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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.
|The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
|2013 Regular Season: 111-18 SU (.860), 78-51 ATS (.605)
2014 Regular Season: 64-28 SU (.696), 40-52 ATS (.435)
Last 3 Weeks: 24-6 SU (.800), 19-11 ATS (.633)
Last Week: 7-1 SU (.875), 5-3 ATS (.625)
This Week: 5-3 SU (.625), 4-4 ATS (.500)
Tuesday, November 11
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (-2.5) by 2.67 over Toledo - The computer's trend line is NIU by 5. The Huskies have won 4 straight in the series, and 5 of the last 6. Additionally, NIU has won 3 straight at home vs. the Rockets.
Northern Illinois won 27-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.
Thursday, November 13
USC (-14.5) by 24.88 over California - The Trojans have taken 10 straight in the series and each of the last 5 would have topped this week's spread. USC's pass defense has as many interceptions as it has allowed TD's with 11 going each way, and that number is skewed by a poor performance vs. Arizona State when the Sun Devils had 5 TD passes to 0 INT's in a 38-34 Southern California loss.
USC won 38-30 after blowing most of a 31-2 lead. The computer won SU, lost ATS.
Friday, November 14
UCF (-18) by 21.45 over Tulsa - Both teams have been disappointing, but Tulsa has been a disaster. UCF has the American conference's 2nd-best rushing defense, best pass defense and overall best defense.
UCF won 31-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.
Saturday, November 15
ARKANSAS STATE (-14) by 16.79 over Appalachian State - Statistically, these are 2 of the better teams in the Sun Belt on both sides of the ball, but Arkansas State's 5 FBS wins have come against teams that have won a cumulative 17 games while Appy State's 3 FBS wins are vs. teams with a combined 6 wins.
Appalachian State won 37-32. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.
Arizona State (-9) by 9.56 over OREGON STATE - The Beavs have dropped 4 straight to Utah Stanford, Cal and Washington State. The Sun Devils have won 5 straight over USC, Stanford, Washington, Utah and Notre Dame. The computer's trend line likes ASU by more than 3 touchdowns.
Oregon State won 35-27. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.
IDAHO (-4) by 4.95 over Troy - The 2-8 Trojans visit the 1-8 Vandals in a game that will everyone sitting on the edge of their seats. I'm only picking this game because the computer trend line favors Idaho by a dozen.
Troy won 34-17. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.
Iowa (-5.5) by 6.75 over ILLINOIS - Iowa (6-3) looks to regroup from a 51-14 shellacking at Minnesota last Saturday while Illinois surprised the Gophers by 4 just a week before. This game will be further proof that transitive property is not an effective method for determining the outcome of future games. The computer's trend line has Iowa favored by 9.
Iowa won 30-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.
Texas (-1) by 2.30 over OKLAHOMA STATE - The Longhorns were a nearly 4-point underdog in the preseason, but are now a computer trend line favorite by 8. These teams are headed in opposite directions with OSU losing 3 straight while Texas has won 3 of its last 4. The Longhorn defense is 3rd-best in the conference while neither team is particularly scary on offense.
Texas won 28-7. The computer won SU, won 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: 58-7 SU (.892), 27-38 ATS (.415)
Last 3 Weeks: 14-2 SU (.875), 7-9 ATS (.438)
Last Week: 2-2 SU (.500), 3-1 ATS (.750)
This Week: 8-0 SU (1.000), 3-5 ATS (.375)
Saturday, November 15
WESTERN MICHIGAN (-25.5) by 22.05 Eastern Michigan - WMU has won 3 straight over EMU by 6 points or less. For whatever reason, these games are almost always close. Neither team has won by more than 25 points since 2003.
Western Michigan won 51-7. The computer won SU, lost ATS.
Florida State (-2.5) by 1.77 over MIAMI, FL. - Both schools are among the best in the ACC offensively, but Miami rates much higher in total defense. Duke Johnson is averaging 134 yards rushing per game for the 'Canes with 5 straight 100-yard games, and 3 straight games of 162 yards or more. FSU has taken 4 straight in the series, and 7 of the last 9. The computer trend line gives Miami a 1-point edge in interrupting that streak, in addition to halting Florida State's streaks of 25 wins overall and 19 ACC victories.
Florida State won 30-26. The computer won SU, lost ATS.
Louisiana-Lafayette (-7) by 6.59 over LOUISIANA-MONROE - 4 of the last 5 meetings between these state rivals have been decided by 4 points or less. UL-M has the Sun Belt's 4th-best passing offense while the Ragin' Cajuns have the worst pass defense. But the Warhawks are last in total offense because they have only rushed for 784 yards all season.
Louisiana-Lafayette won 34-27. The computer won SU, won ATS.
WISCONSIN (-6) by 2.29 over Nebraska - Ameer Abdullah is probable for the 'Huskers which means both teams should present strong rushing attacks. But both teams are also good at stopping the run, so this game could actually be determined via the pass which has been a weak link for these squads. These teams haven't met since Wisconsin's 70-31 blowout in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game.
Wisconsin won 59-24. The computer won SU, lost ATS.
UTAH STATE (-16) by 15.62 over New Mexico - Other than a 58-23 loss to Arizona State, New Mexico hasn't lost any game by more than 11 points this season. The Lobos possess the league's best rushing offense and worst rushing defense. But Utah State has the conference's 9th-worst rushing offense and best rushing defense.
Utah State won 28-21. The computer won SU, won ATS.
N.C. STATE (-12.5) by 4.92 over Wake Forest - The home team has won this rivalry 7 straight times. This will be the 108th meting. The computer trend line is NCSU by 7.
N.C. State won 42-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.
PENN STATE (-10) by 9.23 over Temple - I must admit I am a bit stunned that the computer trend line only favors PSU by less than a point, but the past 3 meetings have been determined by 11 points or less. Temple has lost 31 straight to Penn State since a 1950 tie. There have been 38 meetings since Temple's last win in 1941.
Penn State won 30-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.
SOUTH ALABAMA (-4.5) by 2.55 over Texas State - Both teams are a game above .500 overall and in league play, and the matchup looks statistically even, so I'll default to the computer's trend line which has the Bobcats winning outright by 3.
South Alabama won 24-20. The computer won SU, won ATS.
|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: 40-45 SU (.471), 47-38 ATS (.553)
Last 3 Weeks: 10-10 SU (.500), 14-6 ATS (.700)
Last Week: 6-6 SU (.500), 9-3 ATS (.750)
This Week: 3-2 SU (.600), 3-2 ATS (.600)
Tuesday, November 11
BUFFALO by 1.27 over Akron (-3) - Akron has lost 3 straight games after a 4-2 start which included a win at Pitt. Buffalo has just 1 win over a FBS program and its head coach was fired a month ago. The computer trend line favors the Zips by 6-1/2.
Buffalo won 55-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.
Wednesday, November 12
Ball State by 8 over MASSACHUSETTS (-2.5) - UMass only has 2 wins despite being 5th in the MAC in scoring at 30.8 per game. The problem is the Minutemen defense is surrendering 35 per game. But Ball State scores 26.2 and give up 27 so there's not a huge difference there. The big surprise is the computer trend line which points to UMass winning by 15.
Massachusetts won 24-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.
Thursday, November 13
CINCINNATI by 3.42 over East Carolina (-1) (at the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium) - The trend line is Cincy by 2 over a team that was once ranked in the Top 25 and as high as 16th in the Coaches' Poll amidst a 6-1 start. ECU has had an extra week to prepare for this rebound game after losing at Temple on November 1. Meanwhile, the Bearcats have quietly improved to 5-3 behind the conference's 2nd-best offense (East Carolina ranks 1st).
Cincinnati won 54-46. The computer won SU, won ATS.
Saturday, November 15
Lsu by 5.41 over ARKANSAS (-1) - Arkansas had grown to a 2-1/2-point favorite by late Monday night, even though the Razorbacks own a 17-game conference losing streak that's currently the longest in the nation. And the computer trend line actually likes Arkansas by a touchdown after being projected in the preseason as an 18-point underdog in this game.
Arkansas won 17-0. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.
South Carolina by 3.90 over FLORIDA (-5) - Who'd have thunk at the start of the year that Florida would own the better record coming into this game. South Carolina was in the preseason conversation as a division favorite, a possible SEC title favorite, and even a national title contender. Now the 4-5 Gamecocks are just trying to get their heads back above water against the 5-3 Gators. The computer trend line has UF winning by 12.
South Carolina won 23-20 in OT. The computer won SU, won ATS.