Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 7-2015

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (UPI)…Commensurate with the onset of the baseball post-season, the self-promoting “Pete Rose Bar & Grill” opened recently on the Las Vegas Strip to much ballyhoo. “Specials” at the sportsbar-restaurant venue reflect the controversial player’s MLB history, including Cincinnati chili and the Philly Cheesesteak sammich. HR (Human Resources, not Home Run!) has decided potential employees must be filmed sliding head-first, a la Charlie Hustle, into customers’ tables. Second interviews require applicants to demonstrate the willingness to barrel into servers at rival restaurants…to dislodge food and drinks being brought to opposing-patrons!

An early 1-0 advantage going into Saturday’s slate, courtesy of the Huskies’ outright defeat…on the road…of USC, was short-lived, as we ended up 8-13 (49-59-3, .454).On the positive side, we benefitted from three of the four Top 25 upsets, including our own Cowboys SU-over-da’ Mountaineers call! Not to be confused with symptoms of   “yer choice-of-da’-meat-sweats”, it’s…
(Now serving breakfast-picks all-day long!)

#15 STANFORD (-6) over #18 Ucla: Cardinal basically owns this series, winning SU four times in the last three seasons by 21, 14, 18 (and 3 in the 12-PAC title game of 2012 a week after aforementioned 18-point victory). The clubs are diametrically-opposed in terms of performance after a week off. Cardinal sucks, Bruins excel.  Trees were defeated by every ranked team it faced last year, except…UCLA. Bruins have already dispatched a pair of then-Top 25 opponents to unranked or “others receiving votes” column. Nonetheless, we’ll back the senior QB for the home-team over the freshman QB that saw his squad lose by 2 touchdowns to unranked Arizona State before the bye, showing there’s still some room for improvement…SU 27 Bruins 16

FRI. OCT. 16
#21 Boise State (-10) over UTAH STATE: Broncos 31 USU 13

#24 Houston (-19) over TULANE: With 16 returning starters back, including a collective six combined linemen on either side of the ball, Green Wave was expected to be somewhat-improved from previous versions, but is 1-3 ATS in FBS play and has been smoked by Duke, Joja’ Tech and Temple. Coogs beat Louisville and potent Tulsa team, both away, resulting in current 13-1-1 spread record on the road. Tulane shocked Houston last season, winning 31-24 getting 17 points! Not this time. Wave hasn’t managed more than 10 points in any game outside UCF and FCS Maine contests. UH 41 Da’ Wave 14
SAT. OCT. 17

Penn State (+17) over #1 OHIO STATE: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Nifty Lions step into the batter’s box for their first official at-bat in da’ Picks this season (having supported our “best bets” segment to open the year by failing to cover…and unfortunately, losing outright…at Temple). The Alma Mater took the reigning National Champs to double-extras last year, losing 31-24 in Happy Valley, but haven’t beaten the Buckeyes SU since 2011. Following loss to the Owls, PSU has run-off five straight victories…at home…over nobody special. In first season under Coach Franklin, Lions lowered points-against by 8 ppg, but also dropped scoring-output by a like number. Seemingly, both trends have carried over to 2015. Lions also come in at 5-1 “under” the total. OSU ain’t exactly burnin’-up scoreboard bulbs either. The hometown-heroes have yet to beat da’ spread…Buckeyes 24 Lions 19
#2 BAYLOR (-21) over West Virginia: This got a good , hard look for “lock of da’ week”. Kudos to the Mounties for the OT loss to Oklahoma State that validated our “upset pick of da’ week” last Saturday. WVU’s only opportunity to even cover this is too keep moving the chains behind the running game.  ‘Eers accounted for Baylor’s only regular-season loss last year, winning 41-27 and ultimately denying da’ Bears a playoff berth. We expect BU to pile-on every chance it gets…Baylor 63 West Virginia 30

#3 Texas Christian (-20) over IOWA STATE: Kermits 48 ‘Clones 17
#4 UTAH (-7) over Arizona State: Utes 27 ASU 12

Boston College (+16) over #5 CLEMSON: Eagles went down 3-zip to Weak Forestat Chestnut Hill???!!! BC has been kept off the board twice in last four games, surpassed only Hawaii, who shows three scoreless games, posting just 24 points while giving up 40 points over same span. Tigers visit Coral Gables next and one would generally expect enough offensive-cohesion at this point of the season to produce at least a couple field goals or an actual touchdown, even with a mostly-new bunch of starters.  Vindy does his best impersonation of Peyton Manning crooning some version of the Nationwide jingle…”Clem-son Tiiii-gers, kiss our a$$$!” What’s the worst that can happen?…CU 20 BC 10
#8 Florida (+9) over #6 LSU: Bengals took major advantage of an unexpected home-opportunity last week, as flooding sent the game from Columbia to Baton Rouge, leadin’ the Ol’ Ball-Coach to wave bon voyage to his school. Crocs just lost starting QB Will Grier to a potential year-long suspension for PEDs. While Grier was just 7th in the conference in passing yardage, he did record a nice 10-3 touchdown-to-pick ratio. His replacement is former starter Treon Harris, who has garnered his game-minutes this year against New Mexico State and East Carolina. Heisman-candidate Fournette will run for enough yards to get the LSU victory vs. SEC’s #4 rush defense that’s toppled a good Ole Miss team and the two squads last in conference rushing yardage…Kentucky and Mizzou… Tigers 27 Gators 21

#7 Michigan State (+8) over #12 MICHIGAN: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. In light of the Wolverines completing a hat-trick worth of shutouts last week (over emotionally-drained BYU, a poor Maryland club…and…okay, we were obviously looking for a better performance from…Northwestern), the bettors have been all over Big Blue, which opened layin’ less than a touchdown. Easy money, right? Quotin’ Lee Corso, we say “Not so fast, my friend!” While Sparty is on worrisomely-unimpressive 0-6 skid ATS against a schedule that’s been a Who’s Who of……well…(even Oregon’s fading and last two weeks have featured close-wins against two teams from the Big Ten’s lower-tier), State has won 6 of last 7 in this series (the lone UM victory was here in 2012, ending 12-10) and has lost a grand total of three games over what’s now basically two-and-a-half seasons. MSU will be led by its own defense and senior QB Connor Cook. Paul Bunyan’s Asp (sumthin’ like that!) goes to…. Michigan State 23 Michigan 20
#10 Alabama (-4) over #9 TEXAS A&M: Tide 34 Aggies 27

Louisville (+7) over #11 FLORIDA STATE: UPSET ALERT. Seminoles 19 Cards 16
#13 Mississippi (-10 ½) over MEMPHIS: Ole Miss 38 Tigers 17

Southern Cal (+6 ½) over #14 NOTRE DAME: Best guess for “Wish We Had It Back.” We’re backing away from our initial thoughts on this one. Trojans are off the upset by UDUB on Friday. Irish got almost all of the replay-calls, some uncharacteristic 15-yard penalties vs. the Midshipmen and some special teams’ miscues by the Sailors (that lead to a 10-point swing) to grab the cover last week. In the wake of another alcohol-related incident, USC has asked Steve…to leave. Men of Troy will be desperate to grab a victory and Leprechauns have lost their post-Navy matches in each of last two years and barely beat Purdue in 2012. Addition by subtraction for SoCal, but…ND 28 USC 24
#16 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next vs. Kansas)

#17 Iowa (-2) over #20 NORTHWESTERN: Hawkeyes 24 NW 16
#19 Oklahoma (-4) over KANSAS STATE: Tough call, but we don’t think Wildcats can rebound enough after dropping killer two-point loss at Oklahoma State then blowing 18-point halftime advantage over da’ Horny Toads to lose by 7 last week. Sooners lost 31-30 in 2014 and will bring the A-game after defeat vs. panicky Texas squad. ‘Cats have covered last three home-dog opportunities, but Okie-Doke dispatched then-ranked Tennessee and then-ranked West Virginia. Texas ran for nearly 6 yards per tote in the upset, but K-State’s ground game comes in at 7th in the conference (though shows 15 TDs). We like the Sooners to pass their way to the cover… Oklahoma 34 K-State 24

Eastern Michigan (+28 ½) over #22 TOLEDO: Jupiter 2 34 EMU 7
#23 California: IDLE (next 10/22 @ UCLA)

#25 Duke: IDLE (next @ Virginia Tech)

BTW, athletes who discreetly-reveal that they’ve made wagers on teams within their own sports receive discounts and are availed access to the restaurant’s secret menu!
Back in April, Penn State gridiron coach James Franklin threw out the first pitch of the Tampa Bay @ Yankees contest on same night USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, who took the NCAA mound at Southern Cal, did likewise for the Giants at the Dodgers game (while blasted and blabbering that…”[all the other teams in the NL West Division] ‘suck’”. A month later, Urban Meyer made the initial toss at a Yankees game. We’re just wonderin’…at some point, will the NCAA reciprocate and allow a Major League hurler to call the ceremonial first play from scrimmage of some college football game?!

Remember last week’s pick of Kansas +44 over BAYLOR based on Marc Lawrence’s trend of backing a winless team off an SU/ATS loss facing an undefeated squad? Yeah, us too! Didn’t work out. This week, 5-0 Temple hosts 0-6 Central Florida, who was bashed 40-13 as 2 ½-point chalk…in Orlando…last week by downtrodden UConn. Screw the trend!
If yer scorin’ at home, a review of our selections on totals as opposed to sides has us at an epic-fail-worthy 2-9 in the Picks (though 3-2 in our “best bets”). Guess who ain’t gonna’ be makin’ over/under calls  in the regular selections anytime soon ???!!!!

BTW, for those who watched the Packers-Rams game and heard the CBS broadcasting banter, we too, “are glad the ankle is still part of the foot!” after the James Jones touchdown!
An article by REUTERS last week, indicated Taylor Swift had the most global-wide Instagram followers at damn-near fitty-million, ahead of Kim Kardashian’s 48.1 million. Coming in at the five-hole was Ariana Grande, a little shy of 45 million. Not-surprisingly, the Vegas Vindicator tied fer #6 at 44.5 million fans… with the donuts that Grande licked!

Back in March, USA Today reported Jack Eichel was the prize the worst NHL teams were tanking for. Was the unspoken motto then…Slack for Jack???!!!
“Wish We Had It Back”: We called our OHIO ST -33 ½ over Maryland our best guess for this category (and the seemingly-defenseless Buckeyes didn’t disappoint!)

“Locked in a Box?”:  Da’ Ensigns kicker missed a FG in the first-half that let the Irish deny us our second lock-win on the year, leaving the season record at 1-5 (.167…OUCH!)     
Black Shirt: The highly-coveted undergarment this week goes to Cowpokes QB JW Walsh for the two-yard keeper into the end zone in OT that validated our “upset pick of da’ week” at West Virginia! Honorable Mention to Arkansas wide-out Dominique Reed fer a fitty-fo’ yard TD catch with just more than 90 seconds left to give the Pork Tenderloins (and Vindicator) da’ cover vs. ‘Bama!

Shoppe Talk: ‘Bama (now 2-4, .333) gets to “roll” away (but not too far!). Clemson (0-4 season, 3-13 [.188] over last 16 appearances!) continues to be da’ bane of our forecast existence! We have nothing good to say about Baylor (0-4. .000) or Joja’ (1-4, .250; 0-4 skid)! If yer scorin’ at home and wonderin’ who’s actually supportin’ Vindy’s Picks…Ole Miss leads the way at 4-1 (.800)! Former problem-child Oklahoma shares a 3-0 run with USC. Da’ Seminoles get some Vindicator-love at 4-2 (.667)!
Vindy’s Week 7 Best Bets:  Last Week: 2-3     Season: 15-13 (.536)

Tulsa +10 ½ over EAST CAROLINA, Akron +11 over BOWLING GREEN, Kent State +7 over UMASS, OLD DOMINION -7 ½ over Charlotte,  NEW MEXICO -4 ½ over Hawaii

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