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9/19/12-9/22/12


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. 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.
2011 Regular Season: 90-26 SU (.776), 63-53 ATS (.543)
2012 Regular Season: 23-8 SU (.742), 14-17 ATS (.452)
This Week: 4-0 SU (1.000), 3-1 ATS (.750)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 22
TCU (-13.5) by 19.03 over Virginia - The 80th-ranked Cavalier offense faces the 7th-ranked defense and perennially staunch Horned Frog defense. Of concern: Texas Christian RB Waymon James is out for the season after leading the team with 875 yards in 2011, and 168 yards through two games this season
TCU won 27-7. The computer won SU, won ATS..

Marshall (-3.5) by 11.64 over RICE - Too great a disparity between the line and the computer to pass up, but it bothers me a little that the teams have played 3 times since 2007 with the home team winning each game. On the plus side, the Herd ranks 10th nationally in total offense while the Owls are 121st in total defense
Marshall won 54-41 in 2 OT's. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Wyoming (-1.5) by 14.05 over IDAHO - Each team has lost to an FCS school with Wyoming falling 24-22 to Cal Poly last week and the Vandals getting blitzed 20-3 by Eastern Washington in week 1. The teams haven't played each other since 1999 with the Cowboys winning all four meetings since Idaho's lone win in 1911.
Wyoming won 40-37 in OT. The computer won SU, won ATS.

WESTERN KENTUCKY (-2) by 4.68 over Southern Miss - WKU is getting less than home field advantage, despite winning 9 of its last 11 games with the only losses coming to then-No. 1 LSU last year and then-No. 1 Alabama this season.
Western Kentcuky won 42-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.


HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2011 Regular Season: 67-19 SU (.779), 40-46 ATS (.465)
2012 Regular Season: 20-5 SU (.800), 17-8 ATS (.680)
This Week: 5-3 SU (.625), 6-2 ATS (.750)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 22
Usf (-13) by 2.24 over BALL STATE - The Cardinals fared better than expected at Clemson and defeated Indiana last week, both of which were won SU and ATS by the computer
Ball State won 1-27. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

PENN STATE (-9) by 0.56 over Temple - The last 2 games have been decided by 9 points or less.
Penn State won 24-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

ALABAMA (-51) by 43.94 over Fau - Oddsmakers had Georgia by 45 last week and the computer had the Dawgs by 36 which turned out to be the exact margin of victory. While 'Bama is more than capable of winning by 51, the question becomes when do they shut it down.
Alabama won 40-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

MISSISSIPPI STATE (-32.5) by 29.66 over South Alabama - The Jaguars rank 26th nationally in total defense and are coming off a 31-7 loss at N.C. State. The computer has virtually nailed the spread on every USA game, so far, missing by just 2, 4 and 2.
Mississippi State won 30-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

OKLAHOMA (-17) by 6.29 over Kansas State - The line has to be based on last season's 58-17 drubbing that the Sooners gave the Wildcats in "The Little Apple". This will be Oklahoma's first home game this season against an FBS opponent and Kansas State's first road trip.
Kansas State won 24-19. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

FLORIDA STATE (-13) by 8.67 over Clemson - You have to think this won't be a blowout as the last two meetings have been decided by less than 5 points with the Tigers taking last year's game on their way to the ACC title.
Florida State won 49-37. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Air Force (-14.5) by 7.06 over UNLV - UNLV lost to Minnesota in triple-overtime and only fell to Washington State by 8 after losing last year's meeting by 52. This is a much-improved Rebel team that's playing hard and making great strides under Bobby Hauck.
UNLV won 38-35. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

OREGON (-26.5) by 15.08 over Arizona. - Oregon was favored by 21 in the preseason and the expected margin has dropped simply because the Wildcats have outperformed expectations. You have to go back to 2003 to find a Ducks win in the series would cover this spread.
Oregon won 49-0. 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.
2011 Regular Season: 24-37 SU (.393), 29-32 ATS (.475)
2012 Regular Season: 15-18 SU (.455), 16-17 ATS (.485)
This Week: 3-3 SU (.500), 3-3 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Wednesday, September 19
BUFFALO by 2.11 over Kent State (-1) - Buffalo quickly moved to favored status after opening as the underdog. The Bulls put 23 points on the board at Georgia while Kent State was clobbered by Kentucky. The Bulls appear to have fared better against tougher competition and have taken 4 of the last 5 meetings in this series. However, the one loss came in their last home match against them.
Kent State won 23-7. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, September 22
WESTERN MICHIGAN by 3.94 over Connecticut (-1) - WMU hasn't lived up to the computer's expectations. The Broncos were only 5-point dogs at the Illini and lost by 17. Last week, they lost by 5 at Minnesota as a 4-point computer pick to win.
Western Michigan won 30-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

NORTH TEXAS by 6.74 over Troy (-1) - The computer's preseason forecast nailed North Texas' record 4 years in-a-row from 2007-2010 and missed by just 1 game last season. This was a projected win in the preseason for the Mean Green. UNT dominated the Sun Belt Conference from 2001-2004 and Troy took over from 2006-2009.
Troy won 14-7. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Louisiana Tech by 1.37 over ILLINOIS - The Illini are certainly beatable, but the Bulldog defense has to step it up as it has surrendered an average of 43 points per game in wins over Houston and Rice.
Louisiana Tech won 52-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

MINNESOTA by 1.28 over Syracuse (-1) - The line flipped to the Golden Gophers since opening. Interesting that the computer had Minnesota has an outright upset loser to Western Michigan last week and now has them as an outright upset winner this week. I assure you that doesn't happen very often.
Minnesota won 17-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Utah by 8.40 over ARIZONA STATE (-3) - I'm surprised at the huge disparity between the computer and the line, which stretched even further to ASU after opening. The Utes' offense seems to operate better with Jon Hays at QB than Jordan Wynn, and John White should be back in action at RB.
Arizona State won 37-7. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.


ODDS/PICKS
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