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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: 51-5 SU (.911), 35-21 ATS (.625)
This Week: 9-1 SU (.900), 5-5 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, October 10
San Diego State (-3.5) by 14.85 over AIR FORCE - The computer's margin on this game in the preseason was 22.47 so nearly 8 points have been erased by the underperformance of the Aztecs. SDSU's coaching in the closing minutes of games has been atrocious, but the 2013 edition of the AFA football team is rather atrocious itself.
San Diego State won 27-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 12
South Carolina (-7) by 12.13 over ARKANSAS - If Florida can beat the Razorbacks by 20, then the Gamecocks should be able to manage slightly more than A TD.
South Carolina won 52-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

CLEMSON (-21) by 28.72 over Boston College - This game quickly jumped to a 24-point line so it gets a little more difficult at that level. The computer's preseason margin was only 26.24 so it's trending upward, too. I say 27-31 is NOT unlikely. The only holdback is whether or not you believe Dabo Swinney's troops will be looking ahead to the next opponent - Florida State.
Clemson won 24-14. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

UCLA (-23) by 28.88 over California - The PAC-12 is a conference with a lot of teams that are "haves" and a few that are "have-nots". Cal falls into the have-not category when it comes to the ability of staying in a game against a team that boasts a potent offense (ranked 4th nationally) and a decent defense (ranked 30th). Cal managed over 500 passing yards in a 44-22 loss to Washington State this past weekend but turned the ball over 5 times.
UCLA won 37-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

LSU (-5) by 10.49 over Florida - The computer favored the Tigers by 6.43 in the preseason and that margin has jumped to over 10. The trend puts this in the area of a 2-TD win for the Bayou Bengals, despite Florida's 2nd-ranked defense.
LSU won 17-6. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Troy (-16) by 16.20 over Georgia State - The line had risen to the 18- to 19-point range by Monday afternoon. The computer has it at a trend line of more than a 21. Of concern - Troy has two key players suspended for this game because of targeting infractions during last weekend's win vs. South Alabama - senior safety Chris Pickett (2012 leading tackler) and LB Tyler Roberts (20-12 sacks leader). But c'mon, they're playing Georgia State.
Troy won 35-28. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

MICHIGAN STATE (-6) by 8.69 over Indiana - The Spartans have the nation's top-ranked defense, allowing just over 200 yards per game. Indiana ranks 105th on that side of the ball and is coming off a 12-point win over Iowa on the road.
Michigan State won 42-28. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TEXAS TECH (-16) by 18.05 over Iowa State - The Cyclones are an enigma with results that stray all over the board when compared with the computer projections. They were favored by almost 30 vs. Northern Iowa and lost by 8; favored over Iowa by 1 and lost by 6; underdogs by 14 at Tulsa and won by 17; and underdogs by 14 to Texas and lost by 1. The Red Raiders rank 13th on offense and 32nd on defense while Iowa State ranks 67th on offense and 60th on defense.
Texas Tech won 42-35. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

TCU (-24) by 34.17 over Kansas - Tough to go wrong picking Kansas to get rolled.
TCU won 27-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Stanford (-8) by 16.50 over UTAH - This might be the early Christmas present you're looking for. The teams haven't met since 1996 so there isn't any recent history to serve as a gauge. But Utah enters the game at 3-2 with narrow losses to Oregon State and UCLA while Stanford enters at 5-0 and the computer's No. 2 ranking. The Cardinal had already defeated Arizona State by 14 and Washington State by 38 before squeaking past Washington 31-28 last Saturday. The computer was 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS in those games.
Utah won 27-21. The computer lost SU, lost 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: 44-4 SU (.917), 23-25 ATS (.479)
This Week: 6-0 SU (1.000), 4-2 ATS (.667)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, October 10
LOUISVILLE (-16.5) by 14.47 over Rutgers - The Rutgers pass defense ranks 118th, but the overall defense ranks 51st. The pass defense numbers are a little skewed as Rutgers has faced several programs that rely on throwing. The passing yards allowed per play is 6.4 which ranks a respectable 36th. The last two games between these teams were decided by 3 points or less with The 'Ville taking both.
Louisville won 24-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Friday, October 11
CINCINATTI (-20) by 15.63 over Temple - Without Munchie Legaux at QB, the Bearcats even stooped so low as to lose at previously winless USF, and only managed to down offensively-challenged Miami (Ohio) 14-0. Cincy may have a tough time even scoring 20, yet alone winning by 20.
Cincinnati won 38-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 12
MISSISSIPPI STATE (-8.5) by 2.21 over Bowling Green - The computer had the Bulldogs winning by just 0.02 in the preseason and the trend only points to a 4.41-point win. BGSU has balance on both sides of the ball and enters with the confidence of a 5-1 record.
Mississippi State won 21-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Marshall (-13) by 8.42 over FAU - Marshall is 0-2 on the road and 3-0 at home. FAU played East Carolina, Miami and Rice tough on the road and has road wins over USF and UAB. Oddly, FAU lost its only previous home game to MTSU 42-35 in OT.
Marshall won 24-23. The computer won SU, won ATS.

WISCONSIN (-10) by 3.74 over Northwestern - I was surprised by the double-digit opening line. After all, the Wildcats had Ohio State down and out for awhile and the final score would've been 34-30 were it not for a fumble on a multiple lateral final play of the game that went awry.
Wisconsin won 35-6. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Oregon (-12) by 5.89 over WASHINGTON - It's the first time this season that Oregon has been less than a 17-point favorite. Steve Sarkisian's troops have lost 9 straight to the Ducks and the closest margin was 17, but his offense now ranks 5th while the defense ranks 10th. The Ducks are 2nd on offense and 21st on defense. Might be a stretch to put Oregon on upset alert, but this could certainly be a contest.
Oregon won 45-24. The computer won SU, lost 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: 28-28 SU (.500), 37-19 ATS (.661)
This Week: 4-3 SU (.571), 4-3 ATS (.571)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, October 10
Arizona by 1.45 over USC (-6) - The preseason computer forecast had the Trojans winning by 1.43, but it's flipped to Wildcats by 1.45. This will be USC's first game since the firing of Lane Kiffin and the naming of Ed Orgeron as interim head coach.
USC won 38-31. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, October 12
UTAH STATE by 7.58 over Boise State (-7) - I don't see it happening with Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton out for the season after injuring his knee vs. BYU last week. Even before that, the Aggies weren't delivering on their potential.
Boise State won 34-23. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

San Jose State by 4.44 over COLORADO STATE (-3.5) - SJSU's computer margin has been nearly cut in half since the preseason but the Spartans still have a trend line edge of just under 1 point.
San Jose State won 34-27. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Louisiana-Monroe by 1.82 over TEXAS STATE (-6) - The Vegas line is a reaction to the fact that Kolton Browning was lost for the year due to injury and the computer trend actually has the Bobcats winning by 2 touchdowns.
Louisiana-Monroe won 21-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Miami, Ohio by 4.49 over MASSACHUSETTS (-2.5) - This is the first time Massachusetts has been favored vs. another FBS team since entering the FBS. UMass is 1-22 against FBS teams since 1988. The Minutemen have scored 7 points in each of their last 3 games and have only totaled 35 points on the season. The RedHawks have only managed 44 total points and both teams have been shutout once. UMass ranks 123rd on total offense while Miami ranks 124th. UMass ranks 118th on defense while Miami ranks 121st. That begs the question, "Why would anyone even care about this game"?
Massachusetts won 17-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Syracuse by 1.85 over N.C. STATE (-4.5) - Given that Wake Forest won 28-13 at N.C. State last Saturday, I could easily buy into this pick. Oddly though, Syracuse is 0-6 all-time vs. the Wolfpack with the last meeting occurring in 1998.
Syracuse won 24-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Oregon State by 8.47 over WASHINGTON STATE (-3) - Oregon State is 5-2 in its last 7 road games. Washington State is 5-2 in its last 7 games anywhere. The Beavers have taken 5 of the last 6 meetings, including 19-6 last year.
Oregon State won 52-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.



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