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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 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.

The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2013 Regular Season: 111-18 SU (.860), 78-51 ATS (.605)
2014 Regular Season: 40-21 SU (.656), 21-40 ATS (.344)
This Week: 5-2 SU (.14), 5-2 ATS (.714)

Friday, October 24
CINCINNATI (-10) by 19.82 over South Florida - USF rallied from a 27-7 halftime deficit to beat a pretty bad Tulsa team 38-30 this past weekend, while Cincinnati was taking its turn at burying SMU 41-3. This game has been firmly in Cincinnati's court since the preseason when the computer labeled the Bearcats as a 22.03-point favorite. The computer's margin has only dropped a couple points since then. The Bulls rank 120th on offense while Tommy Tuberville's troops rank 44th. However, the Bearcats only rank 123rd on defense while USF ranks 79th.
Cincinnati won 34-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

SOUTH ALABAMA (-12) by 15.93 over Troy - Troy was crushed 53-14 by Appalachian State this past weekend while USA edged Georgia State 30-27. The Jaguars were preseason favorites by 8.88 and have tacked on 7.05 points since then to put the trend line above 20.
South Alabama won 27-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 25
Alabama (-15.5) by 16.70 over TENNESSEE - 'Bama has won the last 4 meetings by an average score of 41.8-9.8. Three of those wins were by 31 points and last year's was by 35.
Alabama won 34-20. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Arizona (-4) by 5.51 over WASHINGTON STATE - The computer's trend line is closer to 9, but I still feel like I'm going out on a little limb by choosing the Wildcats to top the Vegas line. Each of 'Zona's last 5 games have been decided by 7 points or less. Washington State has also seen 4 of its 7 games decided by 7 points or less.
Arizona won 59-37. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Mississippi State (-13) by 16.68 over KENTUCKY - The Bulldogs have won all but one game by at least 13 points (34-29 at LSU) and defeated 3 teams in succession that were ranked in the top 10 at the time they played them. Kentucky only has 1 win vs. a FBS Power 5 team (South Carolina), 1 vs. a FCS foe, and 3 victories over schools with a cumulative record of 9-12. Still, there are a couple concerns with this pick. First, MSU ranks 10th in total offense, but 90th in total defense. Second, Mississippi State has won 5 straight in the series but the largest margin was 13. Kentucky ranks 64th in total offense and 40th on defense.
Mississippi State won 45-31. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Minnesota (-6.5) by 10.06 over ILLINOIS - Minnesota gets 2/3rd's of its offense on the ground while Illinois gets 2/3rd's through the air. The Golden Gophers are better at stopping the run (48th nationally) than the Illini are at defending the pass (125th).
Illinois won 28-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

MICHIGAN STATE (-15.5) by 16.51 over Michigan - The computer's trend line is a whopping 24 after being a projected 8.56-point winner in the preseason. The only thing that scares me on this pick is the rivalry nature. Michigan's offense ranks 113th while the defense ranks 10th. That 10th-ranked defense still managed to surrender 402 yards passing at Rutgers and 206 yards rushing to Minnesota. Michigan State's defense ranks 9th and the offense ranks 12th.
Michigan State won 35-11. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Usc (-1) by 8.11 over UTAH - Utah has added 8.20 power points since the preseason while USC is down a scant 0.19. But Utah's schedule was front-loaded with teams that haven't performed to the level at which they were expected - Fresno State, Michigan, and UCLA particularly fit that assessment. Still, the Trojans are a trend favorite by only the slightest of margins (0.27) so beware that I'm taking this game largely by gut.
Utah won 24-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2013 Regular Season: 70-12 SU (.854), 41-41 ATS (.500)
2014 Regular Season: 44-5 SU (.898), 20-29 ATS (.408)
This Week: 4-0 SU (1.000), 1-3 ATS (.250)

Saturday, October 25
ARKANSAS (-21) by 14.74 over Uab - The Blazers scored 34 at Mississippi State (47-34 loss) in week 2. The UAB offense is scoring 37 points per game from a balanced attack that averages 477 total yards with 267 through the air and 210 on the ground. They're not going to get a win this week, but UAB (4-3) looks like it has a legitimate shot of winning 6 games this season and becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2004, and just the second time ever.
Arkansas won 45-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Georgia Southern (-15) by 8.60 over GEORGIA STATE - Georgia Southern's top-ranked rushing offense goes against the Panthers' 120th-ranked rushing defense. But Georgia State's 20th-ranked passing attack faces the Eagles' 80th-ranked pass defense. It's the first meeting between the 2 schools as Georgia State just began its program in 2010 and moved up to the FBS last year. Georgia Southern won more FCS titles (6) than any other school before moving up to the FBS this season.
Georgia Southern won 69-31. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

WISCONSIN (-10) by 0.61 over Maryland - The Terps were 2.63-point computer favorites in the preseason and have dropped to 0.61-point underdogs, but that still only puts the trend line in the 3-to-4-point range for the Badgers. Surprisingly to me, the Vegas line had increased to a range of 10.5-12.0 had last check on Monday night.
Wisconsin won 52-7. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

NAVY (-10) by 5.16 over San Jose State - The computer spread has only budged fractionally since the preseason. Navy likes to run while the Spartans like to pass. San Jose State ranks 110th in stopping the run. Navy ranks 62nd in stopping the pass. Navy won last year's game 58-52 in San Jose after losing at Annapolis in 2012 (12-0) and in 2011 at San Jose (27-24).
Navy won 41-31. The computer won SU, won ATS.

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.
2013 Regular Season: 47-48 SU (.495), 59-36 ATS (.694)
2014 Regular Season: 30-35 SU (.462), 33-32 ATS (.508)
This Week: 4-2 SU (.667), 4-2 ATS (.667)

Tuesday, October 21
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 6.19 over Arkansas State (-3) - Arkansas State has won or shared the last 3 Sun Belt titles and this week's opponent is the team they shared it with last year. I don't like this pick as the Ragin' Cajuns were preseason favorites in this game by 18.55 and have dropped all the way down to 6.19. It gets even worse on the computer trend line which would favor the Red Wolves by 6.
Louisiana-Lafayette won 55-40. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Thursday, October 23
Miami (FL) by 1.50 over VIRGINIA TECH (-3) - Miami hasn't done much to impress. Virginia Tech has been a conundrum since winning at Ohio State. Normally, I would take Virginia Tech just because it's at home and the crowd on a Thursday night should be insanely loud. But the Hokie faithful are acting like spoiled children these days and haven't sold out a game this year. As of Monday night, the public could still buy tickets through the school's own website and a lot of resells were found on Stub Hub for under the $60 face value. That might help explain why Virginia Tech has lost its last 4 home games against Power 5 conference teams. Still, the computer trend line says VT by 2.
Miami won 30-6. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 25
BALL STATE by 6.42 over Akron (-1) - The computer trend line favors the Zips by 2. This game is a microcosm of how crazy this season has been. Akron wins at Pitt, but loses at Ohio. Ball State was winless before getting the upset at Central Michigan this past weekend.
Ball State won 35-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.

WASHINGTON by 1.34 over Arizona State (-2.5) - Washington will need the home field advantage to pull of this upset. ASU is 13th on offense but 85th on defense. The Huskies are 103rd on offense and 784th on defense. The Sun Devils are favored by 5 on the computer's trend line.
Arizona State won 24-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Kent State by 2.08 over MIAMI, O. (-4.5) - Here's a game you don't want to miss. Kent State is #120 in the Congrove Computer Rankings Top 128 and Miami is dead last. The computer is trending heavily toward Miami as the Golden Flashes were favored by over 11 points in the preseason.
Miami (O.) won 10-3. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

North Carolina by 2.70 over VIRGINIA (-7.5) - UNC has won 4 straight in the series by an average of 25 points. The Tar Heels have the ACC's second-most powerful offense and worst defense. The Cavs have the 2nd best defense and 8th-ranked (out of 14 teams) offense. UNC has allowed 50 or more points in 3 games and 43 in another.
North Carolina won 28-27. The computer won SU, won ATS.

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