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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.
2013 Regular Season: 111-18 SU (.860), 78-51 ATS (.605)
2014 Regular Season: 35-19 SU (.648), 16-38 ATS (.296)
This Week: 7-2 SU (.778), 4-5 ATS (.444)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, October 16
Virginia Tech (-2) by 3.62 over PITTSBURGH - The Panthers have lost 3 straight to Iowa, Akron and Virginia. The Hokies have appeared more times on ESPN Thursday night than any other school and are 20-7 in those games. They will also play next Thursday night on ESPN for a home game vs. Miami.
Pittsburgh won 21-16. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Friday, October 17
HOUSTON (-6.5) by 14.25 over Temple - Houston has played the tougher schedule and played well since its season-opening loss to UTSA. The Cougars were favored by 22.69 in the preseason so the computer spread has dropped nearly 8 points. Temple's 3 FBS wins have come against teams that have a total of 2 FBS victories.
Houston won 31-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 18
Georgia (-3) by 11.13 over ARKANSAS (at Little Rock) - These are the top two rushing offenses in the SEC. The most telling stat may be that Georgia is +9 in turnover margin and Arkansas is +1. The 34-0 win at Missouri by the 'Dawgs was about as dominating as it gets. However, Georgia was a preseason computer favorite in this contest by 16.74.
Georgia won 45-32. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Ucla (-7.5) by 22.14 over CALIFORNIA - The computer had the Bruins winning by 32 points in the preseason and the trend line is now just 13, but that's still more than enough to top the 7.5 line.
UCLA won 36-34. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

USC (-20) by 26.88 over Colorado - The computer spread has risen 1.73 points since the preseason. USC has won all 8 previous meetings by an average of 25 points.
USC won 56-28. The computer won SU, won ATS.

DUKE (-3) by 14.42 over Virginia - There's just too much disparity between the line and the computer to overlook this game. Virginia has lost 9 of its last 10 road games. Duke is basically getting nothing more than home-field advantage despite having won 7 straight home games, including the last 6 by at least 18 points.
Duke won 20-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Western Kentucky (-3) by 7.10 over FAU - WKU was only a 2.96-point computer pick in the preseason. WKU ranks 2nd in CUSA on offense and FAU ranks 11th in the 13-team league. Neither team has done much on defense with FAU allowing 35.3 ppg and WKU surrendering 38.4.
FAU won 45-38. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

TEXAS (-11) by 16.29 over Iowa State - These teams rank 8th (Texas) and 9th in Big 12 total offense, but the Longhorns are 3rd in defense while the Cyclones rank 9th. Texas is 10-1 all-time vs. ISU with 6 wins that would have eclipsed this week's spread. The computer trend line is down to 14.84.
Texas won 48-45. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

LOUISVILLE (-14) by 22.30 over N.C. State - The Wolfpack held a 38-35 lead over FSU at the end of the 3rd quarter on September 27. Since then, they have scored a total of 16 points and have been outscored 71-14 in the last two games.
Louisville won 30-18. The computer won 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: 40-5 SU (.889), 19-26 ATS (.422)
This Week: 4-0 SU (1.000), 3-1 ATS (.750)
PAST RECORDS

Friday, October 17
BOISE STATE (-16) by 5.14 over Fresno State - The computer's preseason forecast had Fresno State winning this game by 2.93 so it's reversed itself by 8 points, but that's still well short of the 16-point line.
Boise State won 37-27. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 18
FLORIDA STATE (-13.5) by 7.12 over Notre Dame - The computer's trend line is only 3. Both teams rank in the 30's and 40's in total offense and total defense. Only 1 of the 7 previous meetings was determined by more than 10 points - a 37-0 win by FSU in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. This is the first meeting in the regular season since 2003.
Florida State won 31-27. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Michigan State (-14.5) by 8.57 over INDIANA - The Hoosiers haven't lost at home by more than 13 points to the Spartans since 2002 and even won the 2006 meeting. Both teams have potent offenses, but the Indiana defense only ranks 80th while MSU ranks 12th.
Michigan State won 56-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

TEXAS TECH (-14.5) by 11.47 over Kansas - The trend line is 5.15. Texas Tech ranks 115th in total defense. Kansas ranks 115th in total offense. The Red Raiders are 14-1 all-time vs. the Jayhawks but only 23 of the last 11 meetings would have beaten this week's spread.
Texas Tech won 34-21. 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: 26-33 SU (.441), 29-30 ATS (.492)
This Week: 6-3 SU (.667), 6-3 ATS (.667)
PAST RECORDS

Tuesday, October 14
Louisiana-Lafayette by 1.49 over TEXAS STATE (-1) - The Ragin' Cajuns have lost 10.49 power points in the computer since the start of the season. In other words, they are well underperforming expectations. Texas State is averaging 448 yards and 32 ppg in its 4 meetings vs. FBS schools. UL-L is averaging 360 yards and 19.5 ppg in its 4 games vs. FBS schools.
Louisiana-Lafayette won 34-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 18
OHIO by 0.35 over Akron (-4) - The trend line actually gives the ZIps about a 7-point advantage. Ohio ranks 120th nationally on offense and 92nd on defense. Akron has the 2nd-best defense in the MAC.
Ohio won 23-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TEXAS A&M by 1.72 over Alabama - Interestingly, the computer spread is a half-point higher now than it was in the preseason. It's a little hard to grasp when you look at the stats. While the Aggie offense ranks 4th nationally and 'Bama's is 19th, the Tide defense outranks A&M 3rd to 71st. Alabama has been in an offensive slump scoring just 17 points in its last 3 halves of football.
Alabama won 59-0. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

KENT STATE by 0.35 over Army (-5.5) - Army runs and runs and runs, ranking 4th nationally. Kent State ranks 109th in stopping the run. In other words, I'm NOT buying this computer upset pick.
Kent State won 39-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Missouri by 1.85 over FLORIDA (-4.5) - I have a difficult time endorsing this pick after last week's debacle at home against Georgia (a 34-0 loss). These are two terrible offenses. Florida's defense ranks 40th and Missouri ranks 57th. Judging by stats alone, UF would have a slight edge and home field advantage. But the stats aren't all that telling and the Gators are just 2-5 in their last 7 home games vs. FBS schools. Missouri won last year's meeting 36-17.
Missouri won 42-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.

NORTH CAROLINA by 6.69 over Georgia Tech (-1.5) - Georgia Tech's one-trick pony offense is growing increasingly tiresome to even the Yellow Jacket faithful as they've watched their team basically play .500 ball for the last 20 games. But they've won 5 straight vs. the Tar Heels and 14 of the last 16.
North Carolina won 48-43. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Utsa by 2.25 over LOUISIANA TECH (-6.5) - UTSA was favored by more than 16 points in the preseason so this game is trending heavily toward Louisiana Tech. The Roadrunners need a win badly to avoid going 2 games down in the East division race of Conference USA.
Louisiana Tech won 27-20. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

San Jose State by 7.19 over WYOMING (-1) - The Spartans have had an extra week to prepare for this game while the Cowboys are coming off a 38-28 loss at Hawaii. Most of the lines had flipped to SJSU by 1 as of Tuesday afternoon.
San Jose State won 27-20 in OT. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TULSA by 7.32 over Usf (-1) - USF hasn't scored more than 17 points in any FBS game this season.
USF won 38-30. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.



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