Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2016

LOS ANGELES, California (REUTERS)…In June, Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey nailed “Piano Man” on the harmonica accompanied by former Duke DE Michael Mann tickling the ivories. As the pair tore it up on the mouth-harp and the baby grand, an appreciative audience belted-out,”Well, it’s onnnnnne-o’clock..on a Saturdaaaaay…the home-crowwwwd..shuffles in. There’s a Cards-fannnnn sittin’ next to me…makin’ love to his tonic-and-gin…and the head coach, he gives me a smiiiile…cause he knows that’s it’s meee they been comin’ to see…to ferget about.. class..for awhiiiile…” Given traditional problems associated with the Stanford band, the two athletes alone will continue perform as a duo at halftime in each other’s game this season instead.

Meanwhile in Sin City, Vindicator was hopin’ to hear Katy Perry’s “Rise”…or at least “Birthday”. Sadly, the bookies were blaring that haunting organ-music from classic horror movies over the PA system as your fumblin’ forecaster suffered a second poor outing at 7-11 (24-26-1, .480) in the wake of a huge ‘dog-week. Switchin’ musical genres, Vindy decides to “Get Jiggy With It” ahead of…
(More-flammable than the Samsung Galaxy Note 7)

GEORGIA TECH (+9) over #5 Clemson: Tigers still bumbling as road-favorites and got taken to task by a much-improved Troy team (that’s Troy, Alabama, not “Troy” as in USC). Bees put just three tilts in the dubya-column in 2015, losing five games by 7 or less. We note that we’re 4-2 picking Thursday & Friday night games (6-2 on non-Saturday tilts, including the Sunday and Monday contests over Labor Day weekend). Both the forecast losses, however, did occur on Thursdays. Visit from Louisville on the horizon for CU…Tigers 31 ‘Jackets 27

#24 UTAH (-3) over Southern Cal: Last-gasp for Trojans to prove they’re gonna’ contend in the 12-PAC or if it’s just another opportunity resultin’ in cue-up of Britney Spears’ “Oops…we did it again”. No star rusher for da’ Utes, but defense has held-serve, scoring half its 34 points last week off San Josie & Da’ Pussycats miscues. SoCal has lost 7 of last 9 ATS and ten of last Baker’s Dozen facing the Top 25…Utah 20 USC 13

Kent State (+44) over #1 ALABAMA: Tide 42 Flashed 3

#2 Ohio State: IDLE (next vs. Rutgers)
#3 Louisville (-26 ½) over MARSHALL: We’re callin’ two run-away trains this week. Lamar Jackson of Da’ Ville is one of ‘em…Cardinals 41 Herd 12

Penn State (+18) over #4 MICHIGAN: Nitwit Lions need to avoid the turnovers that have hindered them thus far and special teamers need to execute efficiently given Big Blue’s punt-block and punt-return that both yielded scores for Michigan in winning-rally vs. Colorado. RB Saquon Barkley tallied fitty-five of his sixty-four rushing yards on a single-carry and needs to be more reliable to help out his young QB. Da’ Alma Mater outscored the Owls only in the first-half and put the ball on the ground five (count ‘em, five!) times. Badgers up next for Ann Arbor. Colorado’s early 21-7 lead gives us a prayer of an upset here, but State let Temple hang-around too long… Wolverines 31 PSU 24
#6 Houston (-34) over TEXAS STATE: Cougars 51 Bobcats 13

#7 Stanford (-3 ½) over UCLA: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Southern Cal had no answer for the aforementioned McCaffrey and the Cardinals D looks like its usual stout version. Stanford’s beaten the Bruins by at least two TDs in each of the past three years. UCLAns are in rare home-dog role, but appear to be a bit overrated at this point. Dat’ other run-away choo-choo we like is…Da’ Trees 27 Bruins 13
#11 Wisconsin (+5 ½) over #8 MICHIGAN STATE: Both teams excel at winning one-possession games, going a combined 12-2 SU in such outings since the beginning of 2015 season. Start of ugly three-game stretch for Wisky and UW led Joja’ State 9-6 better than halfway into the 3rd Quarter, but the stop-squad has been stellar…State 20 Badgers 17

#9 Washington (-9 ½) over ARIZONA: Huskies have played a soft-schedule to-date, but have blown-out their opponents appropriately. Wildcats lost to BYU to start the year and failed to cover -24 vs. Hawaii last week, but perhaps most-telling was mere 31-21 win over FCS Grambling State. UDUB won 49-3 in 2015 and has continued to improve. UA clearly has not and we don’t think the home-field warrants this much of a difference in final margin… UDUB 37 ‘Cats 20
#17 Arkansas (+6) over #10Texas A&M (@ Arlington, TX): Sooeeey Pigs have now won 11 of last 12 games, going 9-2 vs. the number…Aggies 29 Razorbacks 27

#23 MISSISSIPPI (-7) over #12 Georgia: Ole Miss 29 Joja’ 17
#13 Florida State (-6) over SOUTH FLORIDA: Love how the USF Bulls have progressed, but this is an overreaction…’Noles 31 South Florida 19

#19 Florida (+6 ½) over #14 TENNESSEE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.  Vols continue to flirt with disaster, easing past OU Bobblecats team by 9 that went down to Joja’ State coming out of the gate. Value of one-possession victory over App State got down-graded by Miami’s 45-10 margin last week over the Mountaineers. Crocs’ D is in usual mid-season form, but the O continues to flounder a bit. UF has three straight wins in this series, but last two have been by a single-point (0-1-2 ATS). Both have failed to cover two of first three in 2016 and both show 2-1 “under”. This one got serious consideration for “lock”…Florida 23 Tennessee 20
#15 Miami: IDLE (next @ Georgia Tech)

Oklahoma State (+8 ½) over #16 BAYLOR: Track-meet written all over this and we’d consider an “over 75” as well…Bears 48 Cowpokes 44
#18 Louisiana State (-3) over AUBURN: Smallish line still speaks to LSU’s vulnerability after holding on vs. Mississippi State and perhaps to Gus Malzahn’s ability to still improve his season, having dropped ten of last dozen conference games. Auburn’s covered just 3 of its last 12 facing ranked opponents and gets third Top 25 foe in four weeks. Four of the collective five FBS games these two have played so far have finished under the totals, but last three in this series have been high-scoring affairs. LSU has gone just 5-7 SU on the road the last three years. The coin likes…Bengals 24 Auburn 19

NORTHWESTERN (+7 ½) over #20 Nebraska: Waaaay back in Week One (yes, the regular-season is already 25% gone), we noted Marc Lawrence recommended strategy of wagering on a previous-year bowl squad that loses its first pair of contests the following season, then wins Game 3 and hosts the opponent in Game 4. Only two clubs fitting the criteria remain…Wazzou vs. Oregon on 10/1 and…da’ Purple Persians here vs. da’ Children of Da’ Corn (Warning: we changed our initial pick after recognizing that fact). Huskers make the trek after slipping past the Mallards in Week 3. Feral Kitties got off da’ schnide by beating that other group of Mensa members from Durham after losing first two tilts by a combined 3 points. If Da’ Creamed Corn covers, we’re throwin’ a certain well-known tout under da’ bus… Corn Flakes 23 NW 19
#21 Texas: IDLE (next @ Oklahoma State)

#22 San Diego State: IDLE (next 10/1 @ South Alabama)
#25 Oklahoma: IDLE (next @ TCU)

BTW, also in the McCaffrey-Mann (not to be confused with 60’s & 70’s group Manfred Mann [of “Do Wah Ditty Ditty fame] and subsequent Earth Band, who charted with Blinded By the Light) repertoire are…Billy Joel classics “Team-Captain Jack” and “Screens From an Italian Restaurant”, as well as Elton John staples “Bernie and Da’ New York Jets” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road-Game”!

Minus a bye week for Stanford or Duke, the above-noted performers will be makin’ good use of the Concorde (or the transporter room aboard da’ USS Enterprise) to get to their respective football games in a timely manner!
Jim Harbaugh recruited a top kicker not long after da’ New Year by sleeping over at his house, arriving at 12:01AM  to be “legal”, “watch a movie, see how well we gel” and crash for da’ night thereafter. Said-recruit had Penn State stuff all over his walls. Coach offered to help him take it down. We hope James Franklin is smart-enough to put that on da’ Lions’ locker room bulletin board.

The Mountain Jest, per last week’s article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, had managed a pair of victories in nine tries vs. Power Five conferences coming into last week. Hawaii got spanked SU by Arizona last week, but covered to bring the tally to 2-8 SU/4-6 ATS. (Notre Dame is, of course, an Independent, otherwise the numbers would be 2-9 SU/4-7 ATS). Boise State (who owns one of the two wins-in-question) travels to Oregon State this week and Colorado State visits Minnesota. Stay tuned!  
On a more local note, the Rebels open a two-game home-stand vs. Idaho and Fresno State. Two very-winnable games. UNLV is layin’ a pair of TDs vs. the Vandals. A win and cover would inspire some hope in this prognosticator, but a simple victory is crucial. A loss will throw the grid-iron season into the usual abyss and leave the fan-base clamoring for the hoops campaign. (BTW, we’d favor an “under 62” too).

With apologies to State Farm…“Nobody comes into Vindy’s bounce-house without payin’ da’ price. Not here…not ever!”
The No Fun League experimented in da’ preseason contests with micro-chipped pigskins to record how well da’ balls performed in certain situations. The league could also recover them more easily if they accidentally get out of the stadium and run away!

Meanwhile, on yer cell phone…“It’s Jake Plummer…from State Farm.” “At three in the morning..who is this?” “I told you…it’s Jake Plummer…from State Farm.”. “What are you wearing…’Jake Plummer from State Farm’???!!” “Uhhhh…pads and cleats?!” “She…sounds…hideous!”
Bahamian track star Shaunae Miller dove head-first across da’ finish line to knockoff USA’s Allyson Felix for gold in the 400-meter race at Rio. Miller later adamantly-denied rumors that she’d been secretly training with former Major Leaguer Pete Rose!

“Wish We Had It Back”: Yep, wanna’ reconsider our Spartans-Irish “under” call after admitting to our futility pickin’ totals!
“Locked in a Box?”:   The Beefaloes of Colorado put enough early pressure on Michigan to raise the “lock” record to 2-1 (.667).   

Black Shirt: Goes to Meeshigan QB Wilton Speight, whose fumble was returned for a score that would ultimately be the deciding factor in Colorado’s “Lock of da’ Week” selection coming to fruition! Honorable Mention to the Rice D, already down 28, for keeping Baylor off da’ board for the final 10:19 to preserve da’ Owls (+30 ½) cover!
Shoppe Talk: Our taxidermist will be busy stuffing things in cramped quarters this week as we welcome the Elephants of ‘Bama (0-2-1, .000), in addition to da’ Joja’ ‘Dawgs, Florida Gators and USC Trojans (all at 0-2, .000).

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 9-8 (.529) UTAH-Southern Cal “under 46 ½”, Wake Forest +7 over INDIANA, Tulsa -14 ½ FRESNO STATE, UL-Lafayette +5 TULANE, Air Force -3 over UTAH STATE

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