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10/22/13-10/26/13


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.
2012 Regular Season: 94-27 SU (.777), 67-54 ATS (.554)
2013 Regular Season: 70-7 SU (.909), 50-27 ATS (.649)
This Week: 13-1 SU (.929), 11-3 ATS (.786)
PAST RECORDS

Tuesday, October 22
Louisiana-Lafayette (-4.5) by 7.85 over ARKANSAS STATE - The computer's margin for UL-L has increased 3.81 points since the preseason as the Ragin' Cajuns (4-2, 2-0) have reeled off 4 straight wins and taken the early lead in the Sun Belt race. However, Arkansas State represents the toughest team they've faced since falling at Kansas State on September 7 as the Red Wolves (3-3, 1-0) are the only other team in the Sun Belt without a conference loss. These teams have split the last 12 meetings with Arkansas State taking the last two after UL-L won the previous 3.
Louisiana-Lafayette won 23-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Thursday, October 24
MISSISSIPPI STATE (-9.5) by 16.82 over Kentucky - Kentucky ranks last in the SEC in just about every major statistical category. MSU ranks 4th in total defense and 7th in total offense.
Mississippi State won 28-22. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Friday, October 25
BYU (-6.5) by 8.06 over Boise State - The computer's margin for this game has only moved fractionally since the preseason. The Cougars already have home wins this year over Texas by 19 and Georgia Tech by 18. BSU is 1-2 on the road.
BYU won 37-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 26
Ball State (-11.5) by 14.25 over AKRON - Ball State's only loss was at North Texas as the Cardinals bring a 7-1 record and a 5-game winning streak to Akron. The Zips are coming off a win over Miami (Ohio) that ended losing streaks of 30 straight road games, 28 straight FBS games and 19 straight conference games (MAC).
Ball State won 42-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Arizona (-17) by 20.40 over COLORADO - Arizona ranks 13th nationally in rushing offense with Ka'Deem Carey leading the FBS at 160 yards per game after last week's 236-yard performance against Utah. He's ran for at least 128 yards in all five games he's played since sitting out the opener. Colorado ranks 79th in rushing defense.
Arizona won 44-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Baylor (-35.5) by 37.24 over KANSAS - I generally shy way from taking games with lines this high, but Baylor has posted 70 points or more in 4 games and won 3 of those by 57 or more. The computer trend line actually puts this game up around 46 in favor of the Bears.
Baylor won 59-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

BOWLING GREEN (-2.5) by 7.51 over Toledo - BGSU getting 2-1/2 at home seems a bit absurd. After all, the Falcons are 5-2, 3-0 while the Rockets are 4-3, 2-1 and Bowling Green has the MAC's No. 3 defense and No. 1 offense.
Toledo won 28-25. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Clemson (-13) by 18.42 over MARYLAND - The Terps have been a different team at home than on the road, but they simply aren't good enough to stay within 2 scores of the Tigers. In its last 3 games, Maryland has gone 1-2 vs. the ACC and did manage to post 27 points in a 1-point win over a terrible Virginia team, but the Terps were held to 0 and 10 against FSU and that juggernaut known as Wake Forest.
Clemson won 40-27. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Georgia Tech (-8.5) by 17.29 over VIRGINIA - The nation's 4th-ranked offense goes against Virginia's 53rd-ranked rushing defense. The computer margin for this game has jumped 5.40 points since the preseason.
Georgia Tech won 35-25. The computer won SU, won ATS.

KANSAS STATE (-7.5) by 12.49 over West Virginia - As much as Kansas State has been a disappointment this season, the computer's margin on this game has only budged 0.23 points since the preseason. Throw out a bunch of garbage time points at Baylor and WVU has a difficult time scoring at all on the road.
Kansas State won 35-12. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Louisville (-21) by 25.39 over USF - The computer said the Cardinals wouldn't cover last week versus UCF. This week, the computer trend line says UL should win in an easy blowout.
Louisville won 34-3. The computer won SU, won ATS.

North Texas (-10) by 22.51 over SOUTHERN MISS - UNT was favored by 15.52 in the preseason and that line has jumped by 6.99 points. USM is in the throes of an 18-game losing streak.
North Texas won 55-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

SAN JOSE STATE (-3.5) by 13.77 over Wyoming - The Cowboys were steamrolled at home last by Colorado State while SJSU has had two weeks to prepare.
San Jose State won 51-44. The computer won SU, won ATS.

UTSA (-3.5) by 8 over Uab - The computer has liked the Roadrunners by around 8 points since the preseason and UTSA outranks the Blazers statistically on both sides of the ball.
UTSA won 52-31. The computer won SU, won ATS.


HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2012 Regular Season: 52-17 SU (.754), 42-27 ATS (.609)
2013 Regular Season: 50-8 SU (.862), 29-29 ATS (.500)
This Week: 4-3 SU (.571), 4-3 ATS (.571)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, October 24
Marshall (10.5) by 5.49 over MIDDLE TENNESSEE - MTSU doesn't make a habit of getting blown out at home and Marshall is 1-2 on the road this year with the only win coming in a 24-23 nailbiter at FAU.
Middle Tennessee won 51-49. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 26
ALABAMA (-26.5) by 22.40 - 'Bama has won each of the last 3 meetings by 31 points, but the Vols have shown much improvement over the course of the season and are coming off of their biggest win in a few years after downing South Carolina 23-21 last week in Knoxville. The Tide has been rolling through an easy stretch of their schedule as they faced Georgia State, Kentucky and Arkansas.
Alabama won 45-10. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

AUBURN (-28) by 14.25 over Fau - The Owls rank 30th nationally in total defense while Auburn ranks 90th. FAU ranks 85th in total offense. The Tigers rank 19th, but the offensive numbers are inflated by the last 2 games that saw them total 712 yards vs. Western Carolina and 615 against a horrible Texas A&M defense.
Auburn won 45-10. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

KENT STATE (-7) by 3.01 over Buffalo - The computer favored Kent State 14.04 in the preseason so the margin has dropped 11.03 points. The Bulls have allowed a total of 29 points and an average of 249.5 yards in their last 4 games. I would expect an outright Buffalo win by a TD or more.
Buffalo won 41-21. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Fresno State (-8) by 0.30 over SAN DIEGO STATE - The computer liked SDSU in this game by 9.53 points in the preseason so the trend is pointing in Fresno State's favor. But this is a battle for the top spot of the West division standings in the Mountain West Conference and the computer picked the Aztecs to win it all.
Fresno State won 35-28 in OT. The computer won SU, won ATS.

RUTGERS (-9.5) by 3.36 over Houston - Rutgers was favored by 10.06 in the preseason and just 3.36 now. That puts the trend in Houston's favor, possibly even for an outright win.
Houston won 49-14. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

TEXAS A&M (-18.5) by 7.55 over Vanderbilt - The Aggies simply don't stop teams from scoring. They only wins they have that top this week's spread came against Rice (by 21), Sam Houston State and SMU (by 29).
Texas A&M won 56-24. 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.
2012 Regular Season: 36-50 SU (.419), 42-44 ATS (.488)
2013 Regular Season: 36-32 SU (.529), 46-22 ATS (.676)
This Week: 4-2 SU (.667), 5-1 ATS (.833)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, October 26
Northwestern by 1.73 over IOWA (-3) - Just 3 weeks ago, the Wildcats were unbeaten and hosting College GameDay prior to the Ohio State game. That loss has sent NU reeling to a 0-3 start in Big Ten play, including a 20-17 home loss to Minnesota last week when the 'Cats were favored by 10.79. With that kind of momentum spitting in their face, a road trip to Iowa isn't going to be easy. The computer liked Northwestern by 14.16 points in the preseason, but now sets the margin at just 1.73 to represent a huge drop of 12.43 points.
Iowa won 17-10 in OT. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Western Michigan by 2.17 over MASSACHUSETTS (-2) - A 1-6 UMass team hosts a 0-8 Western Michigan squad. The Minutemen picked up their second win in two years just a couple of weeks ago when they downed equally hapless Miami (Ohio) 17-10 as the 17 points scored is the most they've managed in a game all year. WMU is on a 10-game losing streak with the last victory coming in early November of last year. The Broncos were favored by 11.25 in the preseason so the trend actually points convincingly toward UMass.
Western Michigan won 31-30. The computer won SU, won ATS.

MISSOURI by 2.35 over South Carolina (-5) - This game was all over the map with the sportsbooks before settling into a consensus for Missouri at -3. QB Connor Shaw is out for the Gamecocks and backup Dylan Thompson was listed as probable. And of course, QB James Franklin is out for Missouri.
South Carolina won 27-24 in 2 OT's. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

NAVY by 0.82 over Pittsburgh (-6.5) - The big question in this game is whether or not Pitt can stop Navy's ground attack. The Panthers rank 33rd in rushing yards allowed per game while the Midshipmen rank 6th in rushing offense. Pitt's offense leans toward the pass and Navy ranks 27th in aerial defense.
Navy won 24-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TEXAS STATE by 1.06 over South Alabama (-1) - The 4-3 Bobcats host the 3-3 Jaguars in San Marcos. The computer liked Texas State by 3.99 in the preseason so the margin has changed dramatically and Dennis Franchione's team has played the tougher OOC schedule. The Bobcats rank last in the Sun Belt in total offense, but 3rd in rushing offense and 2nd in total defense. USA ranks 4th in the conference on total offense and total defense.
Texas State won 33-31. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Texas by 4.13 over TCU (-2.5) - TCU beat Texas last year for just the 2nd time in the last 30 meetings, but TCU has just 2 home wins in the series since 1958 and the last came in 1992. The computer's margin for Texas has dropped a modest 1.52 points since the preseason.
Texas won 30-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.


ODDS/PICKS
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