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FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
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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. You can research the computer's performance with each team and conference with the Team-By-Team Picks Tracking data. 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.
2013 Regular Season: 111-18 SU (.860), 78-51 ATS (.605)
2014 Regular Season: 8-3 SU (.727), 1-10 ATS (.091)
This Week: 5-1 SU (.833), 0-6 ATS (.000)
PAST RECORDS

(NOTE FROM MIKE: This category has been brutal ATS. Vanderbilt laid an egg against Temple in week 1 and it's now obvious how bad the 'Dores are after scoring a total of 10 points in their first two games. Washington also laid an egg in week 1 when it barely beat Hawaii, but they also had a tough time putting away Eastern Washington this week. Week 1 also saw LSU miss by a point of covering after a horrendous start against Wisconsin.

This week, Duke missed covering at Troy by 2 points and that happens. But Oregon State coughed up 23 garbage points in the 4th qaurter to blow the cover at Hawaii, and Maryland had 6 tournovers at USF. I can't offer any excuses for the UL-L loss to Lousiana Tech (that's just pathetic) or the tight North Carolina score vs. SDSU, but this week should've at least been a split with ATS wins by Duke, Oregon State and Maryland.)

Saturday, September 6
Duke (-18) by 19.93 over TROY - Troy lost on opening weekend to UAB 48-10 while Duke was plastering FCS Elon 52-13.
Duke won 34-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS

Oregon State (-11) by 16.02 over HAWAII - I had Washington as an "Easy Pickins" selection last week at Hawaii and the Huskies barely eked out the win, but Washington played poorly in the contest. The Beavers won by 19 last year at home.
Oregon State won 38-30. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

LOUISIANA-MONROE (-11.5) by 14.64 over Idaho - UL-M beat Wake Forest while Idaho's game at Florida was postponed due to lightning.
Louisiana-Monroe on 38-31. The computer won SU, lost ATS

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (-16) by 24.39 over Louisiana Tech - These in-state rivals are meeting for the first time since 2004 so the Bulldogs' string of 6 straight wins in the series means nothing. The Ragin' Cajuns were a preseason computer pick to go 11-1 while Louisiana Tech was projected to finish 4-8. UL-L won last week's game vs. FCS member Southern 45-6 while the Bulldogs were falling 48-16 at Oklahoma. Louisiana Tech won 48-20. The computer lost SU, lost ATS

Maryland (-10) by 19.97 over USF - This might be the most stunningly low line this week. The Bulls had to rally to beat FCS member Western Carolina 36-31 last week while the Terrapins trounced FCS member James Madison 52-7.
Maryland won 24-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

NORTH CAROLINA (-13.5) by 18.81 over San Diego State - Another line that seems too low. I'm thinking 20 points or more separate these 2 clubs, despite UNC's early sluggishness vs. FCS member Liberty last week.
North Carolina won 31-27. The computer won SU, lost 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: 7-1 SU (.875), 4-4 ATS (.500)
This Week: 5-0 SU (1.000), 3-2 ATS (.600)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 6
PENN STATE (-18) by 13.33 over Akron - The Nittany Lions earned a big last-second win over UCF to start the season while Akron warmed up with a 41-0 rout of FCS member Howard.
Penn State won 21-3. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Arizona State (-27) by 14.79 over NEW MEXICO - The first meeting since 1977 between these teams. When the series was halted, ASU had won 17 straight and the last win for the Lobos came in 1942. This one has me a bit concerned if only because UNM lost its opener at home to UTEP by 7 when the computer had the Lobos winning by 6.42, but I'm looking for an ASU win in the 21-to-24-point range.
Arizona State won 58-23. The computer won SU, lost ATS

IOWA (-20) by 4.02 over Ball State - Taking this one for the simple reason that the difference between the oddsmakers and the computer is too huge to pass up.
Iowa won 17-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.

OREGON (-11) by 6.29 over Michigan State - I understand that it's a home game for the high-powered Ducks, but this line reeks of disrespect for the Spartans.
Oregon won 46-27. The computer won SU, lost ATS

N.C. STATE (-17) by 10.68 over Old Dominion - The Monarchs play their first FBS opponent as a full-fledged member of the FBS themselves. Last week, the Wolfpack barely survived Georgia Southern in that school's first game as a FBS member.
Old DOminion won 46-34. 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.
2013 Regular Season: 47-48 SU (.495), 59-36 ATS (.694)
2014 Regular Season: 8-12 SU (.400), 9-11 ATS (.450)
This Week: 5-7 SU (.417), 6-6 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, September 4
UTSA by 1.59 over Arizona (-8) - The Roadrunners get the computer's 24th-ranked Wildcats at home. Larry Coker's squad has 37 seniors on its roster and returns 21 starters (including kicker and punter) from a year ago. Last week, Houston was a 13-point Vegas favorite over UTSA but the computer only had Houston winning by 4.01. As it turned out, UTSA won the game in a rout, 27-7.
Arizona won 26-23. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Friday, September 6
Pittsburgh by 3.08 over BOSTON COLLEGE (-1) - I'd personally be inclined to ride with Pitt which has become a consensus 4-1/2 point favorite since the opening lines were released.
Pittsburgh won 30-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, September 6
Buffalo by 0.80 over ARMY (-1) - Buffalo is a projected 8-4 team vs. a forecasted 4-8 Army squad. Most oddsmakers had Army by 3 as of Thursday afternoon.
Army won 47-39. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Central Michigan by 7.88 over PURDUE (-2.5) - Purdue lost 55-24 to MAC member Northern Illinois last year, but is 5-0 all-time vs. the Chippewas.
Central Michigan won 38-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Fresno State by 6.94 over UTAH (-7.5) - This would require a major rebound by the Bulldogs after losing 52-13 at USC last weekend. The teams haven't met since 1999 and Fresno State won the last 2 get-togethers.
Utah won 59-27. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

New Mexico State by 3.80 over GEORGIA STATE (-3) - New Mexico State is 1-0 for just the second time in the last 7 years. Georgia State is 0-9 vs. the FBS since becoming a FBS team themselves last year. New Mexico State has 1 win vs. the FBS in the last 2 seasons and that came against Idaho in the 2013 season finale.
New Mexico State won 34-31. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TULANE by 4.57 over Georgia Tech (-10) - Tulane opened with a heartbreaking double-OT loss at Tulsa while Georgia Tech struggled to a 38-19 win over FCS Wofford. Last year, the Green Wave went to their first bowl game since 2002.
Georgia Tech won 38-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Western Kentucky by 2.60 over ILLINOIS (-2.5) - WKU was a surprisingly big 59-31 winner over Bowling Green last week while Illinois downed FCS Youngstown State 28-17.
Illinois on 42-34. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Ohio by 0.57 over KENTUCKY (-6) - Kentucky posted a 59-14 win last week but that came against FCS member Tennessee-Martin. Ohio was a 17-14 victor at Kent State.
Kentucky won 20-3. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

TOLEDO by 5.10 over Missouri (-5.5) - Toledo is projected by the computer to go 10-2 while Missouri is pegged as a preseason 7-5 squad.
Missouri won 49-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

NORTH TEXAS by 2.47 over Smu (-1) - Both schools were spanked in their openers as UNT lost 38-7 at Texas and SMU fell 45-0 at Baylor.
North Texas won 43-6. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Northern Illinois by 1.83 over NORTHWESTERN (-2.5) - Northern Illinois beat Big Ten member Purdue 55-24 last year, and lost to Iowa by 1 point in 2012.
Northern Illinois won 23-15. The computer won SU, won ATS.



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