Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 14-2013


November holiday-travel is typically a boon for airline companies, but a mistake in a Southwest Airlines commercial has led to a significant financial hit for the major carrier. The investigation continues, but initial reports point toward the hacking of the broadcast of its signature-motto, resulting in the proclamation that…“’Backs Fly Free!” Taking advantage of the boo-boo, athletes at the various qualifying positions…quarterbacks, running backs,...yay, even…defensive backs…from the pro, collegiate and prep-school levels…lined up at Southwest ticket-counters to reap the benefits of the error. Acknowledging the mistake, but humbly adhering to the truth-in-advertising laws, the carrier agreed to honor the discount fares through the end of Thanksgiving weekend. The company, however, got the last-laugh, as players at the designated-spots were required to ride in the cargo-hold!

After last week’s tepid 9-7 (111-100-4, 4, .526), we hopin’ to stay warm enough to trip the smoke-alarm in the cockpit restroom and join da’ “Mile-High Club” by stockin’ the beverage-cart with…

(Always first outta’ da’ luggage-carousel upon arrival!)

#18 NORTHERN ILLINOIS (-35) over Western Michigan:
Number 18 here, but #14 in the BCS Poll, just enough to qualify for a big-money, post-season venue. We get the whole “TV-exposure for the conference”-thing, but will somebody please tell da’ MAC that college football should be played on Thursday, Friday or Saturday…not Tuesday! (Bowl-season notwithstanding!) Sled Dogs are allowing 24.5 ppg in the MAC, Western Michigan has averaged 17.5, but part of that has been in recent pair of contests vs. the other directional-Meeeshigans. NIU has the top ground game in the conference and WMU allows 4 rushing touchdowns per game. A MAC title means little to Northern Illinois if it can’t reach a BCS bowl. Again, Huskies’ main-competition for “buster” comes from Fresno State, who won’t have a cake-walk at San Jose State nor vs. Utah State in the Mountain Jest championship, but ‘Dogs won’t know the result of SJSU tilt until long-after this one’s complete, so expect NIU to pile-on in effort get style-points vs. hapless Broncos (1-6 SU in conference, 1-10 on the year) who have lost to the spread in 7 of last 8, including coughing-up Eastern Michigan’s only FBS victory of 2013 as 3-point chalk. Underdogs, while, hangin’ around and getting’ close to fitty-fitty ATS among Top 25 games recently, still haven’t posted that “’dogs howl”-week. NIU has hit da’fitties or better three times already and could break into the sixties for the second time, but…NIU 54 WMU 13 (This one’s already in the books as a forecast loss as NIU could muster just a 19-point victory)

FRI. NOV. 29
Oregon State (+22) over #12 OREGON:
Ducks 40 Beavers 20

#15 LSU (-25) over Arkansas: Bengals 44 Bacon 16

#16 Fresno State (-7 ½) over SAN JOSE STATE: Bulldogs playing on a short-week, but have been laying-waste to recent opponents. San Josie needs this one to see life in the post-season, but went to 3OT in shootout loss to Navy, bringing home one of our six [count ‘em, six!] “best bet” wins last week). Earlier victories by 5 and 7, at Hawaii and San Diego State, respectively, give us pause, but Fresno has some ground to make up to catch aforementioned NIU Huskies (#14 in BCS poll) for a “buster” berth. Smacking SJSU would aid the cause, especially with NIU’s listless win over 1-11 Western Michigan…’Dogs 38 SJSU 27

South Florida (+27) over #17 CENTRAL FLORIDA: There might not be 26 total points scored in this one. Knights’ only real faux-pas was allowing an early punt-block in their end zone for a score by Rutgers. Bulls started season slowly (0-4 SU, including 32-point home-loss to AA McNeese State/1-2 ATS), but have shown a little interest since then. If they have anything left, they’ll bring it here vs. intra-state rival. USF, surprisingly, shows pretty-good defensive numbers…#15 nationally in pass D and #24 vs. the run. Knights hangin’ on to slim one-game advantage over Louisville and Cincinnati in the Love-Boat Conference. A more-challenging road-game at SMU awaits. A lotta’ USF seniors played their final home-game in last week’s 16-6 loss to those same Ponies, but…Golden Knights 24 USF 7

SAT. NOV. 30
#1 Alabama (-10 ½) over #4 AUBURN:
While War Eagle took an extra week to watch game-film, Carmine Pachyderms dispatched Tennessee-Chat-Room-Nooga 49-0, or the same final-score of 2012’s Iron Bowl. We sooooooooooo wanna’ take da’ Tigers in a huuuuuuge upset here, just to stick-it da’ BCS. But holding to the premise of “*cheer* with yer heart and *bet* with yer *head*”, we see nothing in Auburn’s prior schedule that prompts us to support the home-dog. We’re not convinced a late defeat on the SEC road would preclude Alabama from a national-title game shot, but Tide’s already-dispensed with one “bad-game” that saw ‘Bama commit four turnovers in mere-13-point victory over Mississippi State. ‘Bama’s played five contests decided by 18 or less in the last 2+ seasons, winning all five, but going 1-4 ATS. Three of the last four in this series have yielded ‘Bama routs, with lone anomaly being Auburn’s 28-27 victory in 2010 (last time both were ranked in the Top Ten coming in). Tide might be without its starting center again, but Saban’s soldiers will simply play defense and special-teams, as always, while awaiting Auburn to self-destruct in the second-half with turnovers, untimely penalties and other miscues…Hound’s Tooth U. 29 Auburn 13

#2 Florida State (-27 ½) over FLORIDA: Seminoles 42 Crocs 10

#3 Ohio State (-14) over MICHIGAN: Buckeyes haven’t lost a game outright since 2011’s post-season defeat vs. Florida in the Gator Bowl. Big Blew has been a non-factor, SU and against the spread, for eight of the last nine years, winning only in Ann Arbor in 2011 (40-34). State’s already a fixture in the Big Tempura championship game vs. Sparty, which will mean more than a big triumph this week. Michigan’s young team has, however, won five of its six home games (losing by 4 to Nebraska). OSU was up 42-0 before relinquishing the cover to Indiana, who scored twice in the final six minutes…Buckeyes 42 Michigan 17

#5 MISSOURI (-4) over #19 Texas A&M: Tigers’ D is capable of harassing and containing Manziel much the same way LSU did and Mizzou has avenged each of last season’s conference-defeats by substantial margins. It was A&M in 2012 by final score of 59-29. Almost a year after garnering the Heismanziel Trophy, it appears Johnny and his friends are headed for first stint outside the rankings since last September…Missouri 37 Aggies 27

#6 Clemson (+4 ½) over #10 SOUTH CAROLINA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Won’t argue with Gamehens as faves here, given perfect 6-0 record at home on the season. We also note the Poultry has beaten CU by double-digits in each of the past four years. However, Clemson’s only loss was to Florida State and Tigers have pounded the opponents since then, averaging more than fitty points-per game in that span. Taj Boyd has Clemson pass-heavy at over 3200 passing yards, with favorite target Sammy Watkins at nearly 1200 receiving yards. But Boyd can run in the red zone too, scoring 8 ground touchdowns, while RB Roderick McDowell will probably eclipse 1000 rushing yards by the end of the bowl game and gives CU enough to make Carolina respect the run. Both sides warmed-up by throttling a pair of AA teams last week. Chickens hung 70 on Coastal Carolina a week after ho-hum 19-14 win over faded-Florida. SC narrowly-beat Mizzou, but also yielded Vols’ only win over a BCS-conference team…Tigers 30 Tenders 24

#7 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next vs. Oklahoma)

Notre Dame (+14) over #8 STANFORD: Irish, who unveiled 2013 Shamrock Series uniforms in August (seriously…and we like ‘em better than 2012 Knute Sham-Rockne versions!), gotta’ feel a bit a dissed after being jumped by UL-Lafayette, who made the Top 25, while ND continues to sit outside the bubble despite 23-13 win over BYU. That game saw Leprechauns QB Rees stroll triumphantly off da’ field with chants of “Tommy!”, “Tommy!”, Tommy!” And why the stadium-operator was showing the Who’s famous 1975 rock-opera flick on the Jumbo-Tron at the time is still a mystery! Both teams have been in several single-digit decisions this year and da’ Trees had won three straight in this series until losing 20-13 at South Bend last season during Our Lady’s run to the national title game…Cardinal 27 ND 20

#9 Baylor (-12 ½) over TCU: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK…Bears 35 Toads 13

Minnesota (+15) over #11 MICHIGAN STATE: Spartans 23 Gophers 13

Arizona (+13) over #13 ARIZONA STATE: With 38-33 road win against the Bruins, Pitchforks appear headed for rematch vs. Stanford for PAC-12 crown. ‘Cats didn’t squander their good fortune vs. mistake-prone Ducks last week. Last four years of the rivalry have come down to a touchdown or less and the visitor has left the building victorious. Sun Devils have better-balanced offense, so we don’t see the defeat-trend continuing for the home-squad, but if AZ can contain, even a little, State QB Taylor Kelly, like they did they did Drakes’ QB Marcus Mariota, they can make ASU work for it…Devils 29 ‘Cats 24

#14 WISCONSIN (-24) over Penn State: Badgers met, and didn’t cover against, a very-motivated Minnie Mouse team. With no December or January prospects however, Lions just need to put this season, 6-5 to-date, to bed. In January, Al Pacino accepted the role as Joe Paterno in the movie called “Happy Valley”. The obvious quotes include…“Keep your players close, your referees closer” and “You tell yer friends at the NCAA, I beat a conference-opponent for fun. But fer a BCS berth, I gonna’ carve them up real nice.” BTW, we think Ross Perot with a dye-job and a blue-and-white jacket would look more like JoePa than Al Pacino. Just sayin’. Better choice than Al Gore! Al Qaida! Weird Al Yankovic! Al Capone! Al Franken! Al Sharpton!??? Alameda, California???!! Al Roker!? Alpaca!!!! …Badgers 41 PSU 13

#20 Oklahoma: IDLE (next @ Oklahoma State)

Louisiana-Monroe (+14) over #21 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE: Hark! Is that a Stun-Belt team we find among the Top 25????!!!! Ragin’ Cajuns will play in their third-straight post-season, already at 8-2 SU on the year, and undefeated in five conference matches. Warhawks need the dubya here to make their second bowl. Monroe is 3-3 SU in the Sun Belt and shows a decent 21-19 road-win at Wake Forest. ‘Cajuns on 0-3 ATS slide, Birds are 0-2 SU/ATS the past two weeks after nice three-game win-streak in mid-season. Lafayette, who has won three straight years in this series….with one-point decisions in ’10 and ’11, by final margin of 40-24 last season, did allow 35 points to lousy NMSU club at home. ULM has no chance to grind one out, so it’ll be up to senior QB Kolton Browning to keep Monroe close with his arm…Weeziana-Laugh-At-Us 37 Weeziana-Cornrow 27

#22 Louisville: IDLE (next 12/5 @ Cincinnati)

#24 USC (-4) over #23 Ucla: Trojans 24 Bruins 17

#25 Duke (+6) over NORTH CAROLINA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2…Blue Devils 34 UNC 31


BTW, a flight-attendant, speaking on conditions of anonymity, revealed rescue-efforts are underway to free smaller players still lodged in the overhead compartments!

Pressing the advantage, ambitious fans tried to get free fares by wearing throw-back jerseys. But TSA wasn’t having any of it and quickly escorted offenders from “departures” to “ground transportation” or at the very-least to… ”Fumbles-Lost and Found!”!

And…Samuel L. Jackson has signed a contract to film “Picks on a Plane!”

In March, TSA loosened its ban on carry-on items, allowing small knives, souvenir-size bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment. In fact, in an effort to draw more passengers, many carriers will now equip the first-class sections of their bigger planes with…miniature-golf courses and batting cages.

Riddle us this, Batman!...Why does every game Vindy elects to actually watch generally go to crap for the side we’re backin’ in the first 15 to 30 minutes????!!!!

If ya went to the sportsbook counter with any of Vindy’s choice-selections (Lock of da’ week or Best Bets), other than WYOMING -7 over Hawaii (a pick that cost us a parlay wager), yer a happy camper, as they went a collective 7-1 against the line!

Victory Honda in Monroe, Michigan is letting customers buying cars on game-day of the Buckeyes-Wolverines contest hang onto the vehicles at no additional cost if Big Blue tosses a shut-out. The fine-print, however, requires those same customers to exchange their new cars for FORD Pintos if State covers the spread!

This week’s “must-leave TV”…Idaho (1-10 SU/3-7 ATS) @ NEW MEXICO STATE (0-11 SU/3-7 ATS; favored by 3 ½)

NY Jets coach Rex Ryan reportedly participated in not one, but two days of the annual Pamplona running-of-the-bulls in July. Coach escaped twice unscathed. Insiders say Mrs. Ryan doffed her heels and showed-off her bare tootsies, distracting the animals…and several runners…enough to allow her hubby to grab a comfortable lead before the animals were released!

“Because ‘and’ is better than ‘or’”: “Count it…or one?!” “The hoop…or the hack?!” “Texas ‘A’ or ‘M’” “First or third with two out?!” During Olympic weight-lifting…“clean or jerk??!!” And… in classic lit…“Romeo or Juliet???!!!”

And finally…If Vindy likes his current healthcare plan, can he quarterback-keep it???!!!

Black Shirt(s): We hadda’ get us one them highfalutin’ 3-D printers to make enough ebony tees to outfit the entire Minnesota Gophers’ defense for keeping Wisconsin (-15 ½) , up 13 halfway thru the Third Quarter, off the scoreboard over the final 21:55 of the game to grab the cover. And we’re givin’ thanks for Middies’ CB Parrish Gaines for picking-off a San Jose State pass in the end zone during the third extra-frame of Navy’s eventual victory, as noted above!

“Locked in a Box?”: Sparty’s 24-point win over N-Dub gave us our third straight correct preferred-pick among Top 25 games and evened our “lock” record at 6-6-1 (.500)!

Shoppe Talk: Stanford (2-6, .250) flew beneath the radar with a forecast win by belting Cal, but the Spooners of Oklahoma show-up on 1-6 forecast skid, as do the Pitchforks of ASU at 1-4…and we’re watching LSU and the Tea-Baggies of A&M, both at 0-4 recently!

Vindy’s Week 14 Best Bets: Last Week: 6-1 Season: 44-23-1 (.657; 13-4 the past three weeks!)
East Carolina +2 ½ over MARSHALL (Fri), Washington State +15 over WASHINGTON (Fri), UNLV +3 ½ over San Diego State, Northwestern -3 ½ over ILLINOIS, UAB -14 ½ over Southern Miss, Tulane +11 ½ over RICE, Arkansas State +6 over WESTERN KENTUCKY

No comments: