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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.


DocSports.com http://www.playbyplayinc.com/win.php      

EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2013 Regular Season: 111-18 SU (.860), 78-51 ATS (.605)
2014 Regular Season: 67-29 SU (.698), 42-54 ATS (.438)
Last 3 Weeks: 24-6 SU (.800), 19-11 ATS (.633)
Last Week: 5-3 SU (.625), 4-4 ATS (.500)
This Week: 3-1 SU (.750), 2-2 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Tuesday, November 18
Northern Illinois (-4) by 6.49 over OHIO - The computer trend line has NIU by 5-1/2 after projecting the Huskies as a 7-1/2-point choice in the preseason. The Rockets have won 12 straight over the Bobcats, and are 16-1-1 since 1983. 13 of those results would have topped this week's line. NIU has outscored opponents by an average of 6 a game while Ohio has been outscored by an average nearly 5 per game.
Northern Illinois won 21-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, November 22
Cincinnati (-11.5) by 17.59 over CONNECTICUT - The computer margin hasn't moved much since the preseason when the Bearcats were picked to go 10-2 and UConn 2-10. Entering this week, Cincinnati is 6-3 and UConn is 2-7. The Bearcats are 2nd in the conference on offense while the Huskies are 10th in an 11-team field (only SMU is worse). But UConn ranks 6th on defense and Cincinnati ranks 10th. The Bearcats are on a 4-game winning streak since falling to Miami (FL) in a nonconference game.

CLEMSON (-41) by 46.14 over Georgia State - The computer's trend line is even higher at 48.24 and this really should not be a contest. The Clemson offense has struggled, but the Panthers are 120th nationally on defense. The Georgia State passing attack ranks 22nd, but the Clemson pass defense ranks 4th.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE (-6.5) by 7.72 over Fau - MTSU is 4-1 at home with the only loss against BYU. FAU is 0-5 on the road with 4 of those losses by 19 points or more.

Penn State (-6.5) by 7.85 over ILLINOIS - The computer's trend line has PSU (6-4) winning by double digits at the 4-6 Illini. The Nittany Lions have already won 2 more games than predicted while Illinois is exactly where it was expected to be. Penn State is only allowing 265 yards and 16 points per game, but the offense is only mustering 340 yards and 21 points per game. That puts Penn State 3rd in the nation on defense and 116th on offense.
Illinois won 16-14. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Louisiana Tech (-13) by 15.47 over OLD DOMINION - The computer's trend line favors the Bulldogs by over 28. ODU has no defense and has 4 losses when it has scored 28 points or more. Louisiana Tech has the 2nd-best defense in Conference USA.

Marshall (-20) by 20.14 over UAB - The computer is 4-0 when picking Marshall to exceed the spread, and the computer trend line of 22 gives the Herd a little more room.
Marshall won 23-18. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

MEMPHIS (-18.5) by 23.22 over Usf - Memphis was only projected to win 5 games, but this will be number 8 if it seals the deal. USF is 4-6 but is still a 35-point underdog on the computer's trend line.

Miami, FL (-7) by 11.60 over VIRGINIA - For awhile, it looked like Virginia head coach Mike London was out of the dog house, but his teams have done very little with solid recruiting classes. 4 straight losses have the Cavs struggling to become bowl eligible for the first time in 3 years, and just the second time in the last 7 seasons. With a 4-6 record, he has to beat both Miami and Virginia Tech to get to 6-6. Miami has the ACC's 3rd-rankd offense and defense. Virginia is ranked 11th on offense and 7th on defense.

UCF (-25.5) by 28.42 over Smu - SMU is so bad that I just can't pass up this game. The computer trend line says UCF wins by 35.63 over a team that is ranked 128th (dead last) nationally on defense and 127th on offense.
UCF won 53-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.


HOLD YOUR HORSES:
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: 60-8 SU (.882), 28-40 ATS (.412)
Last 3 Weeks: 14-2 SU (.875), 7-9 ATS (.438)
Last Week: 8-0 SU (1.000), 3-5 ATS (.375)
This Week: 2-1 SU (.667), 1-2 ATS (.333)
PAST RECORDS

Tuesday, November 18
AKRON (-7) by 5.03 over Massachusetts - After a promising 4-2 start, the Zips have lost 4 straight. Akron has lost each of its last 3 games by at least 14 points to Ball State, Bowling Green and Buffalo. The computer trend line now has UMass winning this game by 7, but they could be without their starting QB and may have to rely on the head coach's kid, Austin Whipple, a redshirt freshman who was a walk-on at Penn State last year. The Minutemen have outperformed the computer's pick in every game this season, except for those vs. OOC foes Boston College and Penn State.
Akron won 30-6. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Friday, November 21
SAN DIEGO STATE (-3) by 2.49 over Air Force - The computer trend line is Air Force by 4.84. The surprising 8-2 Falcons were projected in the preseason as a 3-9 team. The 5-5 Aztecs were projected to go 5-7 and have this home game and San Jose State (also at home) remaining. Air Force is 2nd in the conference, and 8th nationally in rushing. SDSU is 3rd in the conference, but 52nd nationally, in rushing defense. Neither team has a reliable aerial assault, but the AFA has fared better than the Aztecs in that phase of the game, too. When needed, Kale Pearson has completed 61.4 of his throws for 13 TD's and just 2 INT's. He's only thrown 140 passes all year but almost 10% of those have gone for scores.
San Diego State won 30-14. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, November 22
COLORADO STATE (-21) by 14.26 over New Mexico - The computer trend line is at 18, but that's still 3 points under the spread. Aside from a 58-23 loss to Arizona State in week 2, the Lobos haven't lost any game by more than 11 points. I had New Mexico has a feature pick under the 16-point spread at Utah State last week and won when the Aggies only prevailed by 7, so I'm riding coach Bob Davie's team again.

NEBRASKA (-10.5) by 4.41 over Minnesota - Nebraska (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) was literally run over last week as Melvin Gordon set a new FBS record with 408 yards rushing in a single game as Wisconsin pounded the 'Huskers 59-24. This week, Nebraska will have to deal with the nation's 7th-leading rusher in David Cobb who had 145 yards and 3 TD's in a 31-24 loss for Minnesota (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) to Ohio State. The computer's trend line is just under 8 points in favor of Nebraska.
Minnesota won 28-24. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

UCLA (-3) by 1.40 over Usc - The computer trend line points to USC by 2.23. The Trojans (7-3, 6-2 PAC-12) and Bruins (8-2, 5-2 PAC-12) have no glaring differences that stand out in a statistical analysis, so I'm just going with the home team to win by 3 or less, or lose outright.


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.
2013 Regular Season: 47-48 SU (.495), 59-36 ATS (.694)
2014 Regular Season: 41-46 SU (.471), 48-39 ATS (.552)
Last 3 Weeks: 10-10 SU (.500), 14-6 ATS (.700)
Last Week: 3-2 SU (.600), 3-2 ATS (.600)
This Week: 1-1 SU (.500), 1-1 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, November 20
Kansas State by 3.93 over WEST VIRGINIA (-1) - West Virginia was only projected to go 3-9 in the preseason, but stands at 6-4. However, the Mountaineers have dropped 2 straight, including a 33-16 setback at Texas in their last outing on November 8. Kansas State (7-2) is coming off a 21-point loss at a TCU team that only defeated WVU by 1 in Morgantown. These teams are statistically even, with West Virginia possessing the better offense and the Wildcats owning the better defensive numbers. Therefore, it's no surprise that the computer trend line calls this a virtual tie with KSU only getting a 0.19-point edge.
Kansas State won 26-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, November 22
CENTRAL MICHIGAN by 5.37 over Western Michigan (-1) - The computer trend line favors Western Michigan by 12.39. That seems a bit extreme for two teams with equal records. The Chippewas (7-4, 5-2 MAC) rank 7th in the conference on offense and 1st on defense, while the Broncos rank 2nd on offense and defense.
Western Michigan won 32-20. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Texas Tech by 0.67 over IOWA STATE (-1.5) - The Red Raiders (3-7, 1-6 Big 12) have lost 3 straight, including an embarrassing 82-27 decision at TCU on October 25, and are bowl ineligible for just the 2nd time since 2000. The Cyclones (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) began the year looking like a much better squad than they do now. Though the Cyclones lost their opener to tough FCS member North Dakota State, they bounced back for a narrow loss to Kansas State before upending rival Iowa. A 48-45 loss to Texas on October 18 is the last game in which this team showed any signs of life. Texas Tech ranks 5th in the Big 12 on offense and last on defense. Iowa State ranks next-to-last on both sides of the ball. The computer trend line favors TTU by 8.

Missouri by 3.89 over TENNESSEE (-3) - The Tigers are in the SEC title game for the second straight year if they win at Tennessee this week and beat Arkansas at home in the finale. A loss to either team hands the eastern division title to Georgia. Tennessee is fighting for bowl eligibility and must win one of its last 2 games to secure a postseason bid for the first time since 2010. The computer trend line favors the Vols by 2.52. Both teams are sluggish on offense - Missouri ranks 13th in the SEC and UT is 10th. On defense, Mizzou ranks 6th and Tennessee 8th. This game could turn on penalties as Missouri has drawn twice the number of flags (75-39) and double the penalty yardage (583-294) as its opponent.



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