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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.


EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2012 Regular Season: 94-27 SU (.777), 67-54 ATS (.554)
2013 Regular Season: 22-2 SU (.917), 16-8 ATS (.667)
This Week: 8-1 SU (.889), 5-4 ATS (.556)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 14
Stanford (-30) by 31.69 over ARMY - Army lost its opener at Ball State by 26. The teams last met in 1979.
Stanford won 34-20. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

USC (-17.5) by 18.42 over Boston College - I have no faith in Lane Kiffin, but the talent level is there and the Trojans are primed for a break out. Plus, the spread has dropped to under 15 and BC's 3,000-mile trek may also have an effect.
USC won 35-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Ohio State (-15) by 26.62 over CALIFORNIA - Really? Just 15 for a Vegas line for this game?
Ohio State won 52-34. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Fresno State (-10) by 14.26 over COLORADO - Buffs have opened 2-0 against Colorado State and Central Arkansas (FCS). 3-0 is unlikely.
Game was postponed due to flooding. No makeup date announced.

Northern Illinois (-24) by 29.47 over IDAHO - Idaho has lost its first two games by 34 and 32 at North Texas and Wyoming. Even though the Vandals are playing their home opener, I don't expect a different outcome. 30-point losses will be the norm for almost every Idaho game this year. Line opened at 24 and has risen to 28.
Northern Illinois won 45-35. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Washington (-7.5) by 24.27 over Illinois (at Soldier Field in Chicago) - The line quickly rose to 10 at the open but leveled off at that number. Still leaves the computer 14 points worth of room for error so I gotta take this one. The discrepancy between the folks who just want to pick the game (us) and those who want to take your money (sportsbooks) is huge.
Washington won 34-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

RICE (-2) by 26.73 over Kansas - Kansas has lost 21 straight FBS games and 19 straight road games.
Rice won 23-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Louisville (-7.5) by 18.02 over KENTUCKY - Line has climbed to 13-1.2, but wouldn't 23-1/2 make more sense?
Louisville won 27-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE (-3.5) by 6.55 over Memphis - MTSU has won 4 of the last 5, and 8 of the last 11. Make it 9-of-12 after Saturday. The Blue Raiders are barely getting a home field advantage out of Vegas.
Middle Tennessee won 17-15. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

TEXAS (-3.5) by 11.25 over Mississippi - Yes, the loss at BYU is cause for concern. But Bevo is back in Austin, ticked off and capable - I think.
Mississippi won 44-23. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.


HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2012 Regular Season: 52-17 SU (.754), 42-27 ATS (.609)
2013 Regular Season: 18-1 SU (.947), 8-11 ATS (.421)
This Week: 6-0 SU (1.000), 3-3 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 14 Check back later.
Alabama (-7) by 1.05 over TEXAS A&M - I am surprised it opened that high and even more surprised it inched upward to 8. I'm sure Nick Saban probably worked on a lot of things that looked bad against Virginia Tech, but 35-10 wouldn't have happened if the Hokies hadn't given away 2 special teams touchdowns and a pick-6. 7 is iffy. 8 or 8-1/2 is even better for the computer to win this one.
Alabama won 49-42. The computer won SU, won ATS.

ARIZONA (-24.5) by 16.5 over Utsa - I'll ride the Roadrunners 'til they break. The computer is 12-2 SU and 8-3 ATS since their transition to the FBS. It's 2-0 SU and ATS this year. Last I checked, the line had climbed to 26-1/2.
Arizona won 38-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Virginia Tech (-7) by 1.58 over EAST CAROLINA - The NFL draft stock of Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas drops by the minute and the Pirates aren't bad at all. Frankly, an ECU win isn't improbable as VT has just one FBS win (Duke) by more than 7 points since November 26, 2011 when it rolled Virginia 38-0.
Virginia Tech won 15-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

PITTSBURGH (-20.5) by 17.28 over New Mexico - Not sold that Pitt is capable of beating anyone by 21. Under Bob Davie, the Lobos have some fight in them.
Pittsburgh won 49-27. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Utep (-6) by 5.30 over NEW MEXICO STATE - Homestanding Aggies have a shot at victory. The Miners lost at home last week to New Mexico by 7 in overtime.
Utep won 42-21. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

SOUTH CAROLINA (-11) by 6.67 over Vanderbilt - Vandy's no slouch and the line has blown up to the 14-point range.
South Carolina won 35-25. 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.
2012 Regular Season: 36-50 SU (.419), 42-44 ATS (.488)
2013 Regular Season: 13-13 SU (.500), 18-8 ATS (.692)
This Week: 7-5 SU (.583), 9-3 ATS (.750)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, September 12
Tulane by 3 over LOUISIANA TECH (-7.5) - The computer says La. Tech was a 2.16-point preseason underdog and the margin has climbed slightly as the Bulldogs have lost by 26 at N.C. State and only defeated FCS Lamar by 13. Skip Holtz is the new Louisiana Tech head coach after Sonny Dykes bolted for California. Of course, Tulane lost by 2 at home to FBS upstart South Alabama on Saturday, so this is a little iffy.
Tulane won 24-15. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TEXAS TECH by 6.22 over Tcu (-6) - The line was in the 3-1/2 range favoring TCU by Monday afternoon. The computer edge for Texas Tech has risen from 2.83 in the preseason to the current 6.22.
Texas Tech won 20-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, September 14
Mississippi State by 4.05 over AUBURN (-7) - The computer's edge for MSU has shrunk by nearly 3 points since the start of the season. The Bulldogs won 28-10 in Starkville last year for just their 2nd victory in the last 12 meetings.
Auburn won 24-20. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

NORTH TEXAS (-0.23) over Ball State (-2.5) - The game is basically a toss-up. So far this season, the computer is 2-0 SU and ATS with UNT. It's 1-0 SU and ATS with the Cardinals.
North Texas won 34-27. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Bowling Green by 10.46 over INDIANA (-4) - Both teams can put points on the board, but BGSU would appear to have a solid edge on defense. The Hoosiers allowed an average of 37.5 points in their first two outings while the Falcons allowed 14.5, including just 7 to Tulsa.
Indiana won 42-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Central Michigan by 6.52 over UNLV (-16) - The line for UNLV dropped quickly to 7, but I picks seems outrageous on the surface. But under the surface, CMU's 59-9 loss at Michigan isn't shameful and nearly losing to New Hampshire is understandable when you know UNH had won 5 straight games vs. FBS schools until last year's loss at Minnesota. The Rebels, on the other hand, have been manhandled at Minnesota (51-23) and at home vs. Arizona (58-13). Personally, I still don't see the Chippewas doing any good in Vegas unless it's at a Craps table.
UNLV won 31-21. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

CONNECTICUT by 5.31 over Maryland (-7) - It's "Hate Randy Edsall Week" at UConn. The Maryland head coach led UConn for 12 seasons before abandoning the Huskies in 2011 to replace the fired Ralph Friedgen. He led the school's transition to 1-A (now FBS) in 2000 and its entry into the Big East. At the end of his UConn tenure, the school was on a four-bowl appearance streak. UConn has gone 5-7 in both seasons under Paul Pasqualoni and the computer projected the Huskies to repeat that record this year. Maryland comes in with two blowout wins over lightweight FIU and an Old Dominion team transitioning from the FCS to the FBS, while UConn lost its opener to FCS member Towson.
Maryland won 32-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Fau by 3.14 over USF (-10.5) - USF quarterback Bobby Eveld is the Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) of the American Athletic Conference. Eveld was 6-of-25 with a pick in Saturday's 21-6 at Michigan State. His first start saw the Bulls get stampeded 53-21 at home by FCS member McNeese State. I make the reference to Thomas because of his stat line against Alabama which was futilely similar (5-of-26 with a pick). Apparently, neither team in this contest has an offense as FAU enters averaging 9.5 per game and USF 13.5.
FAU won 28-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

IOWA STATE by 0.73 over Iowa (-3) - Iowa has won 39-of-60 meetings, but Iowa State has taken the last 2, and 9 of the last 15. Both schools were picked to finish at the bottom of their respective conferences with Iowa expected to go 2-10 and Iowa State 3-9.
Iowa won 27-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Louisiana-Monroe by 8.07 over WAKE FOREST (-3.5) - UL-M quarterback is probable for the game which makes this a pick I can believe. Wake looked awful at BC and only manage a 31-7 win over FCS member Presbyterian.
Louisiana-Monroe won 21-19. The computer won SU, won ATS.

OHIO (-0.40) over Marshall (-6) - The Bobcats will have be studly on pass defense for this to happen. Herd QB Rakeem Cato led the nation last year and has already thrown for 483 yards and 6 TD's this season. Ohio leads the series 31-19-6, including wins in the last two seasons after dropping 6 straight from 2001-2010.
Ohio won 34-31. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Ucla by 1.22 over NEBRASKA (-4) - The way the 'Huskers have been playing, I could see the Bruins winning by 20. The computer had Nebraska as a 7-win team in the preseason and now projects just 6 Cornhusker wins.
UCLA won 41-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.


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