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9/25/14-9/27/14


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: 15-9 SU (.625), 4-20 ATS (.167)
This Week: 0-0 SU (.000), 0-0 ATS (.000)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 27
BOSTON COLLEGE (-2.5) by 5.45 over Colorado State - I'm surprised the spreads aren't higher from both Vegas and the computer. This is a home-standing Power 5 conference team against a visiting mid-level Mountain West team. Protecting 2.5 at home shouldn't be difficult.

OHIO STATE (-13) by 15.45 over Cincinnati - The Buckeyes have padded their schedule with a lot of Ohio schools over the years and have rarely been given much of a contest. Ohio State has had an extra week to game plan for the Bearcats.

Temple (-6) by 8.44 over CONNECTICUT - This game has swung dramatically since the preseason when the computer favored the Huskies by 0.44. That swing puts the computer trend line in the 15-point range in favor of the Owls.

LOUISIANA-MONROE (-6.5) by 15.41 over Troy - The Vegas line quickly jumped into the 9-point range shortly after the open. Troy has been absolutely awful, getting blown out by UAB, Duke and Georgia, and even losing to Abilene Christian by a field goal. UL-M is no powerhouse, but at last it has wins over Wake Forest and Idaho. The computer spread has risen by nearly 6 points in its favor since the preseason, putting the trend line in the 20-plus area.

RUTGERS (-11) by 11.38 over Tulane - The computer's trend line puts Rutgers up by more than 15 and this really should be a rout when it's over. The Green Wave are coming off a 47-13 loss at Duke on Saturday.

Stanford (-4.5) by 6.86 over WASHINGTON - Stanford's computer edge has increased 3.99 points since the preseason to put the trend line in the area of 10 points. The Cardinal have won 7 of the last 9 meetings but lost 17-13 the last time they met in Seattle in 2012. Stanford has had an extra week of preparation.


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: 21-2 SU (.913), 10-13 ATS (.435)
This Week: 0-0 SU (.000), 0-0 ATS (.000)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, September 25
GEORGIA SOUTHERN (-17) by 6.02 over Appalachian State - The computer has moved Georgia Southern from a 1.93-point underdog to 6.02-point favorite for a swing of almost 8 points in the Bulldogs' favor. Appalachian State has won the last 3 meetings, including 38-14 last year in Boone, and the Mountaineers lead the series overall, 16-12-1.

MIAMI, FLA. (-5.5) by 2.46 over Duke - The computer margin for Miami has dropped from 8.74 in the preseason to 2.46, putting the trend line in favor of Duke to win outright by 3-4 points. As Dave Congrove points out in his weekly preview article, Miami only has 2 wins vs. Power 5 conference schools in its last 7 tries. Duke won last year's meeting in Durham, 48-30, to snap a 9-game losing streak in the series.

South Alabama (-8) by 5.29 over IDAHO - The Jaguars have scored a total of 9 points in their last two games, including a 28-6 loss last week to Georgia Southern.

LSU (-47) by 38.79 over New Mexico State - LSU has scored more than 47 points just 5 times against FBS schools in the last 6+ seasons, so a 47-point victory seems unlikely.

MISSISSIPPI (-24) by 20.19 over Memphis - Memphis is averaging 498 yards per game and 44.7 points. This game has been decided by more than 24 points just twice out of the 25 games played since 1981.

MICHIGAN (-7) by 0.01 over Minnesota - The computer has Michigan by 1/100th of a point and the preseason spread was just 74/100ths. The way Michigan has been playing, Minnesota could easily pull off the outright win, something it hasn't done since 2005 and has managed only twice since 1978.

SAN DIEGO STATE (-16) by 6.51 over Unlv - A 16-point line seems a bit of a stretch for a game in which neither school has beaten a FBS opponent this season.

TULSA (-4) by 2.18 over Texas State - I'm surprised Texas State isn't the outright favorite. The Bobcats nearly pulled off the win at Illinois this past weekend and only lost to Navy by 14. Tulsa was a 9.52-point computer favorite in the preseason and that margin has dropped by more than a touchdown. The computer trend line says Bobcats win straight up by 5.


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: 9-19 SU (.321), 11-17 ATS (.393)
This Week: 0-0 SU (.000), 0-0 ATS (.000)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 27
Maryland by 1.08 over INDIANA (-4) - Indiana has already proven that anything can happen. The Hoosiers followed up a loss at BGSU with a win at Missouri. This will be Maryland's first official Big Ten contest. The computer spread hasn't changed much since the preseason when the computer had the Terps by 1.27.

SAN JOSE STATE by 7.11 over Nevada (-1) - SJSU was a projected 10.94-point winner in the preseason so the current forecasted margin represents a 3.83-point drop. That's still enough to keep the trend line in favor of the Spartans.



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