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.