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9/16/10-9/18/10


FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
Week 1: 9/2-9/6
Week 2: 9/9-9/11
Week 3: 9/16-9/18
Week 4: 9/23-9/25
Week 5: 9/30-10/2
Week 6: 10/5-10/9
Week 7: 10/13-10/16
Week 8: 10/21-10/23
Week 9: 10/26-10/30
Week 10: 11/2-11/6
Week 11: 11/9-11/13
Week 12: 11/16-11/20
Week 13: 11/23-11/27
Week 14: 12/2-12/4
Week 15: 12/11-12/11
Week 16: Bowls
Past Season Archives: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 |

EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2010 Regular Season: 13-6 SU (.684), 8-11 ATS (.421)
This Week: 4-3 SU (.571), 2-5 ATS (.286)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 18
TCU (-17) by 29.20 over Baylor - The computer is 52-28 against the spread on TCU games over the last 8 years making the Horned Frogs the computer's best-performing team in that category. It's 40-36 with Baylor. These teams last met in Fort Worth in 2007 with TCU winning 27-0.
TCU won 45-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

OREGON STATE (-14) by 26.09 over Louisville - Oregon State allowed 453 yards to TCU in a 30-21 defeat on opening weekend, so that's a concern. Another concern is whether or not the Beavers will be focused on this week's game, or next week's trip to Boise State. This is a payback opportunity for Oregon State which was thumped 63-27 at Louisville in 2005 when Bobby Petrino was the Cardinals' head coach, Brian Brohm was the quarterback, and Elvis Dumervil was wreaking havoc in opponents' backfields.
Oregon State won 35-28. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

NORTH CAROLINA (-1) by 4.13 over Georgia Tech - I can't resist the fact that UNC only has to win by 2 to make this prediction become reality. The home team in this series has won the last 3 meetings and 6 of the last 7.
Georgia Tech won 30-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

SMU (-20) by 28.56 over Washington State - The Cougars haven't defeated another FBS school since knocking off SMU 30-27 in overtime last year in Pullman. In fact, only one of their last ten losses to FBS schools has been by less than 21 points. Conversely, the Mustangs are 7-5 since their loss at Washington State.
SMU won 35-21. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Houston (-3) by 5.4 over UCLA - With or without QB Case Keenum (he may not play due to concussion symptoms), Houston should win this game. The Bruins scored just 22 points against Kansas State's 80th-ranked defense and went scoreless against Stanford. Granted, the Cougars defense ranks 90th but its offense is No. 1. And backup QB Cotton Turner was 17-of-21 for 141 yards and 2 TD's in relief of Keenum in last week's 54-24 win over UTEP.
UCLA won 31-13. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Middle Tennessee (-6) by 16.04 over MEMPHIS - The Blue Raiders have won both previous meetings - by 17 at MTSU last year and by 14 at Memphis in 2007. The Tigers have lost 8 straight games and have allowed at least 31 points in all of them.
Memphis won 24-17. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

OKLAHOMA STATE (-7) by 9.05 over Tulsa - A week after surviving Troy by 3, I believe the Cowboys can knock off Tulsa by more than a touchdown? Yep. Okie State has won all three meetings since 1999 by 10 points or more.
Oklahoma State won 65-28. The computer won SU, won ATS.




HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2010 Regular Season: 18-0 SU (1.000), 7-11 ATS (.389)
This Week: 5-0 SU (1.000), 2-3 ATS (.400)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 18
VIRGINIA TECH (-17) by 15.47 over East Carolina - The last time Frank Beamer was 0-2, the Hokies turned around and won 13 straight games, and 20 of their next 21. The 0-2 start became a 10-2 finish with the exclamation point of a 28-10 Sugar Bowl domination of Texas. But 17 points seems overly enthusiastic for a team that is struggling to find its identity, and the Pirates bring plenty of offense to the table to challenge the young Virginia Tech defense. By the way, the Hokies' last 0-3 start in came in Frank Beamer's first season in Blacksburg in 1987.
Virginia Tech won 49-27. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Usc (-20) by 4.81 over MINNESOTA - Here's another team that lost to a FCS school last week. The Gophers were upset 41-38 by South Dakota, but the pointspread this week just seems ludicrous for a Trojans team that has won by 13 at Hawaii and by just 3 at home over Virginia.
USC won 32-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.

UTEP (-18) by 9.48 over New Mexico State - The Miners have defeated FCS member Arkansas-Pine Bluff by 21 at home, and lost at Houston by 30. The Aggies opened their season last week with a 20-point home loss to a San Diego State Aztec team that is vastly improved in Brady Hoke's second year as head coach.
UTEP won 42-10. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

MISSOURI (-19) by 15.35 over San Diego State - Note the reference in the above game to San Diego State's vast improvement under head coach Brady Hoke. The computer's margin for Missouri in this contest has dropped almost 3 points since the preseason.
Missouri won 27-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Northwestern (-14) by 6.04 over RICE - The Wildcats are 1-4 alltime against Rice and their only victory came in their last meeting, a 23-14 win in 1997.
Northwestern won 30-13. The computer won SU, lost 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.
2010 Regular Season: 4-6 SU (.400), 4-6 ATS (.400)
This Week: 2-4 SU (.333), 2-4 ATS (.333)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, September 16
Cincinnati by 8.39 over N.C. STATE (-2.5) - Over the last 8 years, the computer is 60-25 SU with the Bearcats and 42-36 ATS. During that same span, it is 53-31 SU with Wolfpack and 41-34 ATS. These teams have never met.
N.C. State won 30-19. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, September 18
GEORGIA by 0.11 over Arkansas (-2.5) - The line quickly swung to Georgia's favor so this may not be an upset pick come game day, but we use the opening line. The 'Dawgs were held to just 6 points in last week's loss at South Carolina so Arkansas' porous defense should be a welcomed relief. Yes, the Razorback defense currently ranks 4th nationally in yards allowed, but let the stats fool you - they've played Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe. Arkansas ranked 89th in that department last year and Georgia rang up 52 points on the Hogs. Besides, Georgia has allowed a total of only 24 points against Louisiana-Lafayette and the Gamecocks.
Arkansas won 31-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

BYU by 2.19 over FLORIDA STATE (-8) - I was surprised by last year's 54-28 FSU win at Provo, and I'm equally surprised by both teams' lopsided losses last week when BYU fell 35-14 at Air Force and FSU was thumped 47-17 at Oklahoma. Like the computer, I expect this game to be tight. Will I be surprised again?
Florida State won 34-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

TEMPLE by 0.03 over UConn (-5) - The Owls have become the masters of the last-second win, and the ridiculously slim computer spread. Temple beat FCS member Villanova in week 1 on a 43-yard field goal with 8 seconds left. They entered last week's game with Central Michigan as a 0.77-point favorite and won in overtime. This week, Temple gets a whopping 0.03-point edge over the Huskies. Personally, I pick UConn, but stranger things have happened. For whatever it's worth, Temple is the computer's 13th-best performing team against the spread over the last 8 years.
Temple won 30-16. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Iowa State by 1.74 over Kansas State (-4.5) (at Kansas City) - Kansas State took 10 in-a-row in this series from 1994-2003, but the schools are even in the last 6 meetings. The Wildcats won 24-23 last year in Kansas City when Emmanuel Lamur blocked Pat Mahoney's PAT with 32 seconds left in the game.
Kansas State won 27-20. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

UAB by 0.24 over Troy (-4) - The Blazers opened the season at home against another Sun Belt school, FAU, and never trailed until there was 4:11 left in the game. UAB dropped to 0-2 with last week's 28-7 loss at SMU. The Trojans are 1-1 with a 3-point home win over Bowling Green and a 3-point road loss at Oklahoma State. Troy has won four of the seven previous meetings, but each team has won twice in Birmingham.
UAB won 34-33. The computer won SU, won ATS.