Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fab Five: Week IX

It was another forgettable week for your humble prognosticator. I went 3-7 and pulled my overall record even lower to 23-36-1. I will try and post just my second winning week. As always, home teams are in Bold.

5 Dogs I Like

Last Week: 2-3
Overall: 17-23

Virginia +14 Miami
Believe it or not, the Cavaliers have actually beaten Miami 3 of the last 5 years, with all 3 wins coming as a betting line underdog. Miami beat Georgia Tech by 17 last week, but was only able to 262 yards of offense against a suspect Yellow Jacket defense. Look for Virginia to keep this one close on Thursday night.

Tulane +16.5 East Carolina
The SDPI numbers love Tulane, and while I don't trust the Green Wave a great deal, they are catching three score in this game. With my track record this season, what do you have to lose?

Oregon State +5 Utah
Since opening the season with poor showings versus Sacramento State and Wisconsin, the Beavers have quietly rebounded and played well in their last 5 games. While they have still gone just 2-3 in those games, a few lucky bounces here or there and they could have won 4 or even all 5. Without quarterback Jordan Wynn, Utah has issues on offense. In addition, the Utes have not stayed within 9 points of any of their Pac-12 opponents. The Utes may have to wait another week to pick up their initial Pac-12 win.

Syracuse +3 Louisville
Both teams won a pair of Friday night Big East showdowns last week to avoid 0-2 starts in the conference. The loser basically out of the running for the Big East title, and if Louisville loses, is likely out of bowl contention. Syracuse reminds me a lot of Jim Grobe's Wake Forest teams. The Orange will likely never be a serious national threat, but they are good enough to contend for bowl year in and year out, and occasionally pull off a huge upset. I don't think Louisville is that good, so even take the Orange to cover and potentially even win outright.

Michigan St +4.5 Nebraska
Nebraska is like Michigan-lite on offense. Taylor Martinez is not quite the running threat Denard Robinson is. He is very comparable as a passer, which is to say, he's a much better runner. Michigan State proved they can shut down one-dimensional offensive attacks in limiting Michigan to just 14 points and 250 yards two weeks ago. Look for more of the same here.

Five Faves I Like

Last Week: 1-4
Overall 16-23-1

Central Michigan -7.5 Akron
The Chippewas have suffered through a second straight disappointing season. However, the Akron Zips are the cure for what ails ya. The Zips have only stayed within 10 points of a single IA opponent this year, Eastern Michigan.

Clemson -4.5 Georgia Tech
Clemson reminds me a lot of last year's Oregon team. They sometimes take awhile to get going, but eventually their offense and a few timely takeaways by the defense snow you under in the second half. Clemson is unbeaten versus the spread this season, and this number seems very low considering how poorly Georgia Tech has played of late.

Stanford -7.5 Southern Cal
Like Clemson, Stanford is unbeaten versus the spread this season. Their closest win was by 27 points at Arizona. They have been the most statistically dominant Pac-12 team in the early going and should continue laying claim to their top-5 ranking with a relatively easy road win over Southern Cal.

Texas Tech -15 Iowa State
I never thought they would win in Norman, but the Red Raiders are were an under-valued team heading into that game. From the looks of this spread, they appear to be under-valued here as well. Iowa State has been less than impressive on the road in conference play, losing by 23 to Baylor and 35 to Missouri. Look for more of the same here.

Georgia -3 Vs Florida
Georgia has played very well since opening the season 0-2. Actually they have played very well since opening the season 0-1. The Bulldogs outplayed the Gamecocks, but lost thanks to turnovers and a well-timed fake punt. Meanwhile, Florida has disintegrated after their 4-0 start, losing to LSU and Alabama, but also to Auburn. Each loss has come by double-digits and the Gators have struggled mightily on offense. Look for Georgia to continue their winning ways here.

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