Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2016

GLENDALE, Arizona (FOX News)…The New England football team seemingly can’t catch a break. With veteran star-quarterback Tom Brady already suspended for four tilts after reinstatement of his Deflategate punishment, expected-and-nominally-experienced replacement Jimmy Garoppolo will ride the pine for the first two games in the wake of the decision by Commissioner Roger Goodell to lower the boom on the second-year man for using under-inflated Poke-Balls to capture the mythical creatures while playing Pokemon Go. The unfortunate turn-of-events leaves the perennial Super Bowl-contender with third-round draft pick (and Florida cast-off) Jacoby Brissett out of NC State running the offense on the road versus the Cardinals and hosting the Dolphins a week later.
Meanwhile, in Sin City, Vindicator jumped outta’ da gate with a nifty10-6 (.625) effort to start the new season (showing double-digit wins to begin the campaign for the third time in five years),  hitting his “lock of da’ week” and four of six “best bet” selections. Hopin’ to avoid bear-traps, open man-holes, oncoming traffic and sportsbook security, our prestigious prognosticator puts down his own smart-phone long enough to track and capture dubyas for…
 (Sponsored by E-Harmony…and “making plans for later in case these bets don’t go well”)

#13 Louisville (-14 ½) over SYRACUSE: Cardinals 35 Orange 16

#1 ALABAMA (-28) over Western Kentucky: Sammich’ game for Tide, having faced USC last week and trip to Ole Miss up next, but then ‘Bama players probably forewent post-game showers because their uniforms were still dry after crushing Southern Cal. Hilltoppers finished 2015 season with nation’s 3rd best scoring-offense at 44+ ppg (yielding only to a pair of Big 12 squads…Baylor and Texas Tech) despite non-tone-setting 14-12 slogger victory over Vandy to kick-off the year. WKU had been poor 2-6 road dog the past three years, but dropped a 28-point decision in Baton Rouge. Tide defense can stifle WKY’s offense and will be on watch for flea-flicker the Toppers pulled-off vs. Rice…Elephants 48 Western KY 17
Troy (+36) over #2 CLEMSON: Tigers have been a collective coin-toss laying juice at home the past two seasons and off tough contest at Auburn. Trojans have lotsa’ upperclassmen expected to start and have covered eight of previous dozen in away-dog role, including road tilts at Wisconsin and Mississippi State in 2015. CU can spend next two weeks resting and healing starters while giving reserves some live-fire field-time…Clemson 34 Troy 10

Charleston Southern @ #3 FLORIDA STATE: No line.
Tulsa (+29) over #4 OHIO STATE: Our thanks to the Golden Hurricane for bringin’ in one of our “best bet” choices in Week 1, allowing just 10 points to San Josie after yielding 40 ppg in 2015. Tulsa’s been a very profitable road dog the past three seasons. Nearly half of State’s 94 plays on offense vs. Bowling Green went for first-downs…Buckeyes 42 Tulsa 20

#5 MICHIGAN (-35) over Central Florida: Big Blue 51 UCF 14
Lamar @ #6 HOUSTON: No line.

#7 Stanford: IDLE (next vs. Southern Cal)
#8 WASHINGTON (-37 ½) over Idaho: Second choice for “lock”. We question the Vandals’ motivation given they’re playing in next-to-last season of FBS before returning to the I-AA ranks from which they came and narrow 20-17 win over FCS Montana State. With USC embarrassed by ‘Bama, and Oregon and Stanford not terribly- impressive early, UDUB might very-well be the team to take the 12-PAC this year. Idaho absorbed just one defeat by this many in the past two years, but Sled Dogs did us a solid and blew-out Rutgers as predicted. We like ‘em again here…Huskies 48 Taters 7

Nicholls State @ #9 GEORGIA: No line.
Akron @ #10 WISCONSIN (“under 47”): LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Badgers 31 Zips 3

Texas-El Paso (+28 ½) over #11 TEXAS: Steers 34 UTEP 24
#12 Michigan State: IDLE (next @ Notre Dame)

#14 OKLAHOMA (-46) over UL-Monroe: Normally, we’d consider this a sammich game with Sooners having a big date in Columbus next weekend, but given the “upset” loss to Houston and the inability of a defensively-thin Warhawks squad to provide any resistance, Sooners should race to the blowout and possibly just their third shutout in 3+ seasons…“Broklahoma” 58 Weeziana-Monroe 0
Iowa State (+16) over #16 IOWA: Cyclowns were one of the victims of the lower-division teams playing the big boys this past weekend, losing 25-20 to Northern Iowa. State’s under new management this year, having won grand total of 8 games in three seasons, but returns 16 starters. The past five tilts in this series have seen final margins of 3, 3, 6, 3 and 14, with State going 3-2 SU/ATS. Two of the straight-up Dust Devils’ victories came here in Iowa City. ISU has unwinnable trip to TCU next, so why not salvage the season with a best-effort here… Hawkeyes 23 ISU 13

Virginia Tech (+10 ½) over #17 Tennessee (@ Bristol, TN): Here at Bristol Speedway, the officiating crew will wave caution flags instead of throwing regular ones when penalties occur. Apparition State missed a couple kicks and couldn’t corral Vols’ OT fumble so Tennessee is on borrowed time. Makes us wonder if Rocky Top, who’ve won and covered its past three neutral-site games, might get that coveted spot as the SEC East’s usual-suspect in the “preseason Top 10-to- post-season-poll oblivion” we noted in Week One…Vols 24 VT 20
Nevada-Reno (+27 ½) over #18 NOTRE DAME: Irish 34 UNR 12

Wofford @ #19 MISSISSIPPI: No line.
Arkansas @ #15 TCU (+8): UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Toads have won 14 straight in Ft. Worth and beaten 11 of last dozen non-Big 12 opponents. Hogs have knocked-off 12 of 15 non-SEC foes and covered 8 of 11 vs. non-conference. Neither side has excelled in recent years in one-possession games, but surely, someone (‘Bama and Joja’ notwithstanding) has to step-up and represent for the SEC, especially the West Division…Pork Loin 27 Frog Legs 20

Prairie View @ #20 TEXAS A&M: No line.
Jacksonville State @ #21 LSU: No line.

Central Michigan (+20 ½) over #22 OKLAHOMA STATE: Cowpokes 41 Chippies 27
Southern Methodist (+31) over #23 BAYLOR: Da’ Bears 51 Pony Express 30

Virginia @ #24 OREGON (“over 70 ½”): Despite a 4-8 SU record, Da’ Cavs were betting-gold for backers last season, going 8-3-1 (.708) against the spread (by numbers, good enough for 7th-best in Division I-A), 8-2-1 (.800) in FBS play. Da’ ‘Cuse went 4-8 SU as well, but 8-4 ATS (.667). Meanwhile, championship contestants ‘Bama and Clemson each went 8-7 ATS, a barely-profitable .533 (tied for 61st). Sadly, the Mendenhall years suffered an inaugural 17-point defeat to in-state rival Richmond. Da’ Mallards continue to display weakness on D, yielding 28 to UC Davis on The Pond (failing to cover -47 ½). Wahoos have actually won ATS in their last six vs. ranked foes…Drakes 54 Virginia 27
Florida Atlantic (+24) over #25 MIAMI: No faith in this selection. Gone from Da’ Canes’ sideline is Joe Paterno understudy Al Golden. Replacing him is Coach Mark Richt, who couldn’t appease the folks in Athens enough to keep his job there. A 70-3 thrashing of I-AA Florida A&M is a nice start, but not much of a gauge. FAU’s over-flowing cup of returning experience was barely enough to fend-off the Salukis. Pelicans have won and covered both contests vs. the Owls since 2013, taking those by 34 and 24. UM has gone 7-2-1 ATS as home faves the past two seasons while FAU has covered just one of its last five vs. a Top 25 opponent, though went to extra-frames vs. the Gators last year. ‘Canes need to avoid a flag-fest…Miami 37 FAU 17 

BTW, an anonymous sports-writer tweeted that “given the quarterback situation, already an underdog against the Cardinals, Bill Belichick might as well have (former-actress) Jacqueline Bisset under center”. (In his defense, Brissett did post a 43-11 TD-pass-to-pick ratio in his collegiate endeavors).

BTW, the Sooners off-Broadway play-in-question noted-above coulda’ also been called “Manny, Git Yer Shot-Gun…Quarterback”!!!!
BONUS COVERAGE: No spread-pick, but a few thoughts on Nevada-Las Vegas @ UCLA: Rebels off to promising start, beating I-AA Jackson State by fitty (covering a 39-point spread, BTW). Bruins, currently favored by 26, may hit the gridiron slowly at first after OT loss to A&M, but should pick-up steam. Not certain Nebraska-transfer QB Johnny Stanton can keep Vegas within less than four touchdowns, but at least he’s seen big-time competition up-close and personal. We remind the local faithful that UNLV dented the board for 80 last season vs. FCS Idaho State, but would win just 2 more games (over Reno and Hawaii) while covering just four times overall. The host does however go to BYU next. The hometown heroes have gone 4-1-1 ATS the last four seasons getting at least 25 points. The lone spread-loss in that time? UCLA’s 37-3 triumph in the 2015 version of this one.

The UNLV O-line calls itself…Da’ Orcas (who “like to think of the defensive linemen as seals”). They’re bigger and stronger than last year’s versions, but there’s no chance that San Diego State will move its home-game vs. the Rebels in early October from Qualcomm Stadium to…SeaWorld!
The Rebels also recently got a response to their application to join the Big 12. It read, “Thank you for playing, but we’ve got some lovely parting-gifts for ya backstage.”

Currently playing on da’ Big Screen…Kubo and Da’ Two Strings….but enough about the amount of ‘Bama’s depth-chart that will enter the Western Kentucky game in da’ second-quarter and finish-out da’ contest!
In related news, in August, the SoCal bookstore was trollin’ ‘Bama by selling cardinal and gold tees adorned with the words “Roll Tears Roll”. Guess those unsold undergarments will get shipped-off to some impoverished nation in Africa like Clemson’s National Title tees and The Carolina Panthers’ Super Bowl championship apparel!

We’re seriously unhappy with local rag Las Vegas Review-Journal decision to stop publishing box scores for Top 25 in lieu of Mountain Jest games and select PAC-12 contests! Interestingly-enough, local casinos are now putting spreads up on selected FBS-FCS match-ups on their betting-boards. Hmmmmmm.
Hooray (Again!) for da’ little guys…we offered our thoughts last week on probabilities of FCS teams beating I-A clubs. Clearly, we missed a few of those match-ups, but kudos to: Albany (22-16 over Buffalo), the aforementioned Northern Iowa Panthers, then-#4 FCS Richmond (37-20 over Virginia) and then-#17 Eastern Washington (45-42 over Wazzou). Meanwhile, these FBS groups narrowly-escaped: UConn (24-21 over Maine), Florida Atlantic (38-30 over Southern Illinois), Idaho (20-17 over then-#13 Montana), Nevada-Reno (30-27 over Cal Poly), Texas-San Antonio (26-13 over ‘Bama State) and Michigan State (28-13 over Furman, failing to cover -39).  

Of the 21 inter-sub-division contests this week, we believe the most-likely FCS wins will come from…Elon at CHARLOTTE, Bethune-Cookman at NORTH TEXAS, and Southern at TULANE.
Two days after acquiring a victory in Super Bowl Fitty, Peyton Manning gathered his offensive line, lined-up under center and audibled “Mardi *Graaaaaas*!”

In related news…never overly-skilled with a brush and oils or enamels, after a long, arduous opening Saturday watchin’ college final-scores roll in, Vindy nonetheless found himself “paintin’ on Sunday mornin’” (Oh wait…!).
Aaron Rodgers’ brother, Jordan, made his debut on The Bachelorette last Spring. He received a rose from that annoying kid from the State Farm commercials then stole his older sibling’s “Discount Double-Check” move!

In August, an Olympic kayaker capsized after hitting an “underwater sofa”. The folks at IKEA in Rio could not be reached for comment.
“Wish We Had It Back”: Hawaii +41 over MICHIGAN. Yep, we’ve got “buyer’s remorse” for taking UH even after noting a second long trip following the Australia outing, ongoing defensive difficulties and Jim Harbaugh’s likelihood of piling on.

“Locked in a Box?”:   Following a disappointing “lock” season in 2015, our humble narrator guesses correctly to get the cover by K-State over Stanford to begin the campaign at 1-0 (1.000).    
Black Shirt: This season’s inaugural ebony undergarment for best performance or “performance” that benefitted our forecast the previous week goes to…Texas DE Naashon Hughes for deflecting a FG try in the 3rd Quarter of  the ‘Horns eventual win over the Irish (backing our “minor upset pick of da’ week #2”) in 2OT. Honorable mention to Penn State QB Trace McSorley for a fumble that was returned for a score, helping “best bet” pick Kent State stay close enough to get the cover.

Shoppe Talk: THE Buckeyes of THE Ohio State Uni open Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe for 2016 after ending up yet again on the wrong side of the forecast, running the record to 4-8-1 (.333) going back to last season. Northern Illinois is officially on notice after falling outright to Wyoming as 10 ½-point chalk, costing us a four-team parlay that otherwise correctly had Kent State +21, Southern Miss +6 and TEXAS +3 ½. 
Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets:   Last Week: 4-2     Season: 4-2 (.667) Ohio -2 ½ over KANSAS, Kentucky +16 over FLORIDA, Kentucky-FLORIDA “under” 47 ½, Joja’ Sudden -12 over SOUTH ALABAMA, NEBRASKA -25 over Wyoming and SAN DIEGO STATE -7 over Cal  

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