walker.
San Francisco finished 2nd in the league in scoring defense (17.1 points/game) and 3rd in total defense (294.4 yards/game) last season. It has arguably gotten stronger on this side of the ball in the offseason with the additions of DT Glen Dorsey and CB Nnamdi Asomugha, as well as first-round pick Eric Reid, who is expected to start at free safety. The 49ers clearly have an answer defensively for Aaron Rodgers and company.
Green Bay knows it cannot drop Rodgers back and let him throw 50 times on a regular basis this season. That's why it used a first-round pick on Alabama RB Eddie Lacy. I look for the Packers to become a much more balanced team offensively, which will lead to eating up more clock. Green Bay has to try to establish its running game so that the 49ers can't just pin their ears back and go after Rodgers. This will also benefit the UNDER.
The Packers also had an underrated stop unit last year. In fact, they finished 11th in the league in total defense (336.8 yards/game) and 11th in scoring defense (21.0 points/game). This stop unit should be even better in 2013. C.J. Wilson, Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji compose one of the best 3-4 defensive lines in the NFL. Look for outside linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews to take shots on Kaepernick every chance they get when the 49ers decide to run the reed option. This is also a tremendous secondary featuring CB's Tramon Williams and Sam Shields, as well as safety's M.D. Jennings and Morgan Burnett.
These teams are obviously very familiar with one another as this will be the 3rd time that they have squared off in the past year. I just believe that having all offseason to prepare for one another will make points much harder to come by. Last year's playoff total was set at 45 points, so the books have jacked it up to 49 because of that high-scoring affair. There's certainly some serious line value on this UNDER given these factors. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-08-13||Seattle Seahawks v. Carolina Panthers UNDER 45.5||Top||12-7||Win||100||45 h 0 m||Show|
25* NFL Season Opening TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Seahawks/Panthers UNDER 45.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. I look for a defensive battle between what are two of the best stop units in the league.
Seattle ranked 4th in the league in total defense (306.2 yards/game) and 1st in scoring defense (15.3 points/game) last season. This is once again going to be one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Quietly, Carolina improved on this side of the ball last season, finishing 10th in the league in total defense (333.1 yards/game). The stop unit has only gotten stronger in the offseason with the additions of rookie DT's Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, as well as the healthy return of LB Jon Beason.
These teams met last year in Carolina with the Seahawks prevailing by a final of 16-12 for 28 combined points. They held the Panthers to just 190 total yards, while being limited to 310 themselves. I look for a similar final score in the rematch in 2013 this Sunday.
Both offenses have their worries, too. Percy Harvin is out for most of the season for Seattle, which means it will once again have a mediocre offensive attack. Carolina has failed to address its need at receiver, and it is still relying on DeAngelo Williams at running back.
This play falls into a system that is 24-5 (82.8%) to the UNDER over the last 5 seasons. It tells us to bet the UNDER On any team where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points (CAROLINA) - terrible passing defense from last season - allowed a comp pct of 64% or worse.
Seattle is 27-9 UNDER in road games in September games since 1992. Carolina is 22-10 UNDER in home games in the first month of the season since 1992. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|09-08-13||Miami Dolphins v. Cleveland Browns||23-10||Loss||-115||45 h 37 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Cleveland Browns PK
I fully expect the Cleveland Browns to be one of the most improved teams in the league in 2013. Rob Chudzinski was an excellent hire as the former offensive coordinator in Carolina. He brings with him Norv Turner to be the new offensive coordinator, and Ray Horton as the defensive coordinator.
This is a young team with more talent than it gets credit for. The Browns went 3-1 in the preseason, which included a 27-19 home win over St. Louis, a 24-6 home victory over Detroit, and an 18-16 road triumph at Chicago. Brandon Weeden looked sharp at quarterback and should flourish under Turner, who has worked with the likes of Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith in Dallas, and Philip Rivers and LaDanian Tomlinson in San Diego. Trent Richardson is primed for a breakout sophomore campaign, too.
While the offense should be improved, the defense is one of the most underrated units in the entire league. This is a young stop unit that is only going to get better this season. Former Raven LB Paul Kruger was an excellent addition this offseason. He'll team up with the underrated duo of D'Qwell Jackson and Jabaal Sheard at linebacker. Phil Taylor is a dominant nose tackle who doesn't get the respect he deserves. Also, CB Joe Haden and SS T.J. Ward are two of the best young defensive backs in the league.
While the Browns got better this offseason, I believe the Dolphins took a step back. They did a good job of trying to improve the offense by signing WR Mike Wallace and TE Dustin Keller, but Keller suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. Wallace is no more than a big threat receiver and will have games where he is barely even a factor this season. Also, the loss of Reggie Bush at running back certainly hurts. He was their best playmaker last season.
Bush wasn't the only loss. The Dolphins also part ways with WR Davone Bess, TE Anthony Fasano and OT Jake Long, who was the best lineman on the team. On defense, Miami loses DT Tony McDaniel, OLB Kevin Burnett and ILB Karlos Dansby. Dansby and Burnett finished No. 1 and No. 2 on the team in tackles last season, respectively.
This play falls into a system that is 57-26 (68.7%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet on favorites (CLEVELAND) - first 2 weeks of the year, after closing out last season with 3 or more straight ATS losses. The Dolphins are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games. Miami is 5-15-3 ATS in its last 23 September games. Cleveland is 4-0 SU & 3-0-1 ATS in its last four meetings with Miami. Roll with the Browns Sunday.
|09-08-13||Minnesota Vikings v. Detroit Lions -5||24-34||Win||101||45 h 32 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Detroit Lions -5
After making the playoffs in 2011, nothing went right for the Detroit Lions last season. They would finish 4-12 last season due to losing almost all of their close games. In fact, nine of the Lions
|09-07-13||Texas v. BYU +7||21-40||Win||100||53 h 57 m||Show|
15* Texas/BYU ESPN 2 No-Brainer on BYU +7
The BYU Cougars have been one of the most underrated teams in the country for years. They have won 10 or more games in five of the past seven seasons under current head coach, Bronco Mendenhall. That includes a 10-3 campaign back in 2011 in which one of those wins came at Texas by a final of 17-16 as a 7-point underdog. The last time the Cougars hosted the Longhorns, they won 47-6.
With eight returning starters on offense, the Cougars are in good shape heading into 2013. They will be highly motivated for a victory after giving their Week 1 game away to Virginia in a 16-19 road loss. In fact, BYU outgained Virginia 362-223 for the game. Quarterback Taisom Hill threw for 175 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 42 yards and a score. Jamaal Williams, the top returning rusher, ran for 144 yards on 33 carries in the loss.
Many expected Texas to be improved defensively, but that may not be the case after a poor performance against New Mexico State, which went 1-11 last season. The Longhorns allowed 346 total yards to the Aggies, which is certainly a bad showing. NMSU quarterback Andrew McDonald had a very good game, completing 32 of 46 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Texas will not be able to get enough stops against BYU to win by more than a touchdown Saturday.
Plays on home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (BYU)
|09-07-13||Notre Dame v. Michigan -3.5||30-41||Win||100||52 h 9 m||Show|
15* Notre Dame/Michigan ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Michigan -3.5
Many believe that the Wolverines will make a run at a Big Ten Title in 2013. Brady Hoke finally has his system in place and doesn
|09-07-13||UAB +35 v. LSU||17-56||Loss||-115||52 h 47 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on UAB +35
Despite the 34-31 Week 1 loss to Troy as a 4.5-point underdog, I have no doubt that the Blazers are going to be much more competitive than they were a year ago. That
|09-07-13||Navy +13 v. Indiana||41-35||Win||100||50 h 12 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Navy +13
This will be the season opener for Navy as it comes off a solid 8-5 season. With 13 starters back, there is reason to believe that the Midshipmen are going to have another big year. That's especially the case with the return of sophomore quarterback, Keenan Reynolds.
He became the first freshman since 1991 to start for Navy after taking over the job five games into the 2012 seasons. Reynolds flourished, completing 56.5 percent of his passes for 898 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for 649 yards and 10 scores. Not once did Navy lose the turnover battle with Reynolds as the starter, so he's smart beyond his years and knows how to take care of the football.
I believe this line is an overreaction from Indiana winning 73-35 against Indiana State last week. Sure, the Hoosiers have an explosive offense, but giving up 35 points to the Sycamores shows that their defense has a long ways to go. I look for Reynolds and company to control the tempo of this game with their tremendous running game and to score at will on this Indiana defense all game long.
Navy beat Indiana 31-30 last season, and I look for a similar, hard-fought game in the rematch that comes right down to the wire. The Midshipmen rushed for 257 yards as a team in the win. Reynolds went 8 of 13 passing for 96 yards and a score, while also rushing for 66 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. The defense held Indiana QB Cameron Coffman to 25 of 37 passing for 244 yards with two interceptions.
The Midshipmen are a perfect 7-0 against the spread as a road underdog of 10.5 to 14 points since 1992. The Hoosiers are 5-25 ATS after outgaining opp by 125 or more total yards in their previous game since 1992. Bet Navy Saturday.