ESPN Insider Help, ESPN Chalk (Stanford Steve)

Discussion in 'Gambling Board' started by bro, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Menu
    ESPN

    Insider
    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 1 CFB bets
    Samaje Perine and the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners open their season on the road against the No. 15 Houston Cougars. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire
    12:34 PM ET
    • Chris Fallica
    • Steve Coughlin
    After an impressive 2015 season, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, and Chris Fallica of ESPN Stats & Information and College GameDay are back. Every week during the college football season, they'll give their best bets for picking the weekend's top college football games and, as a bonus, give one pick apiece free of charge.

    2015 season record:
    Fallica: 53-40-3 ATS (55.2 percent)
    Coughlin: 38-29-3 ATS (54.3 percent)

    2014 season record:
    Fallica: 44-40 ATS (52.4 percent)
    Coughlin: 45-28-1 ATS (60.8 percent)

    Note: Against the spread (ATS) and total picks are in bold. Odds are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Oklahoma Sooners (-11.5) vs. Houston Cougars
    PickCenter

    Over/under: 68



    [​IMG]
    Best college football Heisman bets, title bets, season win totals
    If you're looking to bet on college football, this is the file for you. Phil Steele and Will Harris give their top value bets for the 2016 season, including title bets, over/unders and more.

    • [​IMG]
      College football betting nuggets to know
      David Purdum talks with a variety of Vegas bookmakers to get the latest on betting action in college football, and gives over 100 useful betting nuggets to help bettors.
    • [​IMG]
      Betting previews for top 25 CFB teams
      Phil Steele, Chris Fallica and Stanford Steve give comprehensive betting previews of the top 25 college football teams, including how to bet their title odds and over/unders.


    Fallica: The Football Power Index sees a ton of value here, expecting a 19-point win for Oklahoma. That is a sizable difference from the Vegas line, and I have to simply trust our power ratings here. I also think all of the intangibles favor OU here. With talk of past preseason disappointments, along with hearing about Houston both potentially joining the Big 12 and being ready for a stage like this, Houston has become a trendy College Football Playoff pick.

    Do you think Bob Stoops and his staff have been drilling those things into the minds of the Oklahoma players? Yeah, I do too. Take into account that the Sooners have Ohio State and a trip to TCU within the first four games of the year, and it's easy to see how the Cougars will have Oklahoma's full attention. In looking back at last year, Houston kind of had a perfect storm: It caught Louisville early in the year when the Cards' QB situation was a mess, it had a couple of home comeback wins and held a huge emotional edge over Florida State in their bowl game.

    The Cougars lost a larger number of key contributors than one may realize. I'd be surprised if this was close in the fourth quarter.

    ATS pick: Oklahoma 38, Houston 20 (Confidence 8/10)

    Coughlin: This is my favorite matchup of experienced quarterbacks in the opening weekend. Not to put any more pressure on Cougars QB Greg Ward Jr., but no other team in the country has more to lose than Houston. If it falls to the Sooners, they won't get talked about until November. I'm really interested to see the development of Sooners QB Baker Mayfield without his No. 1 target, Sterling Shepard, and how well he adapts without Shepard is the biggest determining factor in whether or not Oklahoma has a successful season.

    We know how good Sooners RB Samaje Perine is, as he needs only 1,054 rushing yards to become No. 1 on the all-time Oklahoma rushing list; he starts the season in 10th. Just think about some of the names on that list. After the season Houston had last year, you can bet that Tom Herman's crew has the full attention of Mike and Bob Stoops too. Houston led the country in takeaways, and they are going to have to create numerous turnovers to hang around in this game. I see both offenses having big days and see a bunch of points being scored. Take the over.

    Pick: Oklahoma 49, Houston 24 (over the total of 68 points)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    UCLA Bruins(+3) at Texas A&M Aggies
    PickCenter

    Fallica: I think the UCLA defense has a chance to be very good this season, and the Bruins have a huge edge in the QB position in this matchup. The only big question is whether or not the UCLA offensive line can hold its own against Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. I hear Josh Rosen loves the new offensive scheme -- note that former offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone is now at Texas A&M -- and I don't think there will be a drop-off at all at the RB position with Texas native Soso Jamabo replacing Paul Perkins.

    The last time we saw Trevor Knight, he was 5-of-16 with an interception as the Sooners nearly coughed up a huge lead last year vs TCU, when Baker Mayfield was sidelined with a concussion. As big as the perception that Kyle Field is a big home field advantage is, keep in mind that the Aggies are 1-6 there vs. ranked opponents under Kevin Sumlin. I think the Bruins go into College Station, win and set themselves up for a run at the College Football Playoff.

    ATS pick: UCLA 28, Texas A&M 24 (Confidence 8/10)

    Coughlin: My partner, Chris "The Bear" Fallica, on the Behind The Bets: The College Years podcast last week, brought up the question of who among all of the SEC Coaches is under the most pressure in Week 1. Many have answered with Les Miles, which I can't argue with, but I'd have to say it's Aggies' head coach Kevin Sumlin. With that feeling, I see A&M coming out with a huge effort at home in front of one of the best home crowds in the country. To hear defensive coordinator John Chavis this past week at his press conference saying, "We've got the best pair of DEs in the country ... wouldn't trade them for anyone else," makes me think that that he feels more confident in this defense than he did last year.

    That means something to me because I think "Chief" is the best at what he does in the country. The combination of defensive pressure and the life of the 12th man, it seems like it'll be too much for Sophomore QB Josh Rosen. The trend of coaches facing the school they left in Week 1 continues with this game, as Aggies offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone faces the Bruins. I see a big day for the A&M wide receivers -- gig 'em and lay the 3 points.

    ATS pick: Texas A&M 31, UCLA 23

    USC Trojans(+11.5) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide[/paste:font]
    PickCenter

    Fallica: I am well aware of the success that Nick Saban has had at Alabama in season openers -- for those who aren't, he's 9-0, winning each of them by double figures (by an average margin of victory of 27.3 PPG). So why am I so hesitant now to lay the 11.5? I guess the uncertainty at QB for the Tide has me a little concerned, at least right off the bat. If you look back at 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015 -- the four previous times the Tide started with a first-year QB under Saban -- those QBs combined for three TDs and six INTs, along with six total sacks. While they went on to have a great season each time, none of those teams were great off the bat. Three of those season openers were against Power 5 teams, and two of them were a pair of 10-point wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia, to go along with the 18-point win over Wisconsin last year.

    I think the Crimson Tide will play it fairly safe on offense and USC has enough skill on both sides of the ball, despite having a new starter of its own, to hang around. The FPI calls for Alabama by five, so it too thinks this one could be closer than most might think.

    ATS pick: Alabama 31, USC 21(Confidence 6/10)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish(-3.5) vs. Texas Longhorns
    PickCenter

    Over/under: 60

    Coughlin: Notre Dame is playing a true road game in a season opener for the first time since 2006 -- something only the Irish could pull off. Maybe it's also the reason they haven't won a national title outright since 1989. The Fighting Irish are one of five teams in the country to return two QBs that beat a Power 5 team last year. Head coach Brian Kelly has said Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer will both play in this game, which I love, and here's why; both guys throw the ball accurately, both guys have great field presence and awareness and both guys have playmaking ability, if things break down. There also isn't a better coach to handle multiple QBs, at least to me, than Brian Kelly. I don't think this will be an issue with the team chemistry either, because when both guys are out there, they will be trying to be better than the other guys and, last I checked, athletes are best when they are competing... and not transferring.

    With all that said, they are going to get all they can handle from a hungry and energized Longhorn squad. I see Texas having some issues with their QB play and see the edge Notre Dame has at the position as the difference in a low-scoring game. Take the under.

    The pick: Notre Dame 20, Texas 13 (under the total of 60 points)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    North Carolina Tar Heels (+3) vs. Georgia Bulldogs
    PickCenter

    Fallica: I like the Tar Heels in this game. Yes, Nick Chubb is ready to go, but the Georgia QB situation scares me. We kind of know what we have with Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey, so will Jacob Eason be ready to play and match UNC point-for-point in his first college game? The Bulldogs also have some concerns on the front seven and that's not good, as UNC possesses one of the more underrated backs in the nation in Elijah Hood, a deep WR corps and QB Mitch Trubisky.

    I know UNC couldn't stop Baylor's running game in the bowl game last year, but I'm willing to think the Tar Heels will use that as a motivation this week, knowing they must improve vs. one of the best backs in the country. Larry Fedora has had some early-season struggles in Chapel Hill, but I get the sense that this game might be different. I trust the UNC offense more than any other unit on the field here.

    ATS pick: North Carolina 36,Georgia 27 (Confidence 7/10)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Fordham Rams(+26.5) vs. Navy Midshipmen
    Coughlin: I know what you're saying. Week 1 and you're picking Fordham? Really?

    Yes, I am serious. The Rams come into this game with first year Head coach Andrew Breiner, but he is in his fifth year on the Fordham staff after serving as the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach in his first four years. Why does this matter? Under Breiner's tutelage, the Fordham offense has ranked at the top of the NCAA FCS in each of the past four years. They also have junior running back Chase Edmonds, the 2016 Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. And, in what might be the most important factor, they have senior quarterback Kevin Anderson, who threw for 3,183 yards and 32 TDs last year. The Rams have the firepower to stay within striking distance in this game, and Navy returns only one starter on offense, which hopefully means the Midshipmen will be a little rusty with the ball in their hands. Take the Rams to cover.

    ATS pick: Navy 42, Fordham 21

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Texas State Bobcats (+21) at Ohio Bobcats
    PickCenter


    Fallica: The Everett Withers era begins in San Marcos, and that alone should give a boost to a program that took a step back last year, going 3-9 and just 2-9 vs. the number. There are a couple of reasons to like Texas State here; QB Tyler Jones returns, and the defense can't help but be better with Withers on the sideline. Withers has seen a lot of turnover on the team for a variety of reasons, so the roster numbers are a bit low. That's not an entirely bad thing, as it means that starters could be playing a lot longer, even if they're well behind. Ohio is breaking in an almost entirely new secondary, and it could be susceptible to some big plays. FPI projects this to be a 13-point win for Ohio, so I'll put some faith in our power ratings and show some love for the underdog.

    ATS pick: Ohio 40, Texas State 24(Confidence 5/10)

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments

    Clay Helton isn't just replacing a coach, but an entire USC era
    play
    Helton honored to represent USC brand (1:16)
    12:00 AM ET
    • [​IMG]
      Ivan MaiselESPN Senior Writer
    LOS ANGELES -- Clay Helton, whose first season as head coach of No. 20 USC begins against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium (8 p.m. ET, ABC), is replacing more than just a coach. He is replacing an era.

    When Pat Haden, the former Trojans athletic director, took "interim" off of Helton's title last November, USC formally stopped trying to extend Pete Carroll's nine-year tenure of glitz and glamour.



    [​IMG]
    USC will be wary of a whistling Lane Kiffin against Alabama
    You may think Lane Kiffin, once run out as USC's head coach, wants to stick it to the Trojans. But the emotions are more complicated.



    "USC is not Hollywood," Helton said.

    Wait just a minute, Coach. Or should we say "Cut!"?

    John Wayne played for USC, for heaven's sake. Frank Gifford and O.J. Simpson glided through the Trojans line and into TV careers. During Carroll's wildly successful tenure -- two national championships, three Heisman Trophy winners, seven conference championships and 28 All-Americans -- USC became Reggie Bushand Kim Kardashian. Matt Leinart and Lindsay Lohan. Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell on the sideline.

    That's exactly who the new head coach of USC isn't. Carroll, the bling coach, is gone. His successors, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, melted in front of TMZ's lights. They proved ill-equipped to handle the pressures of trying to win with their hands tied by NCAA probation. The devastating penalties took away 30 scholarships over three seasons and resulted in USC being stripped of two Pac-12 titles and Bush's Heisman.

    The probation is over, too, and there is a sense of a fresh start at USC. Sark's replacement, Helton, hunts alligators. He's courtly and self-deprecating, two traits that every Southern parent demands. His mantra is "faith, family and football," and those items are not just in alphabetical order. And the only Kim hanging around the Trojans these days is Helton's father. Kim Helton was the head coach of the Houston Cougarsfor seven seasons and spent 12 as an NFL assistant.

    To repeat, USC is not Hollywood, at least in the mind of its new head coach.

    Max Brownesaid. "They may miss class, and on Friday afternoon, I might die for those two hours, but I'll be able to sleep through a class for the rest of the way. It's one thing if you miss a class, you get punished yourself and only yourself. But when your teammates are also getting punished? That's a whole other element."

    Take the feeling of family. Clay hired his brother, Tyson, to coordinate the Trojans' passing game. You can cry nepotism, at least until you see that for the last two seasons, he ran the Western Kentucky offense in which Brandon Doughty threw for 9,885 yards and 97 touchdowns.

    Tyson Helton brought offensive line coach Neil Callaway with him. Callaway was on the Auburn staff when Clay Helton signed there as a quarterback in 1990. Callaway spent four seasons as Kim Helton's offensive coordinator at Houston. Kim Helton spent five seasons as Callaway's offensive coordinator at UAB.

    Callaway started for Bear Bryant on the Alabama team that beat USC in 1977. He spent more than two decades as an assistant at Auburn, Georgia and Alabama before he went to UAB. Callaway has a voice that's part syrup, part metal grinder. Actually, he just grinds up players.

    "He brings us Southern hospitality, Southern gentlemanship and very much a Southern toughness," Clay Helton said. "I just knew that experience, that knowledge, that toughness and physicality was something that I really wanted for our culture."

    Helton warned his offensive line.

    "I said, 'Guys, just understand,'" Helton said. "'You're going to think this guy is literally the devil. But after a month you're going to love him, because you're gonna know he's going to make you better as a player.'"

    After three sessions of spring practice, offensive tackle Zach Banner cornered Helton in the locker room and said, "Coach, know this. We're taking Coach Callaway out to dinner and you're never going to see him again because we're going to kill him."

    "We got a good bunch of guys," Callaway said of his players. "I don't mean they're all angels. I ain't saying that. But all the kids are into ball. It's important to them."

    There ain't been a whole lot of Trojans assistant coaches saying "ain't" lately.

    Toa Lobendahn said of Helton. "A big thing in life for me is giving out love. I feel he's a big proponent of that. The way he treats us and respects us and even coaches us, that's the way we want it to be.

    "The only time I've ever seen him get [upset] is if we've done something outside of football -- if we've left our dining area dirty and [the custodial staff] had to clean up for us and he had to hear about it, or we left our players' lounge dirty."

    "He's probably the most genuine guy I've ever met, not even just [in] football but outside of it," Browne said of Helton.

    All of which shows how Helton is wrong. USC is still Hollywood, but under Helton, it's rated G. Frank Capra would have loved him.

    Helton was practically born in a college football stadium. Kim was a graduate assistant at Florida in 1972, the year Clay was born.

    "Heck, the first year of my life we're living in the Swamp," Helton said. "We're living in the dorms right at the stadium. I grew up in the profession."

    As a quarterback at Auburn and then for his dad at Houston, Helton proved he would be a better coach than player. As soon as he graduated, Duke head coach Fred Goldsmith, an old colleague of Kim, made Clay a graduate assistant. A year later, at age 23, Helton became the Blue Devils' running backs coach. He went into the family business. The construction business lost a hardhat.

    "I think my mom is still mad at me," Helton said. "I was nine hours short of a mechanical engineering degree. I had enough hours to get an interdisciplinary math and science degree."

    Helton spent 10 seasons as an offensive assistant coach at Memphis, rising to the job of offensive coordinator. He coached All-America running back DeAngelo Williams. And in his last season, 2009, as the Tigers plummeted to a 2-10 record that cost head coach Tommy West and his staff their jobs, Helton made an impression.

    watch the video of the team's reaction when Haden told the USC players their new coach would be their current coach. It looks like every World Series celebration you've ever seen, minus the champagne.

    With all of Helton's new responsibilities, Browne said his head coach hasn't changed one bit. The feeling around the team, though, changed a lot.

    "Less on edge, I guess," Browne said. "Just to be going out and playing a game, playing football, I think it was nice to just kind of move on from all that. It just seemed more free, and I don't want to say that because it makes it sound like it was unstructured. It wasn't unstructured. But it seemed like guys were just going out there and having fun."

    If there is to be a Clay Helton era at USC, the lights, camera and action begin Saturday night. USC football is still Hollywood. There's just a new guy in charge of the studio.

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments
     
  2. Irish226

    Irish226 Well-Known Member
    Donor

    That'd be great to get their article each week if possible.
     
    LeVar Burton and bro like this.
  3. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Donor
    Tennessee VolunteersToronto Blue JaysLos Angeles DodgersDenver NuggetsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    I'll post the link and tag letan on Thursdays
     
  4. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Rough start for those guys.
     
    steamengine likes this.
  5. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Donor
    Tennessee VolunteersToronto Blue JaysLos Angeles DodgersDenver NuggetsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    yep, did 50/50 my own picks and their picks. I did much better myself.
     
  6. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    They normally are pretty good. Thanks letan for posting it.
     
    letan likes this.
  7. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Insider
    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 2 CFB bets
    Josh Dobbs struggled in Tennessee's overtime win over Appalachian State. Can he turn it around Week 2? Skip Williams/Icon Sportswire
    11:08 AM ET
    • Chris Fallica
    • Steve Coughlin
    After an impressive 2015 season, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and Chris Fallica of ESPN Stats & Information and College GameDay are back. Every week during the college football season, they'll give their best bets for picking the weekend's top college football games and, as a bonus, give one pick apiece free of charge.

    2015 season record:
    Fallica: 53-40-3 ATS (55.2 percent)
    Coughlin: 38-29-3 ATS (54.3 percent)

    2014 season record:
    Fallica: 44-40 ATS (52.4 percent)
    Coughlin: 45-28-1 ATS (60.8 percent)

    Note: Against the spread (ATS) and total picks are in bold. Odds are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Virginia Tech Hokies (+11.5) vs. Tennessee Volunteers
    PickCenter

    Fallica: It could serve as a blessing in disguise for Tennessee that the Vols struggled in their opener. Coach Butch Jones has all the material he needs to show the team how much it needs to improve and that the offseason press clippings can be shredded. But at the same time, a lot of the questions I had about Tennessee entering the season still remain true. Can Josh Dobbs and this wide receiver group stretch the field? Is the offensive line good enough? If the Vols couldn't control the line of scrimmage against Appalachian State, how will they fare against the Hokies?

    I also love Virginia Tech's offensive skill players; Bucky Hodges and Isaiah Ford in particular could be matchup problems for the Vols, and the Hokies are deep at running back. I don't know if it will result in an outright win for Virginia Tech, but I certainly think taking the points is the way to go.

    ATS pick: Tennessee 26, Virginia Tech 24

    Coughlin: One can only imagine what practice must have been like for the Vols after their less-than-impressive Week 1 win at home versus Appalachian State. It honestly looked like Tennessee's staff held back from installing any quarterback zone read runs, maybe thinking because it didn't need them versus an underrated Appalachian State team. But the fact is that all those returning starters on the lines of scrimmage for Jones' squad were dominated by an FCS team. Hokies coach Bud Foster is surely loving the film of the UT game last week -- seeing a lack of physicality by the offensive line and a lack of a deep threat in the passing game.

    Knowing how successful Foster has been in years past, I think the Hokies keep this game close and lose a tight one to Tennessee, as Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs and company win a big game.

    ATS pick: Tennessee 24, Virginia Tech 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers(+28.5) at Alabama Crimson Tide
    PickCenter

    Fallica: Perfect game to sleepwalk through for the Crimson Tide -- and Nick Saban probably knows it. But come on, after a dominant performance Saturday night in a 52-6 undressing of USC and a date in Oxford next week with a team which has beaten Bama each of the last two years, you thing the Alabama players are locked in here with maximum effort and emotion? I don't.

    And if you look back over the last five years, history shows Alabama doesn't cover these huge numbers against non-Power 5 opponents. In their last nine games vs non-Power 5 FBS opponents, Alabama has covered only one. It's human nature to have a little bit of a letdown and that's what I see here.

    ATS pick: Alabama 42, Western Kentucky 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Wake Forest Demon Deacons(+5) at Duke Blue Devils
    PickCenter

    Fallica: The Wake Forest offense couldn't have been any worse in the opener against Tulane, but I am willing to give the Deacs a look here as an underdog, thinking they will improve from Week 1 to Week 2.

    Duke's offense may struggle without QB Thomas Sirk, especially against a pretty good defense. Five of the last six meetings have been one-score games, so it should be a tight game. And maybe, just maybe the Deacs finally win one of them.

    ATS pick: Wake Forest 20, Duke 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    San Diego State Aztecs (-7.5) vs California Golden Bears
    PickCenter

    Fallica: I know the game was in Australia, but I saw enough trouble signs with the Cal defense in the opener against Hawai'i as it allowed more than seven yards per play in the first half and could have been behind close to halftime had it not been for an onside kick to open the game. People are going to get all excited about the Cal offense with Davis Webb, and that's fine, but they must realize as well that the Aztecs' defense is legit, as is RB Donnel Pumphrey.

    I think the public will be all over a Pac-12 dog against a Mountain West team, and will happily go the other way here, as it is one of the few chances San Diego State has to make a national impression for a potential NY6 argument.

    ATS pick: San Diego State 33, Cal 21

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Illinois Fighting Illini (+9.5) vs North Carolina Tar Heels
    PickCenter

    Fallica: I was fairly surprised at how much the UNC offense struggled against Georgia. Mitch Trubisky's 24 completions went for only 156 yards, and while Illinois front and overall defense isn't going to be confused with Georgia's, I do think the Illini D will do its part here to keep them in the game.

    Last year, the Tar Heels put a 48-14 beating on Illinois. It's a chance for revenge for the players that took that beating, as well as a chance for the new coaching staff to make a mark and show how improved they are from the previous season. And its not like UNC is immune to losses away from home against sub-par teams; see last year's loss to South Carolina for evidence of that. Expect a close one here.

    ATS pick: North Carolina 21, Illinois 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    UConn Huskies(+4) at Navy Midshipmen
    PickCenter

    Coughlin: If you think I hate my country because I am betting against the Naval Academy for a second straight week, you are not correct. I love our country. Now, you can argue that I am being a little stubborn, but I just have a hunch on this game.

    First off, Navy is very thin at the QB position, as by now everyone has seen the story about how they had to go in the stands to get a backup QB last week, after losing starter Tago Smith. This offensive unit still only has one game under its belt in a season in which it returns just one offensive starter. I like UConn's talent on the defensive side of the ball, especially their defensive line, guys like Folorunso Fatukasi, Cole Ormsby, Luke Carrezola and captain Mikal Myers. I know Navy is a different animal with the triple option when it comes to defending the run, but the Huskies did hold Maine to 30 yards on the ground last week. Huskies QB Bryant Shirreffsis a playmaker and has plenty of toys to play with on offense. The Huskies win on the field.

    ATS pick: UConn 20, Navy 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Texas Tech Red Raiders (+3) at Arizona State Sun Devils
    PickCenter

    Coughlin: We've got a good one late night in the desert Saturday night and this game will be played on the best surface I have ever played on, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. No other field in America ever made this former 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end feel faster. So every time I see a match up this exciting at that venue, I get pumped for a crazy game. Add to that my love for Red Raiders QB Pat Mahomes and his wide-open Red Raiders offense created by head coach Kliff Kingsbury matched up against what I think might be the most overrated defensive scheme in college football in Arizona State.

    I see the team from Lubbock having their way in this game. Texas Tech racked up 758 yards of total offense in its 69-17 rout of Stephen F. Austin last week, marking the 17th-consecutive game where the Red Raiders have scored at least 25 points, the longest active streak in the country. Be ready to see many Red Raiders take part in the offensive attack, seeing how they had 17 players with at least one catch last week.

    ATS pick: Texas Tech 49, Arizona State 38

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    BYU Cougars(+3) at Utah Utes
    PickCenter

    Coughlin: The Holy War is back! It's interesting to see Utes head coach talk about the Cougars new head coach and his former assistant, Kalani Sitake: "There are few people in this profession I consider close friends, he's one of them. But I don't think it has any bearing on the game itself."


    Don't be fooled by those kind words -- these two schools hate each other and I know it seems the Utes are on the wrong side of this game as they are looking to win six in a row in the series, but I just trust Kyle Whittingham in this situation, especially against a first-year head coach. More importantly, I liked what I saw from the Utes last week, as junior quarterback Troy Williams was 20-of-35 for 272 yards and two touchdowns in his Utes debut, and junior running back Troy McCormick had 110 all-around yards after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

    What also stood out from last week was the Utes were the only Power 5 conference team to post a shutout in their opener. Utes win a close one in what might be the best atmosphere of the whole weekend.

    ATS pick: Utah 23, BYU 17

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments
     
    Hawks11, TheGodfather and NDXOS like this.
  8. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Another rough week. Fade city!
     
  9. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    By my count..

    Stanford Steve (Coughlin):

    Week 1 (1-3)
    Week 2 (0-3-1)
    Season (1-6-1) 14%

    Bear (Fallica)
    Week 1 (1-4)
    Week 2 (2-3)
    Season (3-7) 30%


    No bueno.
     
    #11 NDXOS, Sep 14, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2016
  10. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Donor
    Tennessee VolunteersToronto Blue JaysLos Angeles DodgersDenver NuggetsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    Lol my goodness
     
  11. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Yuck
     
  12. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Listened to the podcast today.. they had some different numbers.

    Still terrible.

    Stanford Steve (Coughlin):
    Week 1 (1-3)
    Week 2 (0-3-1)
    Season (2-7-1) 20%

    Bear (Fallica)
    Week 1 (1-4)
    Week 2 (2-3)
    Season (3-9) 25%
     
    #14 NDXOS, Sep 14, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2016
  13. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Still like their takes on games. They always throw out some random stats and talk about players that aren't talked about on local sports radio and sports center.
     
  14. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Insider
    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 3 CFB bets
    How should you bet the Louisville-Florida State matchup? ESPN Chalk experts break it down. Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports
    11:16 AM ET
    • Chris Fallica
    • Steve Coughlin
    After an impressive 2015 season, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and Chris Fallica of ESPN Stats & Information and College GameDay are back. Every week during the college football season, they'll give their best bets for picking the weekend's top college football games and, as a bonus, give one pick apiece free of charge.

    2016 record:

    Fallica: 3-9 ATS
    Coughlin: 2-7-1 ATS

    2015 season record:
    Fallica: 53-40-3 ATS (55.2 percent)
    Coughlin: 38-29-3 ATS (54.3 percent)

    2014 season record:
    Fallica: 44-40 ATS (52.4 percent)
    Coughlin: 45-28-1 ATS (60.8 percent)

    Note: Against the spread (ATS) and total picks are in bold. Odds are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Louisville Cardinals (+2) vs. Florida State Seminoles
    PickCenter



    Behind the Bets[/paste:font]
    BEHIND THE BETS



    Fallica: I think both teams are national title contenders, and a loss doesn't eliminate either. FSU already has a win over Ole Miss and still has matchups with Clemson and Florida, while Louisville still has games with Houston and Clemson. Louisville has had FSU on the ropes each of the last two years, but hasn't finished. The loss of Derwin James is huge in the Seminoles' scheme to defend against the running ability of Lamar Jackson. As good as Deondre Francois was at Doak Campbell South (in Orlando vs. Ole Miss), this is still his first road start and Louisville's defense is no joke. I'll take the Cardinals at home to pull off the small upset.

    ATS pick: Louisville 31, Florida State 24

    Coughlin: What more can you ask for in a conference matchup in Week 3 of the college football season?

    While most will focus on Jackson, who comes into the game with 13 touchdowns over the first two games for Bobby Petrino's team, my biggest factor in this game is James, FSU's do-everything safety/linebacker, who will be out this game. I think he is as valuable a defensive player as there is in the country, and while Florida State has depth in the secondary, with how good of an offensive mind Petrino is, I think the Cardinals offense will have a great day.

    I picked Louisville in this game last year, and it was in Tallahassee. As long as Jackson doesn't try to do too much, I think Louisville wins an enormous game at home in front of what should be an inspired crowd, as College GameDay comes to Papa John's Stadium for the first time.

    ATS pick: Louisville 35, Florida State 31

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Ohio State Buckeyes (-1.5) at Oklahoma Sooners
    PickCenter

    Fallica: Oklahoma gets to use a mulligan for its Week 1 loss to Houston. A win by the Sooners essentially erases that loss, but a loss here would eliminate them -- and even maybe the Big 12 -- from College Football Playoff contention. So, expect OU to play its best game.

    Will it be enough? I know Ohio State hasn't played anyone great the first two weeks, but the Buckeyes have been dominant -- something last year's team of first-round picks couldn't claim. I love their defense with Sam Hubbard, Malik Hooker, Raekwon McMillan and Robert Landers. Can the OU offense generate enough, and suddenly find depth at wide receiver? I'm not sure. I sense a hunger and determination from this Buckeye team after so many guys seemed to go through the motions. It has become a trendy pick now, and the last time OU was a home dog, it upset No. 1 Nebraska. However, I'll still go with Ohio State.

    ATS pick: Ohio State 34, Oklahoma 24

    Coughlin: I'll keep this simple: I'm not going against Urban Meyer. You've seen the data on how good he is in road games, and it's obvious he has tremendous talent on both sides of the ball. He has a quarterback who has plenty of experience in J.T. Barrett, who has accounted for 76 touchdowns over his three-year career (including 25 on the ground), and who should be excited to play in the state of Oklahoma, considering he went to high school in Texas.

    I know Ohio State struggled to put the ball in the end zone against Tulsa last week, and grew their lead thanks to some defensive touchdowns late in the first half, but I just trust Meyer and the Buckeyes in this spot. Oklahoma is as tough a home team as there is in America, but I see a quarterback in Baker Mayfield who simply doesn't trust his receiving corps, which scares me because the Buckeyes defense has what it takes to slow down Samaje Perine. We saw what happens when the Sooners offense becomes one dimensional vs. Houston: Mayfield tries to too much and forces things. I like the Buckeyes to win a great football game

    ATS pick: Ohio State 28, Oklahoma 23

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    San Jose State Spartans (+13) vs. Utah Utes
    Fallica: Bookended by an emotional win over their BYU rival, then a short week leading up to a Friday visit from USC -- which handed Utah its first loss last year -- forgive the Utes if they can't get fully cranked for this one, especially knowing the Spartans were blown out by Tulsa in their only game versus an FBS opponent. This is an experienced SJSU team, and I expect they will treat this as their Super Bowl. Utah wins an ugly game.

    ATS pick: Utah 28, San Jose State 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Texas San Antonio Roadrunners(+19.5) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
    Fallica: Friday night action for you! Texas San Antonio has played Arizona State very close the last couple years, including as a 31-point 'dog last year. The Roadrunners get the Sun Devils at a great time -- coming off a track meet vs. Texas Tech, and right before they start conference play. It's not like ASU hasn't played down to the level of competition -- see a 14-point win over Cal Poly last year and a sleep-walking effort for a little over three quarters vs. Northern Arizona in the opener. UTSA won't win, but I don't think this is a 21-point blowout, either.

    ATS pick: Arizona State 36, UTSA 26

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish(-7.5) vs. Michigan State Spartans
    PickCenter

    Fallica: We know nothing about this edition of Michigan State, but typically the Spartans play well as a 'dog -- yes, they were blown out in a terrible matchup vs. Alabama in the CFP last year. I really like Notre Dame as a team, and think DeShone Kizer is big time. He'll get Torii Hunter Jr. back at WR this week and that should further help a very potent offense. Michigan State could come in with a chip on its shoulder given all the Big Ten talk is about Michigan and Ohio State, but I just don't know if the Spartans have the firepower to slow down the Irish.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame 30, Michigan State 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Vanderbilt Commodores(+6.5) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
    Fallica: I think Vandy's defense will do more than enough to keep them in the game, and the offense busted out last week versus Middle Tennessee after laying an egg against South Carolina in the opener. I trust Derek Mason's defense more than any other unit in the game -- Tech beat Boston College 17-14 in the opener despite gaining only 238 yards. Expect similar low offensive production from the Jackets, but the Vandy offense will do much more than BC, and it will be enough to walk away with a road win.

    ATS pick: Vanderbilt 23, Georgia Tech 21

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Pittsburgh Panthers (+6) at Oklahoma State Cowboys
    PickCenter

    Fallica: Pitt's hard-nosed mentality might be a bad matchup for the Pokes here. People might be overvaluing Oklahoma State, thinking the Cowboys will be extra motivated after losing a game to Central Michigan they probably should have won last week. I think Pitt will control the trenches and slow down the Oklahoma State offense enough. Expect another big game on the ground from James Conner and the Pitt running game, as the Panthers pull the road upset.

    ATS pick: Pitt 33, Oklahoma State 31

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Texas Longhorns(-8) at California Golden Bears
    Over/under: 81

    PickCenter

    Coughlin: Things are gonna get weird in Berkeley on Saturday night, which isn't new for folks familiar with Telegraph Avenue and, of course, the great establishment of Henry's.

    A couple of stats explain why I feel there will be a lot of points scored in this game by both teams. Cal quarterback Davis Webb attempted 72 passes in the loss to San Diego State last week, the most in a game by an FBS quarterback this season. California is also averaging 481.5 passing yards per game.

    Cal and Texas are running two of the fastest offenses in the country; California runs a play every 18.5 seconds, fourth-fastest among FBS teams, while Texas is ninth at 19.9 seconds per play. Texas has had five touchdown drives that took one minute or less this season, tied for the second-most in the FBS, behind Charlie Strong's former squad, Louisville. It'll be a late night in Bezerkeley.

    ATS pick: Texas 55, Cal 42 (take the over)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Oregon Ducks(+3) at Nebraska Cornhuskers
    PickCenter

    Coughlin: This should a great out-of-conference game where we can tell a lot about each team going forward -- especially as they enter conference play. I know Mike Riley lost his last seven "Civil War" games vs. the Ducks when he was the head man in Corvallis, but there has to be something he could take from those games, right? You have to feel this is as close he has been talent-level wise to the team from Eugene in a while, even if he had to change schools to do so.

    Oregon's defense is allowing 27 points per game in wins over UC Davis, an FCS school, and Virginia, who had three running backs ran 31 times for 220 yards, an average of 7.1 yards per carry. I'm curious to see how the Ducks handle their first true road game with new quarterback Dakota Prukop at the helm.

    I like the 'Huskers to play well and win on a big national stage, building some momentum as conference play begins.

    ATS pick: Nebraska 34, Oregon 24

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    USC Trojans(+8) at Stanford Cardinal
    PickCenter

    Coughlin: You can call it a "happiness hedge" or a "reverse beg" -- call it whatever you want, but I think I have a pretty good feel on my alma mater, seeing as how I don't think I've missed a snap in the David Shaw era.

    The biggest factor in this game is that USC has everything to gain and Stanford has everything to lose. And yes, I know it's Week 3. But think about it: The Trojans already have a big loss and this will be the third time in just over a calendar year that these two teams will play. Let's be honest, when Alabama scored within the first two minutes of the second half vs. USC to make the score 24-3, you could see the Trojans lay down. So, Clay Helton has to have the full attention of his team as they have a chance to get back on the national radar against the No. 7 team in the country and Heisman candidate Christian McCaffrey.

    Stanford wins a close one, but take the points with the Trojans.

    ATS pick: Stanford 24, USC 20

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments
     
  15. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Menu
    ESPN

    Insider
    Phil Steele's best Week 3 college football bets
    Can Tyler O'Connor and the Spartans handle the pressure of a road game at Notre Dame? USA TODAY Sports
    Sep 14, 2016
    • [​IMG]
      Phil SteeleESPN Staff Writer
    Each week during the 2016 college football season, I will offer my picks and best bets for the biggest games, and I will highlight a handful of other key matchups.

    Last year, my selections went 104-33 (76 percent) picking the straight-up (SU) winners during the regular season and 74-61-2 (55 percent) against the spread (ATS).

    Last week was a solid week, going 5-3 SU and 6-2 (75 percent) ATS.

    Here are my selections on this week's big games, including Florida State vs. Louisville.

    Note: All times Eastern on Saturday, September 17. Lines courtesy of Westgate SuperBook as of Wednesday morning.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 2 Florida State Seminoles(-2.5) at No. 10 Louisville Cardinals
    Noon, ABC

    This will be the toughest road test of the year for Florida State. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has accounted for 13 touchdowns in just two games, but the Cardinals' first two opponents, Charlotte and Syracuse, rank among the weakest on defense in the FBS.

    [​IMG]
    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 3 CFB bets
    Chris Fallica and "Stanford Steve" Coughlin give their best ATS college football bets for Week 3 of the college football season, including Florida State at Louisville and Ohio State at Oklahoma.

    • [​IMG]
      CFB Week 3: Early betting look
      Will Harris identifies games to watch for Week 3 of the college football season and breaks down gambling lessons learned from Week 2.



    Even though Florida State will be without star safety Derwin James, it still have one of the top defenses in the country. The Seminoles also have an exciting quarterback in redshirt freshman Deondre Francois, who might be the better passer of the two signal callers in this contest. Both teams have 17 returning starters, and Florida State won this game by 20 at home last year. Now on the road, Florida State will prevail, but it will be closer.

    ATS pick: Florida State
    Score: Florida State 41, Louisville 34

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide(-10) at No. 19 Ole Miss Rebels
    3:30 p.m., CBS

    Ole Miss enters this home contest on a two-game winning streak against the Tide in what was otherwise a historically one-sided series. I was impressed with the Rebels' defensive line versus the Seminoles, and they have the quarterback edge with Chad Kelly. Jalen Hurts is mobile, like Francois, but I do not think he is as polished a passer.

    The Tide will have to get the run game going first and then use Hurts' mobility and a great set of receivers versus a banged up Rebel secondary. The key to this game is the Alabama defensive line going up against a Rebel offensive line that is a bit of a question mark this year. Alabama has the best defense in the country and a powerful run game. The Tide lost here in 2014 despite leading 14-3 at halftime and outgaining the Rebels 396 to 327 yards.

    Nick Saban's team plays its best ball in hostile environments, and since that road loss to Ole Miss, the Tide have faced four ranked teams in the opponents' stadium. Not only are they 4-0, but they've won those games by an average of 32.5 to 10.5.

    ATS pick: Alabama
    Score: Alabama 31, Ole Miss 13

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-2) at No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners
    7:30 p.m., FOX

    Over the summer, Las Vegas had the Sooners as a touchdown favorite; now they're a home 'dog. Oklahoma did not look great against Houston last week, when it couldn't stop quarterback Greg Ward on third down and allowed a 109-yard "kick six."

    Ohio State is talented, but is the least experienced team in the country. It has looked great at home versus a couple of overmatched foes, outgaining Bowling Green and Tulsa by 381 yards per game. Last week the Buckeyes rolled the Golden Hurricane, but didn't score their first offensive touchdown until 9:42 was left in the third quarter.

    Bob Stoops is 96-8 at home and has not been a home 'dog since 2000, when the Sooners upset No. 1 Nebraska.

    With the Big 12 a major question mark for the playoffs, a win here by the Sooners would put them right back in the national title chase. My computer has Ohio State, but I will pick the more experienced home 'dog to play its best game of the year in what will be a totally different sort of test for a young Buckeye team.

    ATS pick: Oklahoma (+)
    Score: Oklahoma 30, Ohio State 24

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 12 Michigan State Spartansat No. 18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7.5)
    7:30 p.m., NBC

    Michigan State is right back where it wants to be: under the radar. When two analysts on the Big Ten Network recently gave their power ratings, neither had Michigan State among the top five teams of the Big Ten.

    Last year, I had a disagreement with my computer on the Michigan State and Michigan game, and while the Spartans won on a blocked punt, they did have a 20-10 first-down edge. I disagree with my computer again on this particular matchup: It has Notre Dame winning by 17 with a 470-280 edge in yardage.

    I like the Irish, and I think they could be favored in their last 11 games and make the playoffs. I also know how dangerous Michigan State is as a 'dog. The last 11 times the Spartans have been an underdog, they are 9-2 ATS with seven outright upsets. They could have one of head coach Mark Dantonio's best defenses, and quarterback Tyler O'Connor already led an upset of No. 2 Ohio State on the road last year.

    ATS pick: Michigan State (+)
    Score: Notre Dame 23, Michigan State 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Colorado Buffaloes at No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (-20.5)
    3:30, Big Ten Network

    Coach Mike MacIntyre inherited a rebuilding situation, but now in his fourth year, he has an upperclassmen-laden, bowl-caliber team. Colorado was just 2-5 on the road last year, but the Buffaloes were outscored by only 8.5 points per game away from Boulder. Both teams have opened with two weak foes, but the stats are similar. Colorado has won by an average of 50-7, outgaining Colorado State and Idaho State (combined 9-14 in 2015) by 427 yards per game. Michigan has won its games by an average of 57-9, outgaining Hawaii and UCF (combined 3-22 in 2015) by just 198 yards per game. This is an underrated Colorado team that will keep this one closer than expected.

    ATS pick: Colorado (+)
    Score: Michigan 31, Colorado 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Ohio Bobcatsat No. 15 Tennessee Volunteers (-28)
    12:00 p.m., SEC Network

    I had Tennessee last week and was a little worried when it was down 14-0 against Virginia Tech with a big yardage deficit after the first quarter. The Vols then took over and went on a 45-3 run, showing their potential. On deck are four crucial games that will determine the Vols' season: They host Florida, travel to Georgia and Texas A&M, and then host Alabama. That adds up to playing four ranked teams in four weeks.

    Tennessee needs to keep quarterback Joshua Dobbs healthy and might limit his runs, which are a big part of the offense. The Appalachian State game will have the Vols more focused at the start of the game, but the second half should have them trying to build depth for the upcoming gauntlet.

    The Bobcats are a well-coached squad, and while they have taken on two weak foes, their average of 563 yards per game is still impressive. Ohio outgained Kansas 359 to 21 yards at the half versus Kansas last week and will keep this closer than expected.

    ATS pick: Ohio
    Score: Tennessee 38, Ohio 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 11 Texas Longhorns(-8) at California Golden Bears
    10:30 p.m., FOX

    Texas is my pick for most improved team in the country, and it has accumulated a spread record of 30-11-1 over the past four years. In 2014, TCU was my selection for most improved, and its offense went from 25.1 to 46.5 points per game. I expect a similar transformation from the Longhorns. Their two-headed quarterback system is the perfect combination. With top-notch passer Shane Buechele as starter and Tyrone Swoopes operating the "18-wheeler" package, the Longhorns have averaged 46 points per game in two games.

    Last year, the Horns outgained Cal at home 650 to 548 yards, but their punter dropped a snap, and the Bears escaped with a 45-44 win. Last week, Cal outgained San Diego State 604 to 463 yards , but gave up touchdowns on a kick return and interception return. This won't be easy, but I will continue to ride with Texas, even on the road.

    ATS pick: Texas
    Score: Texas 45, California 34

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 16 Georgia Bulldogs (-7) at Missouri Tigers
    7:30 p.m., SEC Network

    Georgia had a great win over North Carolina, and then barely got past Nicholls last week. Missouri looked poor in its opener, but dominated a weak Eastern Michigan team at home last week.

    Last year, Missouri was in the midst of a losing season, but went between the hedges and lost by only three against a Georgia team that finished with 10 wins. Missouri has a solid defense, and Georgia is still trying to figure out its starting quarterback.

    My computer is calling for Missouri to outgain Georgia 379 to 363 and win outright by five. I still rate the Bulldogs the stronger team and will call for them to escape, but only by a point.

    ATS pick: Missouri (+)
    Score: Georgia 17, Missouri 16

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Georgia State Panthers at No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (-33.5)
    Noon, ESPN

    I have been very impressed with the Badgers, who have played great on both offense and defense. They had a 21-14 edge in first downs versus LSU in Week 1. Last week, they took on an Akron squad that will contend for the MAC East title and throttled them with a 32-10 edge in first downs.


    In 2014, Georgia State was a 1-11 team. Last year, the Panthers surprised some teams and got to a bowl, finishing 6-7. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle was the catalyst to that bowl bid, but he is gone, and the Panthers' quarterbacks have combined to complete just 50.7 percent of their passes. They were outgained by Ball State by 183 yards at home, and last week were outgained by 362 yards at Air Force. They got a touchdown on their opening drive versus Air Force, but had just three first downs the rest of the game.

    After averaging just 3.8 yards per carry in 2015, the Badgers got it going versus Akron last week with 294 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per carry. Georgia State is allowing 395 yards per game on the ground and 5.8 yards per carry. With Michigan State on deck, this could be a potential look-ahead game for the Badgers, but they will dominate the line of scrimmage and roll to a big win. Last year, Wisconsin allowed a combined total of three points in its three nonconference home games.

    ATS pick: Wisconsin
    Score: Wisconsin 45, Georgia State 3

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments

    How will playoff contenders handle first true road tests of season?
    play
    How the Big 12 can get back on track (1:14)
    9:00 AM ET
    • [​IMG]
      Heather DinichESPN Senior Writer
    Pack your bags, No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 Ohio State. It's time to enter hostile territory.

    According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is the first week in the history of the Associated Press poll that the top three teams will each play a true road game against a ranked opponent.

    How difficult is it to beat a fellow ranked team on the road? Consider this: Since 2012, AP-ranked teams have a 39.4 win percentage (67-103) in road games against ranked Power 5 teams. By contrast, AP-ranked teams have won 78.3 percent of their road games (199-55) against unranked Power 5 teams in that span.

    Week 3 falls into the category of danger zone, with four top-25 teams facing ranked opponents.

    Here's a look at the most challenging road games of Week 3, in order of their playoff implications.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 Ole Miss:Ole Miss is the team that could be eliminated from the playoff conversation with a loss, but the pressure is on Alabama because the Tide have lost their past two games against the Rebels. The winner of this game will likely become the early favorite in the SEC West. Ole Miss is looking to become the third team to win three straight against a Nick Saban-coached team, along with Michigan (1996-98) and Purdue (1997-99) while Saban was at Michigan State. Bama obviously can lose and still make the CFP semifinal; it has done so the past two seasons.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 3 Ohio State at No. 14 Oklahoma:Oklahoma is in a must-win situation after it lost its opener to Houston, but don't underestimate the importance of this road trip to Ohio State. The Buckeyes haven't even begun conference play, and this is the first ranked opponent Urban Meyer's team will face. OSU still has to play Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan. Oklahoma hopes to avoid starting 1-2 for first time since 2005 and for the second time in 18 seasons under Bob Stoops. A win by the Sooners could send them flying into Big 12 play, where they'd have a chance to win a league title and get back in the playoff picture, just like Meyer's 2014 Buckeyes.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 2 Florida State at No. 10 Louisville: FSU and Clemson have been the ACC's heavyweights in recent years, but Louisville could join the party with a win Saturday (12 p.m. ET, ABC). If Florida State loses, it's going to need some help to get to the ACC title game, and it certainly can't afford a home loss to Clemson on Oct. 29. Louisville has jumped from No. 16 in the preseason Football Power Index to No. 5, and the winner of Saturday's game will take the lead in the ACC Atlantic Division race. Florida State ranks first in ESPN's FPI and has the highest chance among Power 5 teams to win the rest of its games (13 percent).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 12 Michigan State at No. 18 Notre Dame:Remember Michigan State? Played in a CFP semifinal last year? The Spartans aren't getting much attention this year, but they tend to be at their best when nobody is watching. Mark Dantonio has a terrific defense, and quarterback Tyler O'Connor beat Ohio State last year when starter Connor Cook was injured. This could be a scary one for Notre Dame, which can't afford to lose another game after it dropped the season opener to Texas in double-overtime. The Irish don't have a conference championship game to play in, so they bear a bigger burden of having a one-loss season or better -- unless everyone else completely unravels.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    USC at No. 7 Stanford: The Trojans got absolutely crushed by Alabama in the season opener, but this is their chance to reassert themselves -- not only in the Pac-12 pecking order but also in the CFP conversation (8 p.m. ET, ABC). The selection committee wouldn't leave out a one-loss Pac-12 champ, especially if that loss is to the defending national champions in the season opener. They will, however, ditch a USC team that continues to play like it did in Week 1 and drops another game. Stanford had a bye week to prepare, and it has to take advantage of staying at home this week, as three of its next four are on the road. ESPN's FPI projects that the Cardinal will lose all three of those road games (at UCLA, at Washington and at Notre Dame).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 6 Houston at Cincinnati: Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. is back in the lineup, and that's good news for the Cougars, especially for a nationally televised Thursday night road trip (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). It's the first time the Cougars are leaving the state and their first league game of the season. Houston likely needs to go undefeated to get serious consideration from the CFP selection committee, and it is favored by ESPN's FPI to win every remaining game, except against Louisville on Nov. 17.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 17 Texas A&M at Auburn: The Aggies are another undefeated SEC West team hitting the road for the first time this season, and ESPN's FPI actually favors Auburn by a hair (54.5 percent). It's essentially a toss-up, but one that will start to sort out the division race (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). Alabama, A&M and Arkansas are the only undefeated teams left in the West. Although a two-loss team has yet to make the CFP, it's certainly a possibility, though the loser of this game will have a long way to go. Auburn already lost to Clemson, but if it can keep its SEC hopes alive, it can hang on to CFP hopes too.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 11 Texas at Cal: The Longhorns earned what could amount to a season-defining win in their double-overtime upset of Notre Dame in the season opener, but they have to continue that success outside their home state this weekend (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). This is the first of back-to-back road games, the second an Oct. 1 trip to Oklahoma State. ESPN's FPI favors the Cowboys in that one and OU the following week. Technically, Texas can afford to lose this game, but then it would face immense pressure to win out, just as OU does now. The Big 12 took a big hit last week and could use another Power 5 nonconference win from a CFP contender.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Pitt at Oklahoma State: A Pitt win over Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) would give the Panthers nonconference wins over both the Big Ten and Big 12. That's the kind of resume that gets the selection committee's attention -- as long as Pitt goes on to win the Coastal Division and play in the ACC title game. The committee members will also be aware of Oklahoma State's controversial loss to Central Michigan last week. The worst thing Mike Gundy's squad could do is let that loss beat them twice. The Cowboys still have a 17 percent chance to win the Big 12, according to FPI. Only Oklahoma is more likely (49 percent). The Cowboys are FPI favorites in each of their remaining games until their trip to Norman on Dec. 3.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 16 Georgia at Missouri: Even though Georgia won last week, it lost, as it sunk seven spots in the AP poll after a subpar performance against Nicholls. Still, the Dawgs are undefeated, have a respectable nonconference win against North Carolina and are playing the first of back-to-back SEC road games (next week at Ole Miss) before returning home to face Tennessee on Oct. 1. FPI projects that Georgia has a 97 percent chance to lose at least one of its next three games. It needs to start with a win against struggling Missouri (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 22 Oregon at Nebraska: Both of these teams have a long way to go before they enter any serious playoff conversation, but they're 2-0. While the Huskers have been beating the Mountain West, this is a chance for a statement win against a ranked opponent (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). For Oregon, it's a chance at a second straight win over a Power 5 opponent. With the wackiness of the Pac-12, the Ducks are in it until they're not -- just like everyone else.

    Week 3 superlatives
    Most intriguing mascot battle: The Pirate of East Carolina vs. Cocky of South Carolina. Let's get him to surrender the sword for this one and level the playing field a bit.

    Can-miss game: Georgia State at Wisconsin. Winless Georgia State is allowing 395 yards per game on the ground and 5.8 yards per carry. The Badgers will keep rolling.

    Upset watch: Ohio State at Oklahoma. The Buckeyes, slight favorites on Saturday, are still the youngest team in the country, and they've looked good against overmatched competition. Now they face Bob Stoops, who is 96-8 at home. Oklahoma has its playoff hopes on the line.

    Player in the spotlight: Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly. Last year, Kelly became the fifth quarterback in nine years of Nick Saban to throw for at least three touchdowns without a pick against Alabama. Alabama leads the FBS in defensive efficiency, and Ole Miss ranks eighth in offensive efficiency.


    Matchup to watch: Louisville QB Lamar Jackson against FSU's defense. Florida State has allowed a Power 5-high eight receptions on passes of at least 20 yards downfield, while Jackson leads Power 5 quarterbacks in such completions this season, with eight. The Seminoles, however, will be without all-everything defender Derwin James, who is out with a knee injury.

    Under the radar: North Dakota State at Iowa. Don't dismiss the Bison. If they were in the FBS, they would rank 83rd in FPI and would have a higher rating than four Power 5 teams (Kentucky, Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas).

    Forgotten storyline: Temple coach Matt Rhule vs. Penn State. He's 1-1 all time against his alma mater, and last year, he earned Temple's first win over the Nittany Lions since 1941. Rhule was a linebacker at PSU from 1994-1997.

    ICYMI: The Twitter trolling between Michigan and Colorado was the entertainment of the week. Fans can only hope the game is as good.

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments
     
    TheGodfather, LeVar Burton and NDXOS like this.
  16. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Thanks letan.

    Next time get that Heather Dinch shit out of here. Cheers.
     
    LeVar Burton, steamengine and letan like this.
  17. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Ha. Didn't even notice that. It's hard copying and pasting on my phone.
     
  18. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Donor
    Tennessee VolunteersToronto Blue JaysLos Angeles DodgersDenver NuggetsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    :roll: another bad week. Didn't even look at their pics until now. woof
     
  19. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    This is what I have for the year...

    Stanford Steve (Coughlin):
    Week 1 (1-3)
    Week 2 (0-3-1)
    Week 3 (3-1-1)
    Season (5-8-2) 38%

    Bear (Fallica)
    Week 1 (1-4)
    Week 2 (2-3)
    Week 3 (3-4)
    Season (6-13) 32%
     
  20. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
    Donor
    Real MadridJacksonville JaguarsFlorida GatorsTampa Bay Rays

    Insider
    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 4 CFB bets
    How should you bet the UCLA-Stanford matchup? ESPN Chalk experts break it down. Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports
    10:59 AM ET
    • Chris Fallica
    • Steve Coughlin
    After an impressive back-to-back seasons, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and Chris Fallica of ESPN Stats & Information and College GameDay are back. Every week during the college football season, they'll give their best bets for picking the weekend's top college football games.

    2016 record:

    Fallica: 6-13 ATS
    Coughlin: 5-8-2 ATS

    2015 season record:
    Fallica: 53-40-3 ATS (55.2 percent)
    Coughlin: 38-29-3 ATS (54.3 percent)

    2014 season record:
    Fallica: 44-40 ATS (52.4 percent)
    Coughlin: 45-28-1 ATS (60.8 percent)

    Note: Against the spread (ATS) and total picks are in bold. Odds are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Florida Gators (+6.5) at Tennessee Volunteers
    Over/under: 45.5

    PickCenter

    Fallica: Heading into the season, I loved Florida to win this matchup and to extend its winning streak in the series. But without Luke Del Rio at quarterback, the Florida offense isn't going to be nearly as efficient.



    [​IMG]
    Phil Steele's best Week 4 college football bets
    Phil Steele gives his best Week 4 college football bets, including insights on Florida at Tennessee and Arkansas vs. Texas A&M.




    Tennessee has a ton of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and its offensive line looks as if its on the wrong side of a mismatch between itself and the Florida front seven. The Vols looked terrible and disinterested in wins over Appalachian State and Ohio, fell behind Virginia Tech and came back to win, as fortune was on their side. Tennessee has fumbled 11 times this season, and only lost one! That is incredible luck -- and it likely wont continue.

    Fall behind here, and points nor a comeback will be easy to locate. I'm still leaning Florida, but I'm a little concerned that school of thought is too common. But, I had similar concerns last week with Ohio State and Louisville, and those games worked out OK.

    ATS pick: Florida 23, Tennessee 20

    Coughlin: Before the injury to Del Rio, I was chomping at the bit to take the Gators in this game, no matter what the spread was. Now, I have to admit, I'm wavering.

    This matchup has been circled on Tennessee's calendar ever since Butch Jones took over in Knoxville, so the spotlight for the program could not be brighter. Is this a good or a bad thing? I just hope the Vols play well in such a big spot. However, there aren't too many head coach and offensive coordinator combos I would take over the Gators' tandem of Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier. I see the Gators hanging around in this game, with Purdue transfer Austin Appleby making enough plays at QB. Appleby has some experience from his days with the Boilermakers, so I don't think he will crumble in this spot, thanks to that coaching tandem I mentioned earlier. However, I think the Vols get the much-needed victory.

    ATS pick: Tennessee 23, Florida 21 (take the under)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Stanford Cardinal (-3) at UCLA Bruins
    PickCenter

    Fallica: I am well aware Stanford has owned this series in recent history, winning eight straight -- six by at least eight points.

    Turnovers have played a big role. In the last seven games, UCLA has turned it over 14 times and forced only three. The Bruins haven't been able to get the Cardinal off the field, as Stanford has held a 10:17 advantage in time of possession. But I liked what I saw last week from the UCLA defense in a tough road environment, and the Texas A&M offense presented a much different challenge than what Stanford will.

    I think Ryan Burns is going to have to throw the ball more than 14 times this week, as I don't think Stanford will dominate the trenches -- and on the sidelines -- as it did last week. It is too easy to think Stanford wins and covers the small number. Jim Mora and Josh Rosen need a statement win, and this could be it. This also could be the first of two meetings between these teams this year.

    ATS pick: UCLA 27, Stanford 24

    Coughlin: What a spot for the sophomore sensation Rosen. The UCLA quarterback comes in with a chance to snap an eight-game losing streak to the Cardinal, and the game is in primetime against a team that has not even faced a QB close to the talent that he brings to the table. Plus, everyone seems to be talking about what could be with Stanford traveling to Seattle to play an undefeated Washington on a Friday night next week.

    On the other side, are we sure we know how good the Stanford team is?

    The offense still looks pretty basic under first-year starting QB Ryan Burns, the defense has looked above average, but as highlighted earlier in the season, they faced two quarterbacks that combined to start one game in their career before playing at "The Farm." The biggest question mark for me is how good the Stanford offensive line is, as they will have their biggest test this week against in Eddie Vanderdoes and Takkarist McKinley. This is also the perfect spot for Bruins head coach Jim Mora, who needs a marquee win, and this would be the best one his resume if he were to get it. Rosen runs the two-minute drill at the end of the game, with some help from a couple defensive pass interference calls and the Bruins win.

    ATS pick: UCLA 24, Stanford 23

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Northwestern Wildcats(+7.5) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
    PickCenter

    Fallica: This is one of those perfect scenarios for an upset. Nebraska gets the big home win over a ranked team and Northwestern seemingly can't get out of its own way on offense. In five years in the Big Ten, Nebraska has lost its road opener four times, beating hapless Purdue in 2013 as a 13-point favorite and losing to Illinois last year in what was just a bizarre game. I think we get another one of those Saturday, as Northwestern has had a good bit of success against Nebraska -- winning last year in Lincoln as a seven-point 'dog, covering in a three-point loss in 2013, losing by one to cover a 6.5-point number in 2012 and winning outright as a 17.5 point dog in 2011.

    In the 52-17 win over Wyoming in Week 2 -- a game that was 24-17 in the fourth quarter -- Nebraska forced six of its eight turnovers this season. Northwestern has turned it over just three times in three games, and a fairly stout defense has allowed less than 15 PPG this year.

    ATS pick: Northwestern 19, Nebraska 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    South Florida Bulls (+6.5) vs. Florida State Seminoles
    PickCenter

    Fallica: This is a dangerous game for Florida State. The Seminoles psyche is likely very fragile following a humiliating loss at Louisville, but they better get past it quickly. They are facing a team they were tied with in the third quarter in Tallahassee last year; a team that gets the big dog in the state at their place; a team that has a very good trio at QB/RB/WR.

    I don't know if the Bulls defense is going to get enough stops to win, but I do believe they will score, and it will take second-half heroics and a gut-check for the Noles to avoid a second straight loss. I'm expecting a very close game.

    ATS pick: Florida State 34, South Florida 31

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Auburn Tigers (+3.5) vs. LSU Tigers
    PickCenter

    Fallica: This could be Auburn's last stand before the wheels come off for the season. Auburn's offense is a huge concern, as it has managed just 29 points in two games against Clemson and Texas A&M. The defense kept Auburn in the game as long as it could vs. Texas A&M last week, forcing four short field goals before finally breaking in the fourth quarter. The Tigers' QB play has to be better.

    This series has been a strange one -- especially at Jordan-Hare. Auburn blew out LSU 41-7 two years ago. In 2012 an Auburn team that didn't win an SEC game and was an 18.5-point 'dog nearly beat LSU, losing 12-10. The last two times LSU won at Jordan-Hare, Auburn went 0-8 and 2-6 in the SEC and fired its head coach.

    Could Auburn be headed down that road? Sure, but I'll give a defense that slowed down Deshaun Watsonand kept Texas A&M in check a nod vs. LSU -- and maybe, just maybe, the offense will make enough plays to win outright.

    ATS pick: Auburn 22, LSU 21

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Kent State Golden Flashes(+43.5) at Alabama Crimson Tide
    PickCenter

    Fallica: As was the case against Western Kentucky, don't expect Alabama to win 59-0 here. Depending on your number that week, you either won, pushed or lost. As detailed two weeks ago, Alabama's failure to cover huge numbers in these Group of 5 nonconference games is fairly common knowledge. The Tide are coming off a huge emotional win at Ole Miss, finally beating the team which had knocked them off the last two years. I expect a lot of players to rest up for the remainder of SEC play, and that Nick Saban won't embarrass his alma mater. Plus, Kent State was fairly competitive at Penn State in the opener. You might have to hold on for dear life, but that's a huge number to cover.

    ATS pick: Alabama 49, Kent State 7

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Wisconsin Badgers (+5.5) at Michigan State Spartans
    Over/under: 45.5

    PickCenter

    Coughlin: I can't imagine how irritated these two teams must feel every time they hear that Ohio State and Michigan are the class of the Big Ten . Anyway, let's get to the matchup between what I think are two of the best coached and disciplined teams in college football.

    All you have to look at is the best wins these teams have accounted for this year in just the first couple weeks, with Wisconsin beating LSU as a double-digit underdog and Michigan State going into South Bend and putting up 36 points against Notre Dame. Over the past five seasons, the Badgers and Sparty rank amongst the best in FBS defensively. Both units rank in the top 10 in scoring defense, total defense and yards per rush in that time period.

    This game will be as smashmouth of a game as you will find this Saturday. Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst hasn't committed to a starting quarterback after replacing fifth-year senior Bart Houston in the second half against Georgia State with redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook. I don't see a lot of points scored in East Lansing.

    ATS pick: Michigan State 21, Wisconsin 14 (take the under)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    USC Trojans (+3) at Utah Utes
    Over/under: 46.5

    PickCenter

    Coughlin: I could be on the wrong side of this game and late to the party, but USC comes in on a short week with a quarterback change. That means redshirt freshman Sam Darnold comes into Rice-Eccles Stadium to make his first career start. Now, I know the Trojans come in as maybe the most talented 1-2 team in the country, but I just don't like what I saw from them last week in a road loss to Stanford. I was expecting more inspiring play against a rival program in their conference.

    The Utes are coming off a performance at San Jose State last week that has brought back memories of Utah's "Sack Lake City" defense from a couple of years ago. The Utes' 10 sacks last week tied for the second-best mark in school history. Eight different players accounted for the sacks despite the unit losing starting defensive end Kylie Fitts (foot) earlier last week. I don't see this as a good spot for a first-time starting QB. Take the home team.

    ATS pick: Utah 27, USC 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Oklahoma State Cowboys(+8.5) at Baylor Bears
    Over/under: 71.5

    PickCenter

    Coughlin: One team has been tested, and one team hasn't; nor has been impressive vs. inferior competition. The Cowboys come in after a weird win, in which they had to sit through an hour-plus weather delay while they were tied with Pitt, and that is after a crushing loss at home to a good Central Michigan team. So, with the way these two teams have started the season, Baylor is gonna have the edge no matter what kind of statistic you look at.

    I might be in the minority here, but I would take Pokes' wide receiver James Washington, who has 19 catches, 399 yards and three TDs in three games, over Bears' wide receiver KD Cannon, who has 24 grabs accounting for 352 yards and four TDs.

    I'm sure everyone will be on the over in this game, but I will take Mike Gundy and that magical mullet as the Cowboys play their first road game of the year. Did I mention that Pistol Pete is my favorite non-Tree mascot in sports?

    ATS pick: Oklahoma State 31, Baylor 28

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Comments
     
  21. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    WOOF!

    Steve went 3-5 (including the ARK ML and CAL ML picks)
    Bear 1-6
     
  22. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Phil Steele Week 5

    • [​IMG]
      Phil SteeleESPN Staff Writer
    Each week during the 2016 college football season, I will offer my picks and best bets for the biggest games, and I will highlight a handful of other key matchups.

    Last season, my selections went 104-33 (76 percent) picking the straight-up winners during the regular season and 74-61-2 (55 percent) against the spread.

    My selections are off to a slower start this year, at 23-11 straight up (68 percent) and 17-17 ATS.

    Here are my selections on this week's big games, and the first time this season that I have the full complement of 10 selections. I am calling for three outright upsets.

    Note: All times are Eastern for Saturday's contests. Lines courtesy of Westgate SuperBook as of Wednesday morning.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers (-3) at No. 25Georgia Bulldogs
    3:30 p.m., CBS

    I have had the Volunteers' game as a selection each of the past three weeks and have gone 3-0 in their games, picking against them vs. Ohio two weeks ago.

    [​IMG]
    Full list of Week 5 college football lines
    ESPN Chalk offers the full list of Week 5 college football lines from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.



    Tennessee is in the midst of the toughest four-week gauntlet of any team this season, coming off a Week 4 matchup with Florida then heading to Texas A&M next week before hosting in Week 7.

    The Bulldogs get this game between the hedges and have their backs to the wall. While the situation favors Georgia, I have to side with the more talented team. Tennessee has already beaten solid Virginia Tech and Florida teams and put up 498 yards against a Florida defense that had allowed just 130 yards per game before that. The Vols would have had more but had six drops in the first half.

    Georgia trailed Ole Miss 45-0 last week before gaining 193 of their yards and scoring two touchdowns during garbage time, when the game was already far out of reach.

    Tennessee has the stronger offense, defense and special teams and now has confidence after ending that 11-game losing streak to Florida.

    ATS pick: Tennessee
    Score: Tennessee 30, Georgia 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Kentucky Wildcats at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-35)
    Noon, ESPN

    It might not sound like a smart move to lay five touchdowns in an SEC game, but I'm willing to do so here.

    Coach Nick Saban has the most talented team in the country and has them playing to the final gun each week. The Tide does have road trips to Arkansas and Tennessee on deck, but the defense has a shot at the shutout. Over the past two weeks they have heard Florida has "the best defense in the country" and how the Gators held Kentucky to nine first downs and 149 yards in Week 2, with 65 of those yards coming on a drive for a garbage touchdown with 4:45 left and Florida up 45-0. Alabama has a slightly better defense and a much stronger offense.

    In the second half vs. Southern Miss, first half vs. South Carolina and four quarters vs. Florida, Kentucky had one field goal and that garbage touchdown as their only scores. Kentucky gave up 44, 45 and 42 points in their first three games. Meanwhile, my computer has Alabama scoring 52.

    With the look ahead, I'll cut that down to 48. I don't see the Tide defense allowing a touchdown, and the number will seem cheap by the end of the game.

    Kentucky's Week 6 matchup with Vanderbilt is actually more important for their bowl chances.

    ATS pick: Alabama
    Score: Alabama 48, Kentucky 6

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 37 Western Michigan Broncos (-3.5) atCentral Michigan Chippewas
    7 p.m., CBS Sports Network

    I know this game doesn't involve a top-25 team, but I want to shine a little spotlight on a great game in the MAC, as these two teams have combined to knock off three Power 5 teams.

    Western quarterback Zach Terrell is completing 69.4 percent with a 9-0 ratio. Running back Jamauri Bogan has 527 rushing yards and a nifty 5.9 average.Corey Davis is one of the top wide receivers for next year's draft, and the offensive line is a solid veteran group. The Broncos defense is holding opponents to 84 yards below their season average and registered seven sacks in two games vs. Big Ten foes. They're yielding 334 yards per game to FBS foes.

    Central has the best NFL quarterback prospect the MAC has to offer in Cooper Rush, who is throwing for 338 yards per game. The offensive line has allowed 11 sacks. Central is allowing 404 yards per game vs. FBS foes, with just four sacks in three games.

    Western has the edge on both sides of the ball, and a large edge on special teams (No. 23 vs. No. 106). Western has won their last two trips here by double digits. This should be a great "MACtion" matchup, but this Western team is capable of going unbeaten and contending for that Group of Five New Year's bowl bid.

    ATS pick: Western Michigan
    Score: Western Michigan 41, Central Michigan 31

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 27 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 21 TCU Horned Frogs (+3.5)
    5:00 p.m., Fox

    TCU failed its first test of the season, losing at home to Arkansas. Now, the Frogs face an even more talented Oklahoma team. This game could determine who wins the Big 12, and the Sooners have not lost a conference game yet. Despite their 1-2 record, Oklahoma is holding its opponents to 121 yards below their season average, and the Sooner offense is averaging 217 yards above what their foes allow. It's worth noting that their losses are to a pair of top 10 teams.

    While the Frogs lost to Arkansas, they had a 572-403 yard edge in that game, and looked like the stronger team. TCU was without their quarterback and top wide receiver, and came within a missed two-point conversion of beating Oklahoma on the road last year. Breaking down the opponents and results, my computer projects a 35-31 TCU win, and shows the Frogs with a 516-450 yard edge. I will agree with those numbers.

    ATS pick: TCU (+)
    Score: TCU 35, Oklahoma 31

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 23 Florida Gators (-9.5) at Vanderbilt Commodores
    Noon, SEC Network

    While there are a lot of disappointed folks that backed Florida last week, I was impressed with the Gators in their Week 4 loss to Tennessee. Florida put up 300 yards in the first half versus a primed Volunteers defense. The second half wasn't pretty, but now I can take the Gators off a loss. Their defense had been allowing 130 yards per game, but was routed for 498 yards, and figures to be in an angry mood.

    Florida sleep walked through the game against Vanderbilt last year, and was lucky to escape with a 9-7 win. The Gators defense, however, allowed just 175 yards, with 74 of those coming on one touchdown run. Florida won here last year, 34-10.

    Vanderbilt delivered an upset win last week over Western Kentucky. While their offense looks improved, they're averaging just 258 yards per game vs. Power 5 foes, and average 92 yards below what their opponents are allowing. Their defense allowed just 351 yards per games last year, but this year are allowing 453 yards per game, including 5.4 yards per rush. The Commodores have just four sacks, despite being a veteran group. Yes, Florida has LSU on deck, but after last year's weak performance and coming off a loss, I'll go with a Gator bounce back.

    ATS pick: Florida
    Score: Florida 27, Vanderbilt 9

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Kansas State Wildcats (+3.5) at No. 29West Virginia Mountaineers
    3:30 p.m., ESPNU

    This is an automatic every time Kansas State is a underdog. Bill Snyder is 16-5 against the spread as an away 'dog, with eight outright upsets. Earlier this year, I had the Wildcats in this column as a 'dog at now No. 7 Stanford. Kansas State actually had a 335-272 yard edge in that matchup, with Stanford getting a late touchdown to win by a non-covering 13 points.

    West Virginia is 3-0, but their defense is allowing 463 yards per game. Kansas State only played one half last week vs. Missouri State (game called due to weather and non-competitiveness) as they won, 35-0. My website is only counting that for half a game, so in 2.5 games, they're still allowing just 179 yards per game. That's a large defensive edge, and they'll have the edge on special teams as well. Bill Snyder is 4-0 versus Dana Holgorson, with three of those wins being outright upsets.

    ATS pick: Kansas State (+)
    Score: Kansas State 30, West Virginia 24

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 21 Texas Longhorns (+3) at Oklahoma State Cowboys
    Noon, ABC

    I have picked Texas each week in this column, and while they opened 2-0, they blew numerous double-digit leads at California two weeks ago and lost outright. The Longhorns have a balanced offense, averaging 238 rushing yards per game and 262 passing yards per game. The defense has taken some lumps, allowing 397 yards per game, but has held two foes to season-lows and is holding opponents to 77 yards per game below their season average. Oklahoma State is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry and just 129 rushing yards per game. The Pokes defense is allowing 489 yards per game against FBS foes (15 more than opponents season average).

    Texas is the stronger, more balanced team, and the Longhorns won their last eight trips to Stillwater. I will top it off with the fact that Texas is fresh off a bye, while the Cowboys just fought through three straight games that came down to the wire, ultimately losing two of them.

    ATS pick: Texas
    Score: Texas 38, Oklahoma State 34

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (-10)
    3:30 p.m., ABC

    This game features two of the top defenses in the country. Michigan is holding its opponents to 200 yards per game below their season average, and already has recorded 17 sacks. Wisconsin is holding foes to just 277 yards per game, 110 yards per game below their season average.

    The Wolverines offense is loaded at receiver. Running back De'Veon Smith and quarterback Wilton Speight are starting to emerge, with Speight having a 9-0 ratio since his first pass interception. They average 111 yards per game more than their opponents are allowing, and are balanced with 230 rushing yards per game and 238 passing yards per game. They did benefit from taking on a Penn State defense that was missing its top three linebackers last week, however. Wisconsin has one the nation's best special teams, but the Bagers usual edge in that category in negated by an outstanding Michigan special teams unit.

    Last week, Wisconsin had the situational edge, catching Michigan State off a big win. This week, the Wolverines have that edge, with the Badgers off a big road win and traveling again. My computer shows Michigan finishing with a 411-266 yard edge.

    ATS pick: Michigan
    Score: Michigan 34, Wisconsin 17

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 17 Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers (+7)
    8 p.m., Big Ten Network

    I'll let my computer pick this game. Michigan State only trailed Wisconsin, 13-6 at the half last week, and had a 325-317 yard edge, but was minus two turnovers. I look at Michigan State off a loss to an Indiana team that just lost to Wake Forest at home, and my knee jerk reaction is to take the ranked team on the road.

    The Spartans have won their last five games off a loss by 25.2 points per game, covering each one. My computer is actually picking Indiana to win outright, 24-22, with a 428-388 yard edge. Looking into it deeper, I started to understand the logic. Indiana out-gained Wake Forest 611-352 last week, but was done in by minus five turnovers. Last year, the game was 28-26 in the fourth quarter, but Indiana started going for it on fourth down in their own territory, and it turned into a blowout on the scoreboard.

    Last year, Indiana showed it could play with the big boys, taking Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa to the wire. Indiana has a much-improved defense. The Hoosiers allowed 509 yards per game last year, but just 351 yards per game this year. I won't be as bold as my computer, calling for the outright upset, but will take the home 'dog.

    ATS pick: Indiana (+)
    Score: Michigan State 24, Indiana 23

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 26 Arizona State Sun Devils (+10.5) atUSC Trojans
    8 p.m., Fox

    I am scratching my head over this game. I liked USC a lot in this game last year, and the Trojans rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead then won, 42-14. I know that in the summer, USC was an 11-point favorite. The Trojans have taken on the nation's toughest schedule so far, while Arizona State has only faced my No. 80 schedule.
     
  23. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest


    This is what I have for the year... These guys have been bad.

    Stanford Steve (Coughlin):
    Week 1 (1-3)
    Week 2 (0-3-1)
    Week 3 (3-1-1)
    Week 4 (3-5)
    Season (8-13-2) 38%

    Bear (Fallica)
    Week 1 (1-4)
    Week 2 (2-3)
    Week 3 (3-4)
    Week 4 (1-6)
    Season (7-19) 27%
     
  24. The Hebrew Husker

    Donor
    Nebraska CornhuskersSeattle MarinersColorado AvalanceWWE

    Jesus Bear is bound to have a good week soon, you'd think.
     
  25. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 5 CFB bets
    Chris Fallica & Steve Coughlin


    After an impressive 2015 season, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and Chris Fallica of ESPN Stats & Information and College GameDay are back. Every week during the college football season, they'll give their best bets for picking the weekend's top college football games.

    2016 record:
    Fallica: 7-18 ATS
    Coughlin: 7-11-2 ATS

    2015 season record:
    Fallica: 53-40-3 ATS (55.2 percent)
    Coughlin: 38-29-3 ATS (54.3 percent)

    2014 season record:
    Fallica: 44-40 ATS (52.4 percent)
    Coughlin: 45-28-1 ATS (60.8 percent)

    Note: Against the spread (ATS) and total picks are in bold. Odds are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.


    Michigan Wolverines (-10.5) vs. Wisconsin Badgers
    Fallica: The schedule says Wisconsin beat two top-10 opponents at game-time, but LSU was very overrated in the preseason and Michigan State got a huge bump into the top 10 by beating an overrated -- and now 1-3 -- Notre Dame team. So while I am impressed with what the Wisconsin D has done, I remain skeptical. Now if the Badgers win Saturday, I'll be fully on board.

    The Michigan win against Colorado looks better now and I can't get last year's Michigan-Northwestern game out of my head -- when Northwestern visited Ann Arbor as a 10.5-point underdog with a shaky 5-0 mark, was ranked 13th and was dominated 38-0. I see some similarities here and think this spot plays right into Michigan's hands.

    ATS pick: Michigan 38, Wisconsin 10

    Coughlin: These two teams' schedules to start the year couldn't be any different, with the Badgers playing their third top-10 ranked team in five weeks and Michigan playing its fifth-straight week as a double-digit favorite, at home in "The Big House." So, what gives? Do you like the team that has been tested multiple times already this year or the team that has eased into the season?

    I will side with the team that has played better competition all the time, as this was the reason I gave out Oklahoma State last week at Baylor. Wisconsin ranks seventh nationally in scoring defense (11.8 points per game) and 12th in total defense (277.0 yards per game), but what has been most interesting to me is how the Badgers have played with the lead in both top-10 wins. That will be crucial this coming Saturday, seeing how Michigan is the most explosive (and balanced) offense they have faced. I see the Wolverines winning a one-score game, so take the points.

    ATS pick: Michigan 27, Wisconsin 21


    Clemson Tigers (+2) vs. Louisville Cardinals
    Fallica: I'll be totally honest: I don't have a great feel on this game at all. I wonder if Clemson has been holding some offense back in advance of this game. Remember, it was last year during this week that Deshaun Watson really became a factor in the running game vs. Notre Dame, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him become much more of a factor on the ground. And on the other side of the ball, this will be the best front Louisville has faced. But at the same time, Louisville completely shut down Florida State's dynamic offense and Lamar Jackson ran through them like a hot knife through butter.

    I want to like Louisville here because I think it is better. But the public bus is overflowing with Louisville T-shirts and this could be the game where Clemson finally puts a complete game together. I can't wait to watch this one and if I wasn't forced to make a pick on this game, I certainly wouldn't. (Editor's note: Sorry, Fallica.) I would think it's hard for anyone to have a great feel on the side here. But because I have to ...

    ATS pick: Clemson 28, Louisville 27

    Coughlin: This will be just the second game in the 74-year history of Memorial Stadium to feature two top 5 teams; the other was three years ago when No. 3 FSU came in and pounded No. 5 Clemson 51-14. I remember that game because I was there ... just not for long, as that game was over about 3-4 possessions in. Saturday night, I feel will be different, as this will be the biggest test the Cardinals and Lamar Jackson will face -- on the road, in a hostile environment, against as talented of a team as they will see in the regular season.

    Last week, Marshall held Jackson to 62 yards rushing but gave up 400 yards passing and five TDs in the air. So, the Cardinals were able to adapt to what the opposition was giving them. I think the talent and scheme of the Tigers' defense will be enough to slow Louisville down and Watson will remind everyone how special of a player he was -- and is. Home team wins in Death Valley.

    ATS pick: Clemson 34, Louisville 28


    Indiana Hoosiers (+7) vs. Michigan State Spartans
    Fallica: Indiana gave a game away last week at home against Wake Forest, throwing five interceptions, but I think the IU offense will play better this week. Remember last year, the Hoosiers had a real chance to win in East Lansing, as they trailed by two entering the fourth quarter, missed two PAT and FG in the game, and the Spartans scored three TDs in the final 4:57 to make the final score far more deceiving than the game actually was.

    The Spartans haven't lost consecutive games since 2012, but this could be a tough spot on the road versus a team which took Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State to the final gun as a big underdog last year in Bloomington. The Spartans played well in an underdog role against an overrated Notre Dame team, which obviously has issues, but were embarrassed offensively last week and struggled in the opener against an FCS opponent. If MSU wins, it won't be easy.

    ATS pick: Michigan State 30, Indiana 28


    Washington State Cougars (+1) vs. Oregon Ducks
    Fallica: The Oregon defense is terrible; there really isn't a way to mask saying that. The Ducks allowed 7 yards per play last week against Colorado and 200 rushing and passing in Lincoln, Nebraska, the week before. Oregon is 102nd nationally and 61st of 65 Power 5 teams in defensive efficiency. Now, it faces a team which only threw for 505 in a 45-38 win in Autzen last year. The Ducks are down Devon Allen for the season and who knows if Royce Freeman will play this week. The trajectory of this program is headed down and a first three-game losing streak for the first time since 2007 would amplify that much more. With two weeks to prepare for a shaken Oregon team, I'll back the Cougars at home.

    ATS pick: Washington State 48, Oregon 35


    Ole Miss Rebels (-14.5) vs. Memphis Tigers
    Fallica: Don't be fooled by Memphis being fifth nationally in defensive efficiency, as the Tigers have faced Southeast Missouri State, Kansas and Bowling Green -- Kansas and Bowling Green are 0-5 vs. FBS teams and have blown out in all five games. Ole Miss showed last week it is still motivated to play in a blowout win against Georgia. And now the Rebels get a revenge game vs. the Tigers, who handed Ole Miss a 37-24 loss last year. If the revenge factor wasn't at play, I would be a little worried about a letdown, but I expect the Rebels to put up a big number again this week.

    ATS pick: Ole Miss 41, Memphis 21


    UCF Knights (+4) at East Carolina Pirates (over/under 61)
    Coughlin: UCF set a season-high with 53 points last week in winning by 39 points at Florida International. The Knights' offense racked up 501 total yards of offense, their highest total since 2014. ECU has played three Power 5 schools this season, including last week when the Pirates had 443 yards of offense versus Virginia Tech but committed three special teams mistakes, fumbled once and were sacked six times. ECU QB Philip Nelson is first in the nation in completion percentage (79 percent), but was harassed by constant pressure and on the run much of the day, finishing 17 of 34 passing. Senior Zay Jones now has at least 10 catches in 11 games and at least 100 receiving yards in 13 games.

    Both of these defenses give up more than 23 points per game and ECU is giving up more than 520 yards of offense. I expect an old-time American Conference score-fest at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.

    Pick: ECU 45, UCF 38 (take the over)


    Minnesota Golden Gophers (+3) at Penn State Nittany Lions
    Coughlin: Please read the following information and ask yourself if it makes any sense. A team that is 2-2 and fresh off a 39-point loss is hosting an undefeated conference opponent. The home team is a 3-point favorite. The home team that is favored comes in giving up 213 yards, while the underdog comes in averaging 228 yards on the ground. So why is the home team favored? Never mind -- don't worry about it, just take the home team. I know this sounds like awful advice, but this line stinks. There's no reason to take Penn State here, but I am telling you to back the Nittany Lions, as no one beats unranked teams more than James Franklin.

    ATS pick: Penn State 27, Minnesota 21


    Stanford Cardinal (+2) at Washington Huskies
    Coughlin: Last week, I mentioned how Tennessee had circled the game with Florida from the day the Vols hired Butch Jones; this Friday game in Husky Stadium seems to be kind of the same thing. Chris Petersen's team improved enough to compete with the top tier programs of the league like Stanford, which has won three of the past four Pac-12 titles. We all know how the Cardinal covered last week and those who had UCLA don't need to be reminded.

    In that game I saw a young Stanford team respond from a decently played game to win the game in the last couple of seconds, but it could have turned out to be a costly win as David Shaw's team will show up Friday night in Seattle without its two top corners and starting fullback. Washington quarterback Jake Browning is third nationally in passing efficiency (194.9), with 14 touchdown passes and two interceptions. He didn't play in last season's loss to Stanford because of injury. The Stanford defense is allowing 12.0 points per game against a lot better competition. There might not be a bigger game for the conference in the national spotlight and I think the home team wins, even though I normally go with the team that has played better competition coming into the game.

    ATS pick: Washington 28, Stanford 17
     
  26. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    letan or Juan can you post Phil Steele's picks also?
     
  27. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Nevermind. Just saw it posted.
     
  28. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Look at Fallica (4-1) and Steve (4-0-1) having a big weekend.
     
  29. bstaple12

    bstaple12 Nole World Order
    Atlanta BravesAtlanta FalconsFlorida State Seminoles

    Hey does anyone have insider that can share Joe petals mlb playoff bets? This guy is money and one of the sharpest MLB guys out there. He has a play on the game tonight
     
    LeVar Burton likes this.
  30. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Phil Steele Week 6

    • [​IMG]
      Phil SteeleESPN Staff Writer
    Each week during the 2016 college football season, I will offer my picks and best bets for the biggest games, and I will highlight a handful of other key matchups.

    Last season, my selections went 104-33 (76 percent) picking the straight-up winners during the regular season and 74-61-2 (55 percent) against the spread.

    My selections are off to a much slower start this year, at 29-15 straight up (66 percent) and 20-23-1 ATS. On the weekly podcast with Anita Marks and Doug Kezerian, my selections are 10-5-1 ATS on the year, so check that out this Friday.

    Here are my selections for this week's big games.

    Note: All times are Eastern for Saturday's contests. Lines courtesy of Westgate SuperBook as of Wednesday morning.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Arizona Wildcats at No. 24 Utah Utes (-9.5)
    10:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1

    Utah is coming off its first loss of the season after the Utes were stopped at the Cal 1-yard line at the end. I like the way quarterback Troy Williams is progressing, and true freshman running back Zack Moss and sophomoreArmand Shyne have combined for 504 yards rushing over the last three games. They take on an Arizona defense that is allowing 459 yards per game. Arizona is allowing opponents 39 yards above their season average.



    [​IMG]
    CFB betting look for Week 6: Why it's time to sell UCLA
    Will Harris identifies games to watch for in Week 6 of the college football season and breaks down gambling lessons learned from Week 5, including why he isn't a believer in UCLA.




    The Wildcats took the redshirt offKhalil Tate, and he led three touchdown drives last week, but most were late, with the last ending with 36 seconds left to play. Utah has a top-notch defensive line that has helped the defense record 17 sacks, and the Utes are holding foes to just 324 yards per game and 95 yards below their season average. Utah has a solid special teams edge. This is the only home game in a four-week stretch, and they'll be fully prepared after losing four in a row, including three by upset to Arizona.

    ATS pick: Utah
    Score: Utah 31, Arizona 16

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Northern Illinois Huskies at No. 26 Western Michigan Broncos (-19)
    6:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

    Western Michigan is still not in the top 25, but the Broncos should be. They have a solid shot at being undefeated at the end of the year and the top Group of Five member. Northern Illinois has beaten Western seven straight years, has won six straight MAC West titles, is undefeated in MAC play this year -- yet is almost a three touchdown 'dog?

    I had Western last week, and the Broncos delivered an easy 49-10 win over a solid Central Michigan team. Western has a balanced offense, averaging 247 rushing yards per game and 213 passing yards per game (completing 69.2 percent), while the defense is holding foes to 101 yards per game below their season average. Northern lost its first four games and the defense is allowing 485 yards per game and 73 yards more than their opponents average. The Huskies put up 653 yards last week, but won't have that same success here.

    Western continues its perfect run against the spread and wins their sixth straight impressive game, as the Broncos will be hell-bent on ending that losing streak to Northern.

    ATS pick: Western Michigan
    Score: Western Michigan 47, Northern Illinois 19

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 23 Florida State Seminoles (+3) at No. 10 Miami Hurricanes
    8:00 p.m., ABC

    Florida State has lost two games this year and has not lived up to the preseason hype. Dalvin Cook has finally gotten unhitched and has 407 yards rushing over the last two weeks, while Deondre Francois just threw for 372 yards against North Carolina. The Seminoles defense has allowed 438 yards per game, but is actually holding their foes to 72 yards below their season average, having taken on four of the FBS's top offenses.

    Miami has out-gained its foes by an average of 474-253, but has taken on my No. 117-toughest schedule. Meanwhile, Florida State has faced my third-toughest schedule in the country. This is the first time the Noles have been installed as a 'dog in two regular season games in the last five years. They will have a decent amount of fans here and have won six in a row vs. the Hurricanes, and five in a row in Miami.

    Since 2011, Miami has played a grand total of one game matching top 25 teams. They lost that one to Florida State, 41-14, in 2013.

    ATS pick: Florida State (+)
    Score: Florida State 35, Miami 34

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 28 LSU Tigers (-2.5) at No. 18 Florida Gators
    Noon, ESPN

    LSU running back Leonard Fournette could miss this game, but the Tigers still have the talent edge. Ed Orgeron is the first Cajun to coach LSU, and the team responded last week by finally playing up to their talent level in their 42-7 romp over Missouri. The Tigers put up 634 yards without Fournette, and the defense held Missouri to a season-low 265 yards. Their defense is holding foes to 153 yards below their season average. They've beaten Florida three straight years.

    Last week, Florida fumbled a snap on second and goal at the 1-yard line, or they would have otherwise beaten Vanderbilt by 14. Surprisingly, they were out-gained 265-236. LSU has taken on a much tougher schedule so far, and Florida's vaunted defense is holding foes to 126 yards below their season average.

    With the defenses even, I give LSU the offense and special teams edges. Orgeron won six of his first seven after taking over at USC, and I expect a similar turnaround here.

    ATS pick: LSU
    Score: LSU 20, Florida 13

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 27 UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils (+10)
    10:30 p.m., ESPN2

    Arizona State lost its quarterback Manny Wilkens in the second quarter last week, and Brady White hadn't had enough reps with the ones to come in and succeed -- and that was on the road versus a desperate USC team. Here, he's taken the number one reps (see the turnaround by Steven Montez of Colorado two weeks ago) and is home at night.

    UCLA is my pick to win the South Division, and the Bruins have a large edge on defense. Arizona State has the edge on offense and the home edge at night, plus they have my No. 2-rated special teams vs. the No. 85 unit of UCLA. Arizona State has already beaten Cal and Texas Tech at home. UCLA only got past BYU by three on the road.

    I'll call for UCLA to win the game, but only by a late field goal late night in the desert.

    ATS pick: Arizona State (+)
    Score: UCLA 30, Arizona State 27

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 5 Washington Huskies (-8) at Oregon Ducks
    7:30 p.m., Fox

    This pick goes against history and the situation. Oregon has not only beaten Washington 12 straight years, the Ducks have won by more than the Vegas total each time. Last year, I had Oregon in this columnm and they delivered the upset for me in Husky Stadium.

    Now the Ducks are at home and coming off a loss, hosting a Washington team that comes in off a huge home win over Stanford and now must travel as a touchdown favorite.

    I'm still siding with the more talented team here. Oregon is thought to have the offensive edge and has better depth at the skill positions. I give the edge to the Huskies at quarterback with Jake Browning, who has hit 71 percent of his passes (17-2 ratio). They also have a more veteran offensive line. Washington has a huge edge on defense as well, allowing just 299 yards per game with 21 sacks in just five games. Oregon allows 490 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry.

    I'll take the more talented team to end the 12 game series losing streak.

    ATS pick: Washington
    Score: Washington 41, Oregon 27

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Washington State Cougars at No. 15Stanford Cardinal (-7)
    10:30 p.m., ESPN

    This game could give you the line value of the week. Had these two met last week, Stanford would've been about a two-touchdown favorite, but the Cardinal got blown out by Washington last week, 44-6.

    Washington State stumbled into last week 1-2, was a home 'dog to Oregon, but rolled over the Ducks 51-33 with 651 yards of offense. Stanford has won eight in a row in the series, but after winning the first seven by an average of 26.5 points per game, needed a missed Cougar field goal to escape with a two-point win last year. Now Stanford is off a loss and will be well prepared after last year's close win.

    The offenses are close to even, but Stanford has the massive edge on defense and special teams, and David Shaw is 9-1 against the spread after a loss.

    ATS pick: Stanford
    Score: Stanford 35, Washington State 23

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers (+7) at No. 9Texas A&M Aggies
    3:30 p.m., CBS

    Two undefeated top 10 teams battle it out here. The Aggies have opened each of the last two years 5-0, but have gone just 6-10 after that, including 3-13 ATS. This year's team looks to be better equipped as they average 259 yards rushing per game and 6.7 yards per carry. Their defense, after allowing 5.0 yards per carry in each of the last two years, is giving up just 135 yards per game and 3.4 yards per carry on the ground.

    Tennessee is coming off back-to-back big games and must travel for a second straight week. Both teams deserve to be in the top 10, and Tennessee continues to gain confidence with each comeback win.

    I'll call for this game to live up to the advanced billing, and be decided by a field goal or less, and that has me taking the points.

    ATS pick: Tennessee
    Score: Texas A&M 28, Tennessee 27

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+1) at NC State Wolfpack
    Noon, ABC

    I know that neither team is ranked, but this is Notre Dame and it's on ABC at noon, so it fits in this space.

    Notre Dame is just 2-3 on the year and has a defense that is allowing 461 yards per game and recorded just five sacks. North Carolina State is 3-1 and has a defense that allows just 322 yards per game with 11 sacks. The Wolfpack are also at home and new quarterback Ryan Finley is completing 72 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. I understand why the Wolfpack are favored, but this is a desperate Notre Dame team that still has a lot of talent. Notre Dame has faced my No. 36-toughest schedule, while North Carolina State has taken on my No. 109 toughest slate.

    Last year, North Carolina State was 0-6 against bowl eligible teams, and 7-0 against the lightweights. This year, they have not yet taken on a team that was in a bowl last year, and are 3-1.

    I'll call for the Irish to pull the upset, evening their record at 3-3.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame (+)
    Score: Notre Dame 34, North Carolina State 30
     
    TheGodfather likes this.
  31. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    • MLB Vegas ExpertsESPN Chalk
    The last time the New York Mets sent Noah Syndergaard to the mound to face the Giants, New York's season hung in the balance. A couple of games past the three-quarter mark of the season, the Mets were a game under .500, in third place in the NL East. Not only had the Mets won three fewer games than the Marlins at that point, but they also had won only three more games than the Phillies!


    Then Thor took the mound in the national spotlight of Sunday Night Baseball, pitched eight innings of two-hit ball and from there the Mets went 25-13, tying the Cubs for the best record in the NL over the rest of the season.

    On that hot August night, Syndergaard sqaured off against Jeff Samardzija. Tonight the Giants send their ace, and winner of the 2014 wild-card game,Madison Bumgarner, to the mound. While San Francisco gains confidence starting its No. 1 pitcher, who happens to be coming off his best year statistically, from a momentum standpoint it's been well-established that the Giants come into the postseason leaking oil like a rusted-out jalopy.

    It took a four-game winning streak to end the season for the Giants to escape the distinction of having the worst post All-Star break record in the National League -- after having had the best record up to that point. Still, don't be too deceived by their poor record in that time frame. The Giants may have lost 12 more games than they won in the second half of the season, but they still outscored their opponents by 11 runs.

    Of course, the nirvana for any baseball handicapper is to hit nine straight postseason series calls to complete the October sweep. Joe Peta, who came within one missed series call of going 9-0 last year, kept his 2016 dream of a perfect slate alive with his call last night on the Blue Jays. Joining him tonight will be Andrew Lange, making his initial pick of the postseason.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Westgate line: San Francisco Giants (Bumgarner) -105 at New York Mets (Syndergaard) -105,
    Over/under: 6 (-125 under)
    PickCenter Intel

    Joe Peta: For a pitcher with a 2.74 ERA (fourth in the majors) and a 3.36 SIERA (also fourth, but in a stat which measures a pitcher's skill set and not his results), Bumgarner had a surprising amount of mediocre outings. You look at his game log and his season takes on a barbell quality -- he was either unhittable or just replacement level. That sort of inconsistency is unusual for pitchers regarded as dominating. The main culprit? Bumgarner has induced a lower percentage of ground balls every season for the last four years to the point that now he is one of the most extreme flyball pitchers in the game.

    Guess who hit the second most home runs in the National League this year? In shattering the franchise record in a season for home runs with 218, the Mets were fifth in the majors in dingers. With Syndergaard on the mound, the Mets are well-equipped to go to battle against Bumgarner. A "bloop and a blast" is a highly reasonable scenario, which is why there is nothing ridiculous about envisioning the Mets riding Thor to a 2-1 victory.

    However, for the Mets to hold any opponent to one run or less takes at least double-digit strikeouts from their pitchers because their defense is so very bad -- fourth-worst in the majors by my adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. Syndergaard, of course, has the stuff to punch out a dozen batters, but just as the Mets have the long-ball power to exploit Bumgarner's weakness, the Giants offset Syndergaard's strength because they strike out less, by far, than any other team in the NL.

    I preached all World Series last year that a team that puts materially more balls in play against the team with the materially worse defense will inevitably score more runs in the long run. This is only one game of course, but I see it playing out the same way.

    ESPN Chalk pick: San Francisco -105

    Andrew Lange: I'm all about a hitting reset once the postseason begins, but the way the San Francisco Giants played after the All-Star break and the amount of energy they expended over the final week of the season has me leery of Wednesday's one-and-done game in New York. If this were a best-of-five series, the Giants would be the clear favorite to advance, considering New York's decimated starting rotation.

    Bumgarner's ERA over his last nine starts was an alarming 4.66. Of those nine starts, three were against offensively inept San Diego and Atlanta and three were against the Dodgers, one of the league's worst offenses against left-handed pitching. In his last outing -- a must win -- the Dodgers rested a number of key players and Bumgarner was still smacked around early for two runs in the first inning.

    He eventually settled down and once opposing starter Rich Hill left, the Giants exploded for seven runs in the sixth inning en route to a 9-3 win. Bumgarner's stat line looked good (7 1/3 IP, 3 ERs) but it was another performance that has me questioning the toll of his incredible workload. Yes, he just turned 27 years old, but six straight regular seasons of 200-plus innings, with 67 2/3 postseason innings during that span, and a noticeable drop in velocity are all red flags.

    Syndergaard enters the game on extended rest. He hasn't thrown over 100 pitches in a start since Sept. 2 and last pitched on Sept. 27. While Bumgarner is rightfully praised for his postseason heroics, Syndergaard is no stranger to the playoffs himself, having made three quality starts last year. I also give the bullpen edge to the Mets as the Giants' pen had plenty of well-documented struggles during the back half of the season. If San Francisco has one considerable advantage, it's defense. For me, the Mets grade out as league average while the Giants were one of the league's best.

    The price is ultimately what gets me to the window with New York. In this one-game scenario, the factors I feel to be most important suggest the Mets should be as high as -125.

    ESPN Chalk pick: New York -105
     
    LeVar Burton and bstaple12 like this.
  32. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Updated for the year.

    Stanford Steve (Coughlin):
    Week 1 (1-3)
    Week 2 (0-3-1)
    Week 3 (3-1-1)
    Week 4 (3-5)
    Week 5 (4-0-1)
    Season (12-13-3) 48%

    Bear (Fallica)
    Week 1 (1-4)
    Week 2 (2-3)
    Week 3 (3-4)
    Week 4 (1-6)
    Week 5 (4-1)
    Season (11-20) 35%
     
  33. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Well guess we need more Joe Peta...
     
  34. bstaple12

    bstaple12 Nole World Order
    Atlanta BravesAtlanta FalconsFlorida State Seminoles

    He wrote a book called Trading Bases that is about a baseball betting model he created which is a really good read
     
  35. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Ohhhh is that right? Currently sitting in my audible.com queue.

    Side note, is it queue, cue, or que?
     
    bstaple12 likes this.
  36. Stone Cold Steve Austin

    Stone Cold Steve Austin Tickler Extraordinaire
    Donor
    Alabama Crimson TideAtlanta Braves

  37. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Week 6

    Fallica and Coughlin's best Week 6 CFB bets
    Can Jimbo Fisher get Florida State's season back on track against Miami? Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
    11:16 AM ET
    • Chris Fallica
    • Steve Coughlin

    After an impressive 2015 season, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and Chris Fallica of ESPN Stats & Information and College GameDay are back. Every week during the college football season, they'll give their best bets for picking the weekend's top college football games.

    2016 record:

    Fallica: 10-19 ATS
    Coughlin: 11-11-3 ATS

    2015 season record:
    Fallica: 53-40-3 ATS (55.2 percent)
    Coughlin: 38-29-3 ATS (54.3 percent)

    2014 season record:
    Fallica: 44-40 ATS (52.4 percent)
    Coughlin: 45-28-1 ATS (60.8 percent)

    Note: Against the spread (ATS) and total picks are in bold. Odds are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Florida State Seminoles (+3) at Miami (FL) Hurricanes

    The last time FSU was an underdog against Miami was 2010 when the Seminoles beat the Canes 45-17. The 'Noles have looked awful on defense this year, but keep in mind they have played three of the best offenses in the country in Ole Miss, Louisville and North Carolina. While Miami has been efficient on offense this year, it doesn't have the tempo/big-pass play element those teams possessed -- or at least they haven't shown it yet. Are the Canes a bit overrated?



    [​IMG]
    How Vegas handicappers rank top 25 CFB teams
    How do Vegas handicappers rank the top 25 teams in college football? Washington and Houston continue to rise.




    They are in the top 10 after wins over Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Appalachian State and Georgia Tech. The defense does seem improved and it can't be ignored that Miami had the 'Noles beaten each of the last two years and just couldn't close the games out. Maybe the FSU mojo is truly gone and this coaching staff will help the Canes end the streak vs. FSU this year, but I still think the 'Noles are the better team despite the two losses. Our FPI numbers have FSU as a 2-point favorite, so it sees at least five points of value with the 'Noles.

    ATS pick: FSU 27, Miami 23

    Coughlin: No one was higher on a team at the beginning of the year than I was on the 'Noles, and therefore, no one has been as wrong as I am. But even so, I still back Jimbo Fisher and his guys here. I always like to see the paths that each team has taken coming into a certain game and I like what FSU has faced compared to the 'Canes, even though Florida State has suffered two losses (at Louisville and a 37-35 heartbreaker to North Carolina last week). While the 'Canes come in unblemished, I agree with Fallica that their wins haven't been impressive. The underdog is 14-3 ATS in this matchup in the last 17 meetings. I'll take Jimbo's bunch in this game.

    ATS pick: FSU 31, Miami 28

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Texas A&M Aggies (-6.5) vs. Tennessee Volunteers

    Fallica: I don't have a strong feel on this game, but I'm solely going to base it on some common sense. This will be the third straight week Tennessee has to rise to an emotional challenge -- something that might be hard to do. How much gas is left in the tank?

    In addition to a wild ending last week, Tennessee has fumbled 15 times this year and lost just three. This is also the first time in Tennessee's win streak that the Vols will be an underdog; in eight of the 11 games, Tennessee was a double-digit favorite. Add in the losses of Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Darrin Kirkland and the defense will be a bit depleted. Texas A&M could be fool's gold after another 5-0 start, but I just sense this team is a little different. And man does this line stink.

    ATS pick: Texas A&M 24, Tennessee 17

    [​IMG]Wondering which side to take? Check out PickCenter and do your research before making that critical decision.PickCenter[​IMG]

    Coughlin: The Vols are front and center in the national spotlight again, fresh off of having trailed in four of their first five games and needing overtime to get by Appalachian State in their opener. Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis used to coach at Tennessee, including winning a national Title in 1998, and now calls the signals in College Station. He offered this at his weekly press conference: "I've never been in a stadium that can come alive like this one at Texas A&M."

    People can look at that quote however they want, but it tells me that "Chief" is ready and waiting for this game, and couldn't be more confident. Just as in Week 1 when the Aggies pass rush and gave Josh Rosen and the UCLA offense fits, I think the same will happen against Josh Dobbs and the Vols. I like A&M QB Trevor Knight, the Oklahoma transfer, in this spot. ATS pick: Texas A&M 31, Tennessee 20

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    New Mexico Lobos (+17.5) vs. Boise State Broncos

    Fallica: I'm going to reach into "Davie Jones' Locker" and grab all those points in Albuquerque. Under Bob Davie, the Lobos are 4-0 ATS vs. Boise State. They pulled the outright upset last year as a 30-point 'dog, covered as 18-point 'dog in 2014, covered as 38-point 'dog in 2013 and lost by 3 as 24-point 'dog in 2012. I'm sure most are thinking the revenge angle is strong here, but I'll back the Lobos' running game to eat clock and keep them in this Friday night Mountain West Conference special.

    ATS pick: Boise State 42, New Mexico 35

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+28) vs. Michigan Wolverines

    Fallica: Let's take a trip to the Banks of the Raritan and back the Scarlet Knights, something not many would consider doing. Forget last week's game, as I think Ohio State is the best team in the country. Take a look to the State University of New Jersey's last home game, instead, which was a 14-7 loss to Iowa. I belive Michigan's offense is more similar to the Hawkeyes. Now, the Wolverines won't lose the game here, my guess is they'll just pound the football due to a very pedestrian passing attack. That will be good enough to win here and against most Big Ten teams, especially since Michigan's defense is excellent.

    ATS pick: Michigan 31, Rutgers 14

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Washington State Cougars (+7.5) at Stanford Cardinal

    Fallica: Other than a poor job by the offensive line, no threats at WR, subpar QB play and a depleted secondary, Stanford was great last Friday night. Outside of Christian McCaffrey, the Cardinal are a very average team. Wazzu probably should have beaten the Cardinal last year in the Palouse but " Pac-12 refs" and way too many field goals cost them. The state of the Stanford secondary really worries me and I think the Cougars will again put up a big number on offense. Since start of last year Washington State has been an underdog dog 9 times -- the Cougars are 8-1 vs. the number with six outright wins. Make it seven.

    ATS pick: Washington State 32, Stanford 27

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Ball State Cardinals (+12.5) at Central Michigan Chippewas

    Fallica: The Chippewas have lost their mojo the last two weeks in losses (at Virginia and a blowout vs. Western Michigan). Ball State played Indiana tough early in the season and this looks like a lot of points for a series which has seen the last two meetings decided by a total of five points.

    ATS pick: Central Michigan 37, Ball State 27

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    FIU Golden Panthers (+5) at UTEP Miners

    Fallica: These two teams are very evenly matched in terms of efficiency ratings, separated by a couple of spots on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. FIU has shown some life since the coaching change. The Golden Panthers won by 40 last year and have many of those offensive contributors back from that team a year ago. I think they take this one.

    ATS pick: FIU 38, UTEP 35

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+2.5) at NC State Wolfpack

    When you look at the stats heading into this game, I understand why the Wolfpack are favored; and on top of that they are home. What sticks out is that NC State only gives up 322 yards a game to its opponents, while the Irish are giving up more than 460. But, again, I look at the teams each has played coming in and NC State has played far inferior competition, beating teams like William & Mary, Wake Forest and Old Dominion. The Wolfpack haven't even seen anything close to the talent and level of play DeShone Kizer and company bring into Carter-Finley this Saturday. In fact, the best offense they have faced was ECU and they lost 33-30. Brian Kelly and his squad come into Raleigh-Durham and get the job done.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame 38, NC State 27

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Virginia Tech Hokies (+2.5) at North Carolina Tar Heels (over/under 58)

    Editor's note: This game may not be played due to Hurricane Matthew.

    North Carolina's offense averages 342 yards a game passing behind junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who has started to appear on Heisman lists, completing 76 percent of his passes with no INTs in his last 240 pass attempts. One of my favorite players, UNC WR Ryan Switzer, has a team-high 47 catches for the season, but he has plenty of support from the other wide receivers on his team. Plus, their star RB Elijiah Hood,might be limited, so the Heels might be putting the ball in the air even more. The Hokies recorded a season high 476 yards of offense against a well-regarded Boston College defense and came back with 462 yards in a win over East Carolina in their last game, plus they are coming off a bye.

    Pick: UNC 38, Virginia Tech 34 (take the over)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Alabama Crimson Tide (-14) at Arkansas Razorbacks

    As George Constanza would say, "You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!"

    I know Alabama has the nation's longest active win streak coming into this game, in front of what should be a crazy awesome crowd in Fayetteville on Saturday night, but the Tide also hold the longest active win streak against AP-ranked opponents, which is nine games. So, all good things come to an end, right?

    The Razorbacks have the most one-possession losses against the No. 1 team in the poll era, which makes me feel pretty good about Arkansas playing well in a big spot. As long as the Hogs can avoid giving up the big play, I like their chances. It will be tough, seeing how 'Bama QB,Jalen Hurts is actually second on the team in rushing, while he obviously leads the team in all passing categories. I was on the field in 2010 when Bret Bielema beat No. 1 Ohio State when he was the man in charge in Madison for Wisconsin, so I still have that in my head and can see a similar night happening.

    ATS pick: Arkansas 27, Alabama 26
     
    Irish226 and TheGodfather like this.
  38. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Wow of course
     
  39. bstaple12

    bstaple12 Nole World Order
    Atlanta BravesAtlanta FalconsFlorida State Seminoles

    Anyone got petas series previews?
     
    LeVar Burton likes this.
  40. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Red Sox / Indians
    Cleveland will rely heavily on the right arm of Corey Kluber against the Red Sox. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
    12:00 PM ET
    • MLB Vegas ExpertsESPN Chalk

    Oh, what might have been. Just a month ago, this had the makings of a strength-on-strength matchup featuring the best offense in baseball versus the best 1-2-3 rotation in the American League. However, late season injuries to Cleveland starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar have the Indians scrambling for a strategy to neutralize the Red Sox's potent lineup.



    [​IMG]
    How to bet the Rangers-Blue Jays ALDS
    ESPN Chalk's Vegas experts provide their best bets for the ALDS between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, including picking a winner of the series.



    It's refreshing to see new blood in the playoffs. The Indians make their first appearance in the Division Series in nine years, and they'll welcome perennial American League East cellar dwellers, the Boston Red Sox, to town. We kid, we kid! But the Red Sox did finish in last place in their division in three of the past four years. Of course, the exception was 2013, when they captured their third title of the David Ortiz era. This has truly been a boom or bust franchise for five seasons.

    The Red Sox send 2016 Cy Young Candidate and 22-game winner Rick Porcelloto the mound, and Cleveland counters with Trevor Bauer. While this will be Bauer's first taste of October baseball, Porcello has made eight appearances, including two starts during his six seasons with the Tigers. His 4.41 ERA in 16 postseason innings was reflective of his regular-season results and his skill set -- at least until this year, when he emerged as the unlikely ace and stopper of the Red Sox rotation.

    Our rotation of baseball handicappers hope their regular-season work carries over to the postseason as well. For the nightcap of Thursday's two ALDS previews, we're rolling out our own version of a 1-2-3 rotation with Joe Peta, Andrew Lange and Dave Tuley, and those three will supply a pick for the series and Game 1.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Boston Red Sox (-165) vs. Cleveland Indians (+145)

    Joe Peta: The Red Sox did a lot of things well this year after finishing last in the AL East last season. Their defense was better than it has been in the five years I've been calculating adjusted defensive efficiency, which measure a team's effectiveness at turning batted balls into outs and erasing existing baserunners. Their hitters had the third-lowest strikeout rate in the majors, which is amazing, considering they were first in on-base percentage and slugging as well. That's removing the most damaging outcome of the three-true-outcomes offense, and it makes for a lethal attack.

    However, I'm not sure I trust the bullpen, and I know I don't trust the rotation. The Red Sox are built to win any sort of extended, multi-chance-type battles. But offensive variance being what it is, I can't help but shake the feeling that the Red Sox kryptonite is a five-game series, specifically against the Indians. Cleveland -- not the home run-mashing Orioles, not the slugging Toronto Blue Jays and not the Rangers playing half their games in a souped-up stadium -- were second to the Red Sox in American League scoring this year. They have a better defense than the Red Sox, and it's equipped to neutralize batted balls.

    They've got a bullpen full of high-strikeout arms, if Terry Francona (hopefully) chooses to play the series as a collection of one-inning contests when Corey Kluber isn't on the mound.

    Most of all, for our purposes, they've got significant underdog odds, all while holding home-field advantage. Even though I suspect they will be outscored in the series, Cleveland in 5.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Cleveland, +145

    Andrew Lange: Injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar really hinder Cleveland's chances in this series. And with Corey Kluber nursing a quad injury and pushed back to Game 2, there's a chance Boston will see one of the game's premium right-handers just once. I like Game 1's starter, Trevor Bauer, but he's probably Cleveland's fourth-best arm.

    Boston isn't without its issues. I have questions whether the starting staff will hold up for a much-discussed World Series run. Rick Porcello has been phenomenal this season, but the Red Sox really don't have a shutdown ace to rely on in a must-win/elimination situation. David Price looked like a middle-of-the-rotation arm for much of the season, and Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez are far from trustworthy.

    Offense is where the Red Sox can get you, and regardless of who starts, they'll be favored in every game Kluber doesn't pitch. Cleveland quietly posted the American League's second-best run differential (+101), behind Boston (+184). But that included a combined 283⅓ IP and mid-3.00 ERA from Carrasco and Salazar. Boston should advance to the ALCS, but -165 is a little rich for my blood.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Pass

    Dave Tuley: The Red Sox appear to have gotten the luck of the draw in the American League as the No. 3 seed behind the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians, getting a seemingly easier matchup against a Cleveland team whose pitching staff is a shadow of what it was earlier in the year. The oddsmakers recognized this and made the Red Sox between -150 and -160 favorites to win the series, and bettors have pushed it up as high as -170.

    Boston won the season series 4-2, and most of those games were earlier in the year, when the Indians were at full strength. Boston is my pick to win the series, but I'm not going to lay juice in the -165/-170 range. If you feel the same way -- and if you do, you probably know that the Red Sox need to win one of the first two games in Cleveland -- the best bet might be on the Red Sox to win Game 1 at the lower price of -140. With Cleveland not using Corey Kluber until Game 2, the Red Sox have a big pitching edge with Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) over Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA, 1.31 WHIP). Porcello has also had success against the Indians (10-4, 3.35 ERA), whereas Bauer has been roughed up by Red Sox (0-2, 12.91 ERA) in his career.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Red Sox, -140 in Game 1

    Blue Jays / Rangers
    How to bet the Rangers-Blue Jays ALDS
    Can the Blue Jays win another playoff series after an exciting wild-card game? Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
    10:56 AM ET
    • MLB Vegas ExpertsESPN Chalk

    A "much-anticipated matchup" in baseball usually doesn't occur in the Division Series of MLB's playoff format, but the pairing of the Blue Jays and the Rangers certainly wears that label well. The two teams faced off in last year's epic five-game ALDS, which featured three straight elimination games for the Blue Jays before Jose Bautista's bat-flip-heard-round-the-world sealed the Game 5 clincher. As most baseball fans know, the bad blood from the bat flip spilled over into this year's regular season where Texas, rather cowardly, waited until the eighth inning of the last regular-season encounter with Toronto to exact its revenge, eventually leading to an on-field brawl.



    [​IMG]
    How to bet Red Sox-Indians ALDS
    ESPN Chalk's Vegas experts provide their best bets for the ALDS between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, including picking a winner of the series.



    It's a very different story from last year in many other ways as well, as the Rangers were huge +210 underdogs (Toronto -250) in the 2015 ALDS. This year, Texas as a division winner not only has the home-field advantage versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers have it throughout the entire postseason courtesy of their American League-high 95 wins, and, should it come to the World Series, the AL's victory in the All-Star Game. Also unlike last year, Texas sports the more potent offense, at least based on runs scored in the regular season.

    One injury to keep an eye on: Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna abruptly left Tuesday's wild-card game with one out in the 10th inning with reported shoulder stiffness. His availability for both Thursday's game and the series is uncertain, but with Joaquin Benoit already lost for the series (courtesy another bench-clearing brawl, this time with the Yankees), Toronto could be left with only one sub-3.00 ERA reliever in Ryan Tepera.

    The availability of our baseball handicappers for the rest of the postseason is never in doubt, as they'll play hurt if needed. Dave Tuley, Andrew Lange and Joe Peta share their thoughts on the first of two ALDS matchups.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Toronto Blue Jays (+125) vs. Texas Rangers(-145)

    Joe Peta: Texas may as well rename its ballpark Hogwarts Americana in Arlington and change its franchise name to the Texas Ravenclaws because it takes witchcraft to explain what they accomplished this year. They were 36-11 in one-run games, merely the highest winning percentage in one-run games in the history of baseball, and they won the most games in the American League despite outscoring their opponents by just eight runs. Do the math and you realize the Rangers were outscored by 17 runs over their other 115 games, which is indicative of an under-.500 team. Only the 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks, who had the best record in their league despite being outscored, are a historic comparison.

    The Rangers are better than the team that compiled the plus-8 run differential over the regular season. Yu Darvish is slated to start 25 percent of their games going forward instead of 10 percent, trade-deadline pick-ups Jonathan Lucroyand Carlos Beltran will be in the lineup the entire series and the bullpen that posted the second-worst ERA in the American League has been purged of some of the most egregious offenders.

    Even before the bullpen injuries, the Blue Jays entered this postseason with question marks and the scent of an overrated team still benefiting reputation-wise on last year's offensive prowess. Did you know they fielded the oldest every-day lineup in the majors this year? That age showed its effect in declining year-over-year defense in the field and an increasing strikeout rate at the plate. The Blue Jays were elite in those two areas last year, which is what made them scary. That's not so this year, but I believe they were presented with a perfect playoff path to get to play for the pennant for the second year in a row. Toronto in 4.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Toronto +125

    Dave Tuley: The Blue Jays knocked the Rangers out of last year's playoffs and the bad blood between the two teams has been well-documented. While everyone focuses on the feud, I'm more interested in the fact that the Blue Jays have had the Rangers' number, not only winning the ALDS last year but winning this year's season series 4-3. Granted, the Rangers had the better overall season to earn home-field advantage (note: the teams split the four games in Texas this year), but the Blue Jays' pitching staff fared better (3.78 team ERA vs. 4.37) and, even though the Rangers had a better team batting average, they scored only six more runs than the Blue Jays over 162 games and I would prefer to have the Toronto lineup going for me. So, I really like the Blue Jays' +125 series price.

    I'm not as confident in Game 1 and don't feel the Blue Jays need to win that game to still take the series as I look for them to take Games 2 and 3 with J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez. As for Game 1, I give the edge to the Rangers withCole Hamels facing Marco Estrada (and Osuna, as discussed above, might not available for the Game 1). However, Estrada has given up only two earned runs in his past three starts and I don't think Hamels is that much better than him to warrant the relatively high price.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Toronto +125 and Toronto +130, Game 1 (lean)

    Andrew Lange: Handicapping Texas starts with its mind-numbing statistical profile. The Rangers won an AL-best 95 games despite outscoring their opponents by a grand total of eight runs. And they were an unreal 36-11 in one-run games. Their results during the regular season will be analyzed baseball "nerds" for decades to come.

    It's important to note, however, that Texas is a far stronger team that what we saw for a large chunk of the regular season. The additions of Lucroy and Beltran and subtraction of Prince Fielder were huge. So was the return of Darvish, who coupled with Hamels gives the Rangers two top-tier arms capable of carrying a five-game series.

    The Rangers have said they'll go with a four-man rotation, meaning Colby Lewisand Martin Perez will each start should the series extend beyond three games. Lewis is as home run-prone as they come, with 19 allowed in 116⅓ innings. And Perez, a less-than-ideal matchup against right-handed heavy Toronto, had the lowest strikeout rate (4.67 per nine innings) of any qualified starter in MLB.

    "Junking it up" isn't a bad approach against the free-swinging Blue Jays, but I'd rather have a power right-hander, and only Darvish matches that profile.

    In terms of how the series sets up, I'm going to sit out Game 1. Hamels and his off-speed repertoire isn't a bad matchup against Toronto's all-or-nothing lineup. And I'm not sure what to make of Estrada pitching with a herniated disk in his back. I lean Hamels but the price is 10-15 cents too high. Game 2 is where I'd look to back Texas -- especially if it drops Game 1. Coming from the right side with a vast array of pitches and velocity to match, Darvish is a very good matchup against Toronto. The Rangers have yet to announce who will toss Game 3 -- expect either Lewis or Perez. At a reasonable price, I'll be looking to support Sanchez, who has arguably the best stuff of any pitcher on either staff. I'll pass on a series wager but expect to be in play in Games 2 and 3.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Pass
     
    LeVar Burton and bstaple12 like this.
  41. bstaple12

    bstaple12 Nole World Order
    Atlanta BravesAtlanta FalconsFlorida State Seminoles

    I might unload on the Blue Jay's to win the series
     
    Juan likes this.
  42. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Took Toronto. :beerchug:

    Peta 3-0 since we started posting his picks here.
     
    bstaple12 and LeVar Burton like this.
  43. bstaple12

    bstaple12 Nole World Order
    Atlanta BravesAtlanta FalconsFlorida State Seminoles

    Took Toronto to win the series big and have had Indians to win the world series since before the season
     
  44. The Hebrew Husker

    Donor
    Nebraska CornhuskersSeattle MarinersColorado AvalanceWWE

    Any baseball today?
     
  45. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Week 6 (Perhaps Bear is getting back in line)

    Bear 5-2
    Steve 2-3
     
  46. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Updated for the year.

    Stanford Steve (Coughlin):
    Week 1 (1-3)
    Week 2 (0-3-1)
    Week 3 (3-1-1)
    Week 4 (3-5)
    Week 5 (4-0-1)
    Week 6 (2-3)
    Season (14-16-3) 47%

    Bear (Fallica)
    Week 1 (1-4)
    Week 2 (2-3)
    Week 3 (3-4)
    Week 4 (1-6)
    Week 5 (4-1)
    Week 6 (5-2)
    Season (16-22) 42%