Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2009


MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (UPI)....For the second week in a row the Vegas Vindicator inadvertently had his hand in riling up both the FAA and the Air National Guard. Amidst speculation that the pilots who flew Northwest Flight 188 approximately 150 miles past its intended destination here were catching some Z’s or in some animated discussion about some airline policy issue, it was revealed by the cockpit voice recorder that the captain and first officer were actually in a long-winded exchange about Vindy’s Week Eight picks while viewing the forecaster’s blog site on their respective laptop computers. In particular, the pair was heard debating whether or not taking the Michigan Wolverines plus 4 ½ points over the Nifty Lions constituted disloyalty to the alma mater by the notorious oracle or was simply an unemotional, calculated guess based on historical trends. A jittery air-traffic control center, after losing communications with the craft, scrambled National Guard fighter planes, as the Northwest airbus continued eastbound across state lines. Shortly after Flight 188 realized its boo-boo somewhere over the Badger State and re-established contact, the crew was asked to prove they had control by identifying Vindy’s Week Eight “lock” selection and the three teams currently inhabiting the Taxidermy Shoppe. FAA personnel declared the crisis was over upon receiving the transmission that correctly noted SMU as the lock of da’ week and Texas, Miami and Texas Tech as the leading contenders for post-season dishonors.

It was “hang ‘em and bang ‘em” time for Vindicator this past Saturday as the linesmakers dropped 15 of the 22 spreads into Vindy’s wheelhouse (85-62, .578) in Week Eight.

“We have reached our cruising altitude of 35, 000 feet and the captain has turned off the no-betting sign. You are now free to place your wagers with our flight attendants after reading....


#14 VIRGINIA TECH over North Carolina giving 16 1/2:
Vindy actually watched the Tarheels tank an 18-point advantage at home vs. shaky Florida State team and lose 30-27. Hokies are rested and won’t allow the UNC rushing game that managed about 6 yards per carry vs. the Injuns to move nearly that well. Tech is on 15-4 SU run on Thursdays, so it’s just a matter of covering the line. We say yes, they can...Va Tech 31 Carolina 14

FRI. OCT. 30
#20 West Virginia over SOUTH FLORIDA giving 3:
This got a look for lock. The only reasons to back da’ Bulls here are 1) Mounties are on 1-4 ATS slide, 3-8 against the number in last 11 games overall back to 2008 and 8-13-2 ATS vs. other Big Least teams the past three-plus seasons. ‘Eers did, however, rally to beat a very inspired UConn team last week. Bulls only straight-up conference win to-date was at Syracuse. South Florida’s only shot is duplicate the blitz that kept WVU off-balance last week and hope for turnovers...West-By Golly-Virginia 27 USF 13

SAT. OCT. 31
#1 Florida over Georgia (@ Jacksonville) giving 15:
‘Dawgs have covered two of last three ex-World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Parties, actually winning 42-30 in 2007. But the starting Joja’ backfield who helped pulled that off now plays on Sundays. Georgia defense this year doesn’t quite stack up vs. those of LSU, Arkansas and Mississippi State...Gators’ last three opponents. UGA’s just 2-5 ATS, got pummeled at Tennessee and we could see Gators offense breaking out a bit here....Florida 34 Bulldogs 13

#2 Alabama: IDLE (next vs. LSU)

#3 Texas over #13 OKLAHOMA STATE giving 9: ‘Horns have gone 2-1-1 ATS the last four games after failing to beat the line three straight weeks to open the year. Cowpokes’ best win came over Georgia to open their year, but State is still just 4-7-1 ATS in last dozen vs. ranked clubs and while the D flexed some muscle vs. Mizzou and Baylor, stopping Texas is something else entirely. The good news, OKSU played the Steers to a mere 28-24 loss in Austin last season and is 23-14-2 ATS vs. other Big 12 squads. The downside?...Rice’s only spread win this season came at Stillwater...Texas 31 OKSU 20

#10 OREGON over #4 Southern Cal taking 3 1/2: MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Okay, Vindy’s seeing a professional about that little voice in his head that was screaming about an upset by UDUB over the Ducks last week. Perhaps the pair of 4th Quarter touchdowns the Beavers scored to grab the cover vs. Troy were meaningless given the two scores USC posted in a buck-thirty-eight span between the 3rd and 4th Quarters before that. Nonetheless, Trojans only allowed 9 ppg last season, but currently yield 16 ½ to-date and better than 30 the last two games. Quack Attack is 24-5 SU in last 29 on Da’ Pond...Mallards 34 USC 27

#5 Cincinnati over SYRACUSE giving 14 1/2: Curious line. Zach Collaros threw for three scores and more yardage than we expected backing-up injured starter Tony Pike last week for the Bearkats. ‘Cuse drew just third role in as many seasons as chalk...and covered it in nice two-touchdown win over Akron last week. Orange is 4-2 ATS on the year, but Cincy’s last three margins of victory (with two road games) were 24, 17 and 31. UC has poor history laying points on the Big East road, but...’Kats 37 Syracuse 16

#6 BOISE STATE over San Jose State giving 35: Having fallen behind TCU in the BCS standings and having continued to press the attack late in the 4th Quarter at Hawaii, already up 47-2, we expect the Broncos (5-1 ATS) to lower the boom again on the Spartans, who are suffering thru a 1-4 SU/ATS slide, with the only outright victory coming by 10 points over I-AA Cal Poly...Boise 51 SJSU 6

Indiana over #7 IOWA taking 17: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Oh haillllllllllllll no. We had money on Indy even before we learned Iowa has lost its starting RB, maybe for the year. Hoosiers 40-point defeat debauchery at Virginia was an anomaly, though they did lose by 19 at home to the Buckeyes. Hawkeyes won 45-9 last year in Bloomington, but this Indy squad has been competitive in nearly every game of 2009. Hoosiers 3-1 ATS as a road dog this year ...Iowa 23 Indiana 13

#8 TCU over Nevada-Las Vegas giving 35: Toads aren’t gonna’ look ahead to San Diego State and after knocking off BYU last year, crushed Wyoming 54-7. TCU called off the dogs vs. the Mormons with 12 minutes left to play and has given up only 13 total points over its past two games. Unless the Frogs send in New Mexico to play the second half...TCU 45 University of Not Landing another Victory 6

Tulane over #9 LSU taking 36: Who were those guys in the LSU unis last weekend and what did they do with the Bengals’ offense???!!! Tigers D is giving up less than two scores per game and could throw the no-no here. Tulane lost by 37 at Southern Miss. This game won’t help State’s cause in the eyes of the BCS and with trip to ‘Bama up next, we’ll just call it...LSU 31 Green Waifs 0

#11 Georgia Tech over VANDERBILT giving 11 1/2: First double-digit spread this year for the Ramblin’ Wreck. Bees are 2-5-2 when favored by DD the past 3seasons. ‘Dores lost at home to Joja’ by 24, 16 to Ole Miss and an even dozen to Mississippi State...all spread losses. Asked about Vanderbilt’s chances on Saturday, former president George W. Bush replied, “Vanderbilt? He’s the one with the thunderbolt scar and was pretty good at that Harry Potter ‘Cribbage’ thing, right?”...’Jackets 27 Admirals 9

#12 Penn State over NORTHWESTERN giving 15: To their credit, Wildcats own a victory over Purdue, who nearly beat Oregon and recently ambushed Ohio State. Lions seem to have gotten their sea legs though and have reeled off three consecutive spread wins, barely exerting themselves in laugher over mistake-prone Wolverines. This past Spring, marijuana was found in an apartment rented by four PSU players. Nice to know there’s still some “hitting” going on in State College during the off-season!...Lions 30 NW 10

Southern Miss over #15 HOUSTON taking 6 1/2: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. During the off-season, Coach Fedora ended the suspension of Senior RB Damion Fletcher, who has run for over 1000 yards in each of his three previous years, and at 85 ypg, could complete the sweep given there are four games are still on the schedule. Could be preview of the conference championship with the Eagles in a three-way tie atop C-USA East, while the Coogs are in a four-way logjam for the West Division lead. USM is probably the best defense Houston has faced outside of Mississippi State. Eagles are 3-4 against the number, while Houston stands tall at 4-1-1...SoMiss 29 Houston 27

#16 Pittsburgh: IDLE (next vs. Syracuse)

New Mexico State over #17 OHIO STATE over taking 44: How did the Buckeyes get a game like this scheduled this time of the year???!!! Aggies are 8-16 ATS as road dogs the past 4 ½ seasons and lost by 38 at Weeziana Tech. State’s 3-2 ATS last 5 years vs. ranked teams and hasn’t seen a handicap this big in over a decade. OSU can name its own score here, but will it?...Buckeyes 49 NMSU 7

#18 Miami over WAKE FOREST giving 7: ‘Canes QB Jacory Harris had a lousy game vs. Clemson (three INT), which means he’ll likely have a stellar afternoon here. Wake just 2-3 outright and 1-3-1 ATS in previous five games of the season. Deacs, who need two wins to become bowl-eligible (and still have FSU and Duke on the slate), played in seven games last year decided by 7 or less...and five such games already to-date. Wonder if they get SpongeBob on the telly in Winston-Salem (hmmmm...SpongeJim-Bob???)...Pelicans 24 The Forest 7

Wyoming over #19 UTAH taking 17: Not a bad line considering Wyoming beat UNLV by 3 and the Utes defeated the Rebels by 20, but again, Utah prefers low-scoring, defensive matches and may not even put 17 on the board. Cowboys are better than advertised and have four victories this year. Cowpokes entered 2009 just 6-25-1 ATS facing other Mountain Best teams the past four years, but are 3-0 thus far this season. Road wins later vs. San Diego State and Colorado State could get them to the post-season. Utah has yielded no less than 14 to every opponent ... Utah 28 Wyoming 16

#21 South Carolina over TENNESSEE taking 6: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Two great defenses go head-to-head here. Vols have to feel snake-bitten after allowing not one, but two potential game-winning field goals to be blocked vs. Alabama. Seven of the last nine between these two have been decided by 8 or less, though Gamehens ran away with a 27-6 victory last year in Columbia. Poultry is 4-0 ATS getting points this year, winning three of ‘em outright...KFC 16 Rocky Toppled 13

Kansas State over #22 OKLAHOMA taking 28: Sooners picked-off Todd Reesing three times last week, including an early 2nd Quarter, 85-yard return for score on what could’ve been the go-ahead touchdown for Kansas. Sooners preseason Heisman Trophy candidate QB is gone for the duration. K-State on 4-1 SU/3-1 spread run and Oklahoma visits the Children of the Corn next...OK 29 KSU 13

#23 Arizona: IDLE (next vs. Washington State)

#24 Mississippi over AUBURN giving 3 ½: Only a meaningless touchdown with :03 left kept the final score from being uglier in Auburn’s loss to LSU last week. Ole Miss won 17-7 last season in Oxford and though historically a dismal away-fave, has covered two of three in that role in 2009. Rebels allow about 20 points-against in conference play, while Aubie has been hit for 28 ppg. Just can’t find a compelling reason to back the Warhawks, who’ve gone 0-3 SU and ATS since appearing in the Top 25...Ole Miss 24 Auburn 12

Washington State over #25 Notre Dame taking 28 (@ San Antonio): Wazzou lost by 18 to Hawaii earlier at “neutral” site of Seattle, but lost by just 21at USC. Coogs on 4-1 ATS run, but have averaged just about 11 ppg in last four games. On the other hand, Irish have been banged for 21 or more by all but two opponents (including BC, who posted just 16 last week). It’s a Halloween game, so in honor of the associated candy barrage, we have a little more fun with the Leprechaun mantra and quip...”Wake Up the Neccos”...Catholics 34 WSU 13

Utah senator Orrin Hatch is pushing for an anti-trust suit again vs. the BCS. Back in May, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas likened da’ BCS to Communism...Forget about “Win one for the Gipper!” We’re talkin’...Iron Curtain Bowl...and... ”Tackle a Commie for Mommie?!”

Elsewhere in the Beehive State, munitions personnel detonated a 500-pound bomb that was jettisoned last Saturday as a pilot struggled to control a troubled F-16 in the skies near Salt Lake City. Da’ Utes meanwhile, needed extra frames to quash a threat from Air Force. No harm done, but scary moments in both cases. Coincidence? You decide.

A June ish of ESPN: Da’ Mag noted the Los Angeles Angels tried again to draft Washington Huskies QB Jake Locker as a centerfielder. Ironically, through the month of May, the Halos had more hits than UDUB did all last season (though still fewer than Michael Phelps at the now-infamous off-campus party!)

Steve Spurrier told the SEC that ‘Bama used tape during points-after and field goal tries during their game two weeks ago. Yep...that’s #347 in 1001 Uses for Duct Tape...spotting footballs on placekicks! (Or maybe it was videotape! But who’d wanna’ steady a pigskin on a VHS cassette???!!)

In honor of the anticipated outcome of the Decoys-Trojans game, Vindy’s Bet & Breakfast will feature an appetizer of tiny octopi flown in daily from the Port of Los Angeles. A little treat we’ll call...Southern Calamari!

Sports Illustrated recently noted Tobin Bell of the “Saw” horror movie series also coaches his son’s baseball team. Nice. We can hear it now...”Hello, Vindy. I want to play a baseball game.”, “Some players are just so ungrateful to be alive.” and “Game over.”

Last May, the World Series-bound Phillies remembered former broadcaster and smoker Harry Kalas by having a team-smoke before the first game following his death. Ricky Williams and Michael Phelps enquired about the event, but were not invited to partake.

The May 7, 2009 edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal “Leftovers” column compared Charles Barkley’s love for doughnuts to “studying to be a cop”. We can see it now...Shaq and the Round Mound of Rebound starring together in “Barkley & Hutch”!

Black Shirt: Half a tee each to Mississippi State DB Jonathan Banks for two INT for touchdowns vs. Florida and Hawkeyes QB Ricky Stanzi for the 7-yard scoring with zilch on the clock to pull out the win at Michigan State!

“Locked in a Box?”: Turnovers doomed the SMU Ponies and the lock record drops to 4-4 (.500).

Shoppe Talk: The Steers get a weekend pass, but the Tropical Depressions of Miami hold down the fort after the OT loss to Clemson puts ‘em at 1-5. Fortunately, the Red Raiders fall from the rankings after being blown-out by the Aggies, but not before branding Weber again at 0-2-1 (season; 2-12-1 since start of ‘08). We extend an engraved invitation to the Bungles of LSU for their current 2-5 forecast record.

Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-1 Season: 17-17 (.500)
Purdue +7 ½ over WISCONSIN, UTEP -8 over Alabama-Birmingham, IDAHO -2 ½ over Weeeziana Tech, Weeziana-Monroe +16 ½ over TROY

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