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11/18/09-11/21/09


FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
Week 1: 9/3-9/7
Week 2: 9/10-9/12
Week 3: 9/17-9/19
Week 4: 9/24-9/26
Week 5: 9/30-10/3
Week 6: 10/6-10/10
Week 7: 10/13-10/17
Week 8: 10/21-10/24
Week 9: 10/27-11/1
Week 10: 11/3-11/8
Week 11: 11/10-11/15
Week 12: 11/18-11/21
Week 13: 11/24-11/28
Week 14: 12/3-12/5
Week 15: 12/12-12/12
Week 16: Bowls
Past Season Archives: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 |

EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2009 Regular Season: 59-23 SU (.720), 39-43 ATS (.476)
Last Week: 7-0 SU (1.000), 4-3 ATS (.571)
This Week: 3-4 SU (.429), 2-5 ATS (.286)

Thursday, November 19
OKLAHOMA STATE (-15.5) by 21.14 over Colorado - Colorado is 0-5 on the road this season and has lost 8 straight conference road games. The Buffaloes are just 2-14 in their last 16 conference road games.
Oklahoma State won 31-28. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, November 21
ARKANSAS (-11.5) by 15.32 over Mississippi State (at Little Rock) - Arkansas is tops in the conference in total offense and Mississippi State is 11th in total defense. The Bulldogs rank 7th on offense while the Hogs rank 12th in defense. Mississippi State's offensive strength is its running game (4th in SEC), but Arkansas' defensive strength is stopping the run (5th).
Arkansas won 42-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.

NORTH TEXAS (-3) by 5.41 over Army - The computer is 5-4 ATS with North Texas, 8-2 with Army. The Mean Green rank 28th nationally in offense, while Army ranks 115th. Army won at Eastern Michigan in the season opener, Since then, it is winless away from home and has lost its last 3 road games by an average of 21 points at Iowa State, Temple and Air Force.
Army won 17-13. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Northern Illinois (-1) by 1.22 over OHIO - NIU has won 4 straight while Ohio struggled to close wins over Miami (Ohio) and Buffalo in its last two outings. The Huskies outrank the Bobcats statistically on both sides of the ball.
Ohio won 38-31. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Oklahoma (-4) by 8.06 over TEXAS TECH - The Sooners are 5-0 at home where they have outscored their opponents by a cumulative 249-47, but they are 1-4 on the road with each of the losses coming by 7 points or less. The Red Raiders are 5-1 at home and 1-3 on the road. The Red Raiders have also won the last two meetings in Lubbock. As usual, Texas Tech tops the conference in passing offense. Oklahoma leads the league in pass defense. The computer is 5-4 ATS with the Sooners and 6-3 with the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech won 41-13. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Rutgers (-10) by 13.99 over SYRACUSE - The computer is 6-1 ATS with Rutgers and 6-3 with Syracuse. The Orange have lost their three previous conference home games by an average of 18.66 points. The Scarlet Knights have taken four straight over Syracuse by an average of 23.75 points. WIth the line dropping to around 8 as of Tuesday morning, this looks like an even better pick for me.
Syracuse won 31-13. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

UCF (-20) by 21.82 over Tulane - Tulane has scored a total of 43 points in four road games, and 37 of those came at Army and Rice. Speaking of Rice - both teams played there and UCF won 49-7 while Tulane lost 28-20.
UCF won 49-0. The computer won SU, won ATS.



HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2009 Regular Season: 63-18 SU (.778), 43-38 ATS (.531)
Last Week: 3-1 SU (.750), 2-2 ATS (.500)
This Week: 8-5 SU (.615), 8-5 ATS (.615)

Wednesday, November 18
Central Michigan (-20) by 15.80 over BALL STATE - Just as I pointed out last week when Northern Illinois opened as a 17-point pick and won by just 6, only 1 Ball State loss has been by enough points to cover this spread and that came in a 54-30 loss at Auburn.
Central Michigan won 35-3. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, November 21
BYU (-7.5) by 7.21 over Air Force - The line has balooned to 10 as of Tuesday mornming, making this even more attractive. BYU's strength is passing, but Air Force tops the MWC in pass defense. The Falcons lead the conference, and rank 4th nationally, in rushing. BYU is 2nd in the MWC in run defense.
BYU won 38-31. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

STANFORD (-8) by 5.15 over California - Cal is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings. The computer is 5-5 ATS with Stanford, but a sterling 7-2 with the Golden Bears. Stanford is 2nd in the PAC-10 in rushing offense, but Cal is 2nd in run defense.
California won 34-28. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Colorado State (-3.5) by 0.36 over NEW MEXICO - Both teams are winless in the MWC and the Lobos are still searching for their first win overall. The Rams started 3-0 and have since lost 7 straight including 4 in-a-row by 14 points or more.
New Mexico won 29-27. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

NOTRE DAME (-7.5) by 2.84 over Connecticut - UConn's 5 losses came against teams with current records of 7-3 or better, and none of those losses were by more than 5 points. Notre Dame has 3 wins by 4 points or less, and another in overtime.
Connecticut won 33-30 in 2 OT's. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

TROY (-16.5) by 12.47 over Fau - These are the top two offensive teams in the Sun Belt, and they possess two of the conference's best QB's in Troy's Levi Brown and FAU's Rusty Smith. The Trojans are 5-1 all-time vs. FAU with 4 wins by 15 points or less.
Troy won 47-21. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

FRESNO STATE (-11) by 6.03 over Louisiana Tech - The computer is 5-4 ATS with both of these schools, each of which is nicknamed the Bulldogs. Fresno State has lost a lot of its offensive bite as RB Ryan Matthews, the nation's leading rusher with 1,491 yards and 14 TD's, will sit this one out after suffering a concussion in the 2nd quarter of last week's 52-14 loss at Nevada.
Fresno State won 30-28. The computer won SU, won ATS.

IOWA (-13) by 11.50 over Minnesota - Indiana is the only Big Ten team that Iowa has defeated by more than 11 points all season.
Iowa won 12-0. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TEMPLE (-13) by 11.42 over Kent State - The computer is 6-3 ATS with both schools. The Golden Flashes are vying to become bowl eligible while Temple is closing in on a MAC championship game berth.
Temple won 47-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Wisconsin (-4) by 2.23 over NORTHWESTERN - The Badgers are 1-2 on the road with a pair of 31-28 wins over Minnesota and Indiana, and a 31-13 loss at Ohio State. As of Tuesday morning, the line was up to 7.
Northwestern won 33-31. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Utep (-8) by 2.05 over RICE - UTEP is the only team to lose to Tulane, and Tulane is the only team Rice has defeated. Rice QB Nick Fanuzzi has 7 TD passes and 0 INT's in his last two games. UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe has thrown fewer TD passes (11) than INT's (12). The biggest handicap for the Owls is their one-dimensional offense that has just 896 yards rushing as a team. The Miners' Donald Buckram has 1,422 on his own, but the rest of the team only has 168.
Rice won 30-29. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

SOUTHERN MISS (-7) by 1.36 over Tulsa - The computer is 7-2 ATS with So. Miss and 6-3 with Tulsa and those are numbers that I can't pass up. The Golden Hurricane are having an awful year and I hope they haven't packed it in. In some respects, it looked that way against East Carolina. The Houston loss seemed to crush their morale.
Southern Miss won 44-34. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

TENNESSEE (-18) by 10.28 over Vanderbilt - I don't love this pick because Vanderbilt has underperformed significantly this year. However, history is on my side as 4 of the last 5 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less with the Vols losing one of those at home. I don't seem to be alone in my thinking as the line has moved down since the opening, perhaps due to the recent spate of off-field issues.
Tennessee won 31-16. The computer won 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.
2009 Regular Season: 25-44 SU (.362), 37-32 ATS (.536)
Last Week: 3-4 SU (.429), 4-3 ATS (.571)
This Week: 1-2 SU (.333), 1-2 ATS (.333)

Saturday, November 21
Baylor by 2.29 over TEXAS A&M (-10) - The Aggies are 2nd in the Big 12 in total offense, but last in total defense. The Bears have won 2 of the last 5 meetings, but haven't won at College Station since 1984. The closest they've come was a 20-20 tie in 1990.
Texas A&M won 38-3. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

INDIANA by 0.90 over Purdue (-2.5) - Indiana is 2-2 at home and one of those losses was by 3 points to the same Wisconsin team that blanked Purdue 37-0.
Purdue won 38-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE by 0.03 over Louisiana-Monroe (-2.5) - A rivalry game with no glaring statistical differences. The computer is 8-2 SU with both schools. The teams have split their last four meetings.
Louisiana-Lafayette won 21-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.




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