Again, went 2-2 but this time hit my two unit play. It would have been a monster day had Iowa missed on its two point conversion. I always seem to get boned by this play regardless of the side I'm on. The worst was the Patriot vs. Bills game about 10 years ago. I had the Bills +3.5 and they were up 4 with two minutes to play. A series of horrendous calls including replays allowed the Bledsoe led Pats to score on a last second TD pass to Ben Coats. Wade Phillips was so incensed that he decided to pull his team off the field for the conversion. Snap the ball to the holder and he flips the ball to the kicker who runs it in for the cover. F' me.
My two wins this week, however, were rather routine and pretty well capped, with Mississippi dominating and Clemson the 4 point dog getting the outright win. F' Les Mile for not running up the score on Tulane.
Anywho, my record is now a respectable 10-7 and up 3.2 units. On to the bets, and make sure you check out Scipio's big twelve staple where even if you don't win money, you'll get to make fun of an overzealous Tech fan, intoxicated for the first time on Top 5 whiskey.
Act like you've been there before.
Iowa +7.5. 3 units. The rare 3 unit play for me. It's a situation that is a handicapper's wet dream. Undefeated teams coming off a bye week are just 16-59-1 against the spread. Combine that bit of technical support with the fact that Penn State has been relegated to score board watching after winning the purportedly "only tough game" on its schedule and the situation is perfect for a cover if not an outright upset. That's more than enough info to make this game a play for me at +7.5.
It gets even better when you look at the matchups. Penn State can be run on, and Iowa's ground attack that averagexs 5.6 yards per tote is just the club to take advantage. And QB Ricky Stanzi is managing the team much more effectively than he had earlier in the year. The Hawkeye offense will move the ball enough to put points on the board and frustrate the PSU stop unit. If Iowa can get to 20, they'll cover this number.
Defensively, Iowa allows just 4.7 yppl to a good offensive schedule averaging 5.5 yppl against an average defense. With Penn State QB Darryl Clark suffering from a concussion, look for the Nittany Lions to rely on Royster and their run game. This plays right into the teeth of the Iowa defense. I look for a low scoring affair that makes the 7.5 even more valuable. Iowa 21 Penn State 20.
Nevada -1 @ Fresno State. 1 unit Friday Night Special This game is a story of matchups. First, I'll grant you that these two defenses are virtual sieves, as the 72 point over/under total indicates. The problem for Fresno State is that it butters its bread running the ball, and the Wolfpack hold opponents to just 3.5 yards per rush against a schedule that averages 4.6.
Offensively, the Wolfpack averages over 7 yards per play against everyone not named Missouri and Texas tech. After Fresno gave up nearly 7 yards per play against a bad LA Tech offense that nets just 4.5 yppl against a schedule yielding 5.0, and it's easy to see how Nevada will move the ball at will. I'm looking for a comfortable 10 point victory. 41 to 31 Nevada.
Pretty as a Mike Clausen spiral.
New Mexico -3.5 @ UNLV. 2 units This is a bet against UNLV being able to pick up the slack left after the injury to all everything QB Omar Clayton. Clayton averaged an impressive 7 yards per pass and has 18 TD's to 4 Int's on the year. Backup Mike Clausen looked downright lost in backup duty last week vs. TCU. Look for a rough offensive outing by the Rebels. Think Larry Johnson jacking 3's in a one on one game with Christian Laetner.
Offensively, the Lobos have gotten better as freshman QB Brad Gruner has improved. Gruner is completing 68% of his passes in the last 4 games after struggling at 40% earlier in the season. The good news is that all Gruner needs to do is manage the game and be efficient because the Rebel rushing defense is going to be gashed by the Lobo ground attack. UNLV gives up 5.6 ypr against a schedule that totes it for just 4.8 on average. The UNLV rushing defense should get progressively worse as the game wears on because UNLV's offense won't be able to stay on the field to rest the D. And when Gruner needs to convert 3rd and long, UNLV's pass defense will be more than accommodating allowing 8.0 ypp against a schedule that throws it for 6.0 ypp. I like UNM in a laugher 35 to 14.
This week I'm all in.
It's a smaller card this week, but I really like these 3 games as my units will attest. Wow, that sounded weird.
Good luck on your action.