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9/26/13-9/28/13


FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
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Each week, Mike Mitchell examines the computer's picks and selects those which he believes have the best chance of being correct. Lines in parenthesis are the opening lines as reported at docsports.com. Later lines are used in the event of a "pick 'em" opening. The Congrove Computer Rankings' pick is shown outside the parenthesis. The HOME TEAM is in CAPS. An explanation of how the computer's SU and ATS wins and losses are scored can be found at Weekly Picks Help.


EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2012 Regular Season: 94-27 SU (.777), 67-54 ATS (.554)
2013 Regular Season: 35-3 SU (.921), 25-13 ATS (.658)
This Week: 4-1 SU (.800), 3-2 ATS (.600)
PAST RECORDS

Friday, October 28
NEVADA (-7) by 13.82 over Air Force.
Nevada won 45-42. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

BOWLING GREEN (-15.5) by 24.95 over Akron - Akron is 0-5 ATS vs. Bowling Green in last 5 games and BGSU is 10-3 ATS in last 13 games overall. Falcons were more than 26-point computer favorite in preseason so the slight downward change is negligible. BGSU tops MAC in total defense and ranks 2nd in total offense. Akron ranks 9th on "D" and 6th on offense.
Bowling Green won 31-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

LA.-MONROE (-10) by 15.23 over Tulane - UL-M won last year's game in the Superdome 63-10. Warhakws will be angry over last week's 70-7 loss at Baylor. Tulane might be angry over last week's 52-17 beatdown at Syracuse, but there doesn't appear to be much they are capable of doing about it.
Tulane won 31-14. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Miami, Fla. (-20) by 26.92 over USF - If the line on the A&M game (see above) is an early Christmas present, then this line is at least a stocking stuffer. USF football has become increasingly irrelevant since the firing of Jim Leavitt after the 2009 season.
Miami won 49-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.

PITTSBURGH (-6.5) by 8.09 over Virginia - These teams haven't met since 2007 - now it's a conference and division rivalry which will occur annually. Pitt's defense and Virginia's offense both appear to be nonexistent. UVA has won just 7 of its last 25 road games.
Pittsburgh won 14-3. The computer won SU, won ATS.


HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2012 Regular Season: 52-17 SU (.754), 42-27 ATS (.609)
2013 Regular Season: 33-2 SU (.943), 15-20 ATS (.429)
This Week: 7-1 SU (.875), 4-4 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 28
ALABAMA (-16.5) by 9.49 over Mississippi - Statistically speaking, Ole Miss outranks 'Bama on both sides of the ball and the Rebels only lost last year's game in Tuscaloosa by 19 against a much better Tide offense.
Alabama won 25-0. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

WASHINGTON (-7) by 4.15 over Arizona - The last 5 meetings have been won by the home team so I'm not doubting a Washington win. I just see this as a game that goes down to the wire to be settled by less than a TD. Huskies are 2-6 ATS at home vs. Arizona in last 8 meetings.
Washington won 31-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

N.C. STATE (-23) by 4.89 over Central Michigan - CMU was actually the computer's preseason favorite, but it now favors the Wolfpack by 4.89 - still far short of the 23-point spread.
N.C. State won 48-14. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Fresno State (-18.5) by 13.16 over HAWAII - Traveling to Hawaii to play a football game can be difficult enough, and the surprisingly good Rainbow Warriors' defense could make it even more troubling for Fresno State. Adding to the Bulldogs' troubles is the lack of a defense of their own as Fresno State has had to outscore Rutgers (52-51 in OT) and Boise State (41-40) to notch their 2 wins vs. FBS teams, and they surrendered 25 to FCS member Cal Poly in a 41-25 victory. Fresno State's 118th-ranked defense could be good news for Hawaii's 119th-ranked offense.
Fresno State won 42-37. The computer won SU won ATS.

TCU (-18.5) by 14.82 over Smu - SMU has been TCU's whipping boy for the last 25 years, but the last 3 meetings have all been decided by less than this year's spread and SMU even won the game two years ago.
TCU won 48-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

TENNESSEE (-19) by 14.36 over South Alabama - Tennessee has such a woeful offense that pulling away by 3 scores won't be easy against a balanced, though outmanned, Jaguars team.
Tennessee won 31-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

South Carolina (-7.5) by 4.07 over UCF - The computer's spread has actually worked its way lower since the preseason. This is the first meeting since 2005. All 3 previous meetings have been won by South Carolina and all were played in Columbia. UCF already has a 34-31 win at Penn State on its 2013 resume from its last outing. Both teams were idle this past weekend.
South Carolina won 28-25. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Wyoming (-10.5) by 4.13 over TEXAS STATE - Dennis Franchione's Bobcats won by 7 at Southern Miss and only lost by 26 at Texas Tech. The computer liked Wyoming by just 0.19 in the preseason so its spread has moved higher in the 'Pokes favor, but the Vegas spread had also risen to 11-1/2 by Monday night to leave plenty of cushion.
Texas State won 42-21. The computer lost SU, won ATS.


UPSETS:
The computer likes the underdog as the outright winner. I don't select the games in this category. Instead, we list every upset projected by the computer.
2012 Regular Season: 36-50 SU (.419), 42-44 ATS (.488)
2013 Regular Season: 20-23 SU (.465), 29-14 ATS (.674)
This Week: 4-3 SU (.571), 4-3 ATS (.571)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 28
Utah State by 2.86 over SAN JOSE STATE (-7.5) - The line quickly moved in favor of Utah State by 8, representing a more than 15-point swing from the VegasInsiders.com opening. The computer's preseason spread was San Jose State by 2.14 and it's now Utah State by 2.86. That puts the computer trend up near the 5-point mark for the Aggies which feels like a realistic number given the performances of both teams to-date.
Utah State won 40-12. The computer won SU won ATS.

Saturday, September 28
Army by 5.75 over Louisiana Tech (-1) - (at Dallas) - Thanks to Louisiana Tech, the Kansas losing streak to FBS teams was halted at 22 games this past weekend when the Bulldogs fell in Lawrence 13-10. Army is averaging 303.25 ypg on the ground to rank 10th while the LT defense is 49th against the run. The Bulldogs' offense ranks 84th while the Army "D" ranks 59th. The game is billed as "The Heart Of Dallas" Kickoff Classic" to promote the "The Heart Of Dallas Bowl" at Cotton Bowl Stadium. The day will also be billed as Veteran's Appreciation Day, and it helps launch the 4-week State Fair of Texas. Of course, the fair also includes the annual Texas-Oklahoma rivalry on October 12. This is a designated home game for Louisiana Tech as it was originally scheduled to be played in Ruston.
Army won 35-16. The computer won SU, won ATS.

BUFFALO by 2.12 over Connecticut (-2.5) - UConn hits the road for the first time this season after starting 0-3 at home against Towson (FCS), Maryland and Michigan. The Huskies have lost each game by fewer points than the previous, even though the slate got progressively more difficult. Buffalo's 1-2 record includes forgivable losses at Ohio State and Baylor. The Bulls played their home opener last Saturday vs. Stony Brook (FCS) and needed 5 OT's to eke out a 26-23 win.
Buffalo won 41-12. The computer won SU, won ATS.

UTSA by 0.49 over Houston (-2.5) - The computer's preseason projection was UTSA by 3.31 so the trend projection actually favors the Cougars by just under the 2.5-point Vegas opening. The computer is 4-0 SU and ATS with Larry Coker's Roadrunners. QB Eric Soza hit 75% of his throws in last week's 32-13 win at UTEP. Houston's offense ranks 11th nationally, averaging 548 yards per game, but that's skewed by the 62 points and 626 yards piled up in the opener vs. FCS member Southern. Houston scored just 22 points vs. Temple and 31 vs. Rice.
Houston won 59-28. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Kent State by 12.74 over WESTERN MICHIGAN (-3) - Western Michigan was projected to be a 3-9 team by the computer, but Kent was picked to go 10-2 overall and 8-0 in conference. But the Golden Flashes have already lost handily at home to Bowling Green and are quickly looking like the not-so-golden flame-outs since head coach Darrell Hazell bolted for Purdue after last year's 11-1 regular season. Kent State has scored a total of 35 points in 3 FBS losses, including 13 at LSU and a goose egg at Penn State. Meanwhile, Western Michigan has the notoriety of losing 27-23 to the same Nicholls State team that Oregon drubbed 66-3 and Louisiana-Lafayette squashed 70-7. The Broncos have scored 33 points in 3 FBS losses at Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa.
Kent State won 32-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

PURDUE by 0.46 over Northern Illinois (-3.5) - Speaking of Darrell Hazell (see above game), Purdue played Notre Dame tough but was blown out at Cincy and Wisconsin, and struggled to beat FCS member Indiana State. The Huskies are 3-0 despite starting their season with 2 away games and a single home tilt vs. a solid FCS team in Eastern Illinois that's ranked 8th nationally. They're back on the road to face Purdue this week before traveling to Kent State for their following game.
Northern Illinois won 55-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

NOTRE DAME by 0.38 over Oklahoma (-3) - The computer's preseason projections had the Irish winning this game by more than 6 so the computer trend certainly leans toward Oklahoma. The Sooners come in off a bye week as they seek revenge for last year's 30-13 loss in Norman.
Oklahoma won 35-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.


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