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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: 24-14 SU (.632), 9-29 ATS (.237)
This Week: 4-4 SU (.500), 1-7 ATS (.125)
PAST RECORDS

Friday, October 3
BYU (-14.5) by 16.24 over Utah State - BYU computer spread has risen 7.14 points since the preseason putting the trend line at 20+. Aggie QB Chuckie Keeton suffered a season-ending knee injury last year against the Cougars and reinjured the same knee against Wake Forest on September 13. Without him, Utah State lost 21-14 at Arkansas State on September 20th and was idle last week. BYU QB Taysom Hill has 428 yards rushing and a 66% pass completion percentage and will face the 91st-ranked Utah State pass defense.
Utah State won 35-20. The computer lost SU, lost ATS. (BYU QB Taysom Hill left game with broken leg in 2nd qtr.).

Saturday, October 4
USC (-10.5) by 16 over Arizona State - The trend line for the Trojans is closer to 19. The Sun Devils allowed 62 points at home to UCLA in their last outing, which is the only FBS team with a winning record that the Sun Devils have faced this year. The ASU defense allowed 545 yards to Colorado and 580 to UCLA in the last two games.
Arizona State won 38-34. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

WASHINGTON STATE (-3.5) by 15.41 over California - The preseason computer margin was 21.38 so it has dropped by nearly 6 full points, but that still leaves the trend line at 9-10 points which leaves plenty of room for the home-standing Cougars. Cal ranks 113th on defense but 13th on offense which explains why the Bears have seen back-to-back ridiculous finishes . Two weeks ago, Cal surrendered 36 points in the 4th quarter to come-from-ahead and lose at Arizona 49-45, and then outscored Colorado last week 59-56.
California won 60-59. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Texas State (-14.5) by 15.11 over IDAHO - Texas State spread is up 6.01 points since the preseason, putting the trend line over 20. The 2-2 Bobcats easily outrank the 0-4 Vandals on both sides of the ball.
Texas State won 35-30. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Marshall (-17.5) by 23.31 over OLD DOMINION - The computer line has only changed by 0.05 since the preseason. The Herd rank 2nd in total offense and 28th in total defense. ODU ranks 47th on offense and 93rd on defense.
Marshall won 56-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

RUTGERS (-3) by 6.25 over Michigan - Rutgers was just a 1.71-point favorite in the preseason. The trend line is closer to 10 and the Wolverines appear to be in complete disarray. Brady Hoke is on the hot seat as Big Blue is 2-3 overall, 0-1 in the Big Ten, and doesn't have a win over a Power 5 conference team since beating Minnesota on October 5th of last season (lost to Minnesota last week).
Rutgers won 26-24. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE (-17) by 23 over Southern Miss - The trend line is over 26. Southern Miss ranks 110th on defense and 112th on offense. The Golden Eagles have 2 wins over FBS teams in the last 29 games and those came against UAB last year and newcomer Appalachian State two weeks ago.
Middle Tennessee won 37-31. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

UCLA (-13) by 18.37 over Utah - The trend line is actually closer to the Vegas 13, but the Bruins appear to be rolling. UCLA was a 24.53-point preseason favorite.
Utah won 30-28. The computer lost 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: 33-5 SU (.868), 15-23 ATS (.395)
This Week: 6-1 SU (.833), 2-5 ATS (.333)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, October 4
AUBURN (-9) by 8.12 over Lsu - The computer margin on this game hasn't moved much since the preseason when it was 8.75 in favor of Auburn. LSU has won the last 3 meetings, and 6 of the last 7.
Auburn won 41-7. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Boise State (-1.5) by 0.79 over NEVADA - The computer's trend line says Nevada should be the outright home favorite by 3. The Wolf Pack are 3-1, including a 35-28 loss at Arizona. Nevada is coming off a 21-10 win at San Jose State while the Broncos lost 28-14 last week to Air Force. The biggest obstacle for Nevada to overcome may simply be history - BSU has won 13 of the last 14 meetings, including the last 3, to take a 27-13 lead in the all-time series.
Boise State won 51-46. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

FLORIDA STATE (-37.5) by 31.05 over Wake Forest - Wake has been pretty solid on defense, allowing 20 ppg while FSU hasn't beaten any FBS team by more than 15.
Florida State won 43-3. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

ILLINOIS (-11.5) by 10.09 over Purdue - 5 of the last 6 meetings have been decided by 11 points or less, and the last 3 were decided by 7 or less. The trend line is Illinois by 7. Neither school has had a winning conference record since 2007 when Illinois went 6-2. Purdue was 5-3 in 2006.
Purdue won 38-27. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

INDIANA (-13.5) by 7.20 over North Texas - The trend line is Indiana by 2. Indiana ranks 90th on defense while UNT ranks 17th. North Texas ranks 115th on offense while the Hoosiers rank 27th.
Indiana won 49-24. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Ohio State (-10) by 6.42 over MARYLAND - The trend line is Ohio State by 7.5 in Maryland's Big Ten home opener. The way things are shaping up this early in the year, the winner would be the clear front-runner for the East division title. It's the first time the Buckeyes have faced the former ACC school, just as it was the first time they faced ACC member Virginia Tech when they lost 35-21 on Labor Day weekend.
Ohio State won 52-24. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

MICHIGAN STATE (-8) by 6.79 over Nebraska - Michigan State earned its first win ever over Nebraska (1-7) last year, 41-28, in Lincoln. MSU features the nation's 6th-best rushing defense, which will be important as it faces the nation's 3rd-leading rushing offense headlined by Heisman candidate RB Ameer Abdullah, the nation's 2nd-leading rusher. The trend line is Michigan State by 3.5.
Michigan State won 27-22. 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: 14-24 SU (.368), 16-22 ATS (.421)
This Week: 4-4 SU (.500), 4-4 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Friday, October 3
FRESNO STATE by 7.69 over San Diego State (-1.5) - Fresno State has performed well below preseason expectations, having already lost more than 8 power points in the computer's rankings. The trend indicates that SDSU should be favored to win this game by 3.
Fresno State won 24-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.

SYRACUSE by 1.29 over Louisville (-3.5) - This is the ACC season opener for Syracuse while Louisville is already 2-1. The 'Cuse was a preseason pick by 5.04.
Louisville won 28-6. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, October 4
MISSISSIPPI by 6.98 over Alabama (-4.5) - When I saw Ole Miss favored to win this game in the computer's preseason projections, I rolled my eyes. But the projected margin has increased from 3.41 to 6.98. The Rebels are 8-51-2 all-time versus 'Bama and have lost the last 10.
Mississippi won 23-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Ball State by 5.34 over ARMY (-2.5) - Both teams have lost to FCS schools this season - Ball State 27-20 to Indiana State and Army 49-43 to Yale in OT. I'd call it a toss-up for what could happen here.
Army won 33-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Florida by 0.24 over TENNESSEE (-1.5) - Florida barely escaped Kentucky and then got worn down by Alabama to eventually lose by 21, even though 'Bama turned the ball over 4 times. Tennessee has outperformed the computer's expectations in every game except the Oklahoma contest where they lost by the exact predicted margin.
Florida won 10-9. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Miami, Fla. by 8.24 over GEORGIA TECH (-1.5) - Miami ranks 52nd against the run, but has ranked worse in the previous 4 years when the team still managed to beat Georgia Tech. They ranked 31st vs. the run in 2009 and also won that game to start a 5-game victory streak vs. the Yellow Jackets. The 'Canes have outscored GT by an average of 13.8 points per game in those contests.|
Georgia Tech won 28-17. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

NORTH CAROLINA by 4.54 over Virginia Tech (-1.5) - The trend line says North Carolina by 0.50, but VT is 8-2 vs. the Tar Heels since joining the ACC, and is 20-11-6 all-time in the series. UNC won the last meeting in Chapel Hill 48-34 in 2012 for its first home win over the Hokies since 1938.
Virginia Tech won 34-17. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

NOTRE DAME by 2.98 over Stanford (-2.5) - The computer trend line says Notre Dame by 7. Both teams have yet to allow more than 17 points in a game as Stanford has 2 shutouts and ND has 1. As good as the defenses might be, the offenses have been weak as the Cardinal rank 70th and the Irish rank 57th. The last 3 meetings, and 5 of the last 6, have been won by the home team.
Notre Dame won 17-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.



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