Thursday, November 14, 2019

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2019

BRISTOL, Connecticut (AP)…Ex-NFL star receiver and local ESPN analyst Randy Moss recently thought he was travelling back to the local home of the “world leader”, but instead touched-down in Bristol, Tennessee. The yet-unnamed airline tweeted an apology for the passenger-interference, offering Moss a free-upgrade on his next trip from economy to first-down class. The captain-in-question was subsequently benched, leaving the company down to its emergency-pilot, an undrafted rookie flight-attendant that competitively raced drones in college. 
Meanwhile, our own journey taxiing-down last week’s handicapping tarmac didn’t quite go the way we drew-up the X’s and O’s, pulling into the gate at 3-2 (18-12, .600). We did hit one of our upset picks of da’ week with LSU (+6 ½) taking out Alabama, and damn-near got the other one with Kansas State (+7) giving it the “Ol’ School Try” before relinquishing an early 14-point lead and losing late by just 3 at Texas. 
We’re stowin’-away in the cargo-hold of a State College-bound puddle-jumper after slippin’-past TSA behind... 
(As scrawled with a Sharpie on the inside of overhead-storage bins on major-carriers everywhere!)
SAT. NOV. 16 
Wake Forest @ #3 CLEMSON (“under 59 ½”): Before we learned Wake will be without its top two receivers, who’d together accounted for an average of two touchdowns per contest, little voice in our head was screamin“Demon Deacons and da’ [34 ½] points! (Tigers’ two SU victories by fewer than that many and commensurate spread-losses came vs. Texas A&M and North Carolina who show combined 10-8 (.555) outright W-L record, while CU’s remaining scoreboard-victories and accompanying spread-wins were against clubs that are jointly 29-37 (.439) on the year. At 7-2, Deacs woulda’ been prime-bet to cover the line with largest margin-of-loss of 19 last week at Virginia Tech and average-loss by 14. Fine...we’ll call it...Clemson 40 Purgatory Priests 13  
#23 IOWA (-3) over #7 Minnesota: Hawkeyes, still alive fer a conference-championship tilt berth, have won four of five at Kinnick Stadium thus far, with only defeat coming vs. the Alma Mater. Gophers dropped the Nitwit Lions last week in Minneapolis, but won’t benefit from three picks by the opposing quarterback nor poor tackling in the secondary here. Iowa, which took 2-point-loss at Madison Saturday, stands-in at #11 defending pass yardage, has given up 9 passing-scores over as many games (and 7 INTs) and won last three years by finals of 14-7, 17-10 and 48-31. Cutting into Minny’s lead in the Big Tempura West, we like... Iowa 27 Gerbils 17 
#11 Florida @ MISSOURI (“under 51”): When we said “Gators need a feel-good win” last week, 56-nada final tally vs. Vanderbilt wasn’t what we had in mind. Nonetheless, Mizzou opened the season scoring almost 37 points per game across first five contests, but have crumbled offensively, posting 21-total over past three games. Ironically, Tigers show back-to-back triumphs over Florida (with three-consecutive matches ending-up beyond this total). ‘Cats are 6-2 “under” on the year. Crocs are even at 4-4 O/U, but have a six-pack below this number. UF ain’t prone to running-up the score, so we figure it took out the frustrations of Joja’-demise on the Commodores and should return to its regularly-scheduled programming...Florida 31 Show-Me State 9 
#17 Cincinnati (-14) over SOUTH FLORIDA: Bulls are over-valued again for second-consecutive week after getting paltry 1 ½ in 10-point home-loss last week to Temple. Yes, Cincinnati is winning conference matches by 15.5 ppg, but is also scoring more than 36 ppg and we don’t think UC will look-ahead to hosting those same Owls on November 23rd. BTW, given wild 46-43 victory at East Carolina earlier this month, we suspect Bearkats’ defensive-unit debarked the team plane at Greenville, Delaware rather than Greenville, North Carolina!...UC 38 South Florida 13 
Kansas (+17 ½) over #25 OKLAHOMA STATE: “Over 67 ½” got a look as well, but we’re counting on Jayhawks’ improvement this season in conjunction with Cowpokes’ general lack of ability to stop anyone. Blue Birds have gone down by a minimum of 25 three times, but those were against teams that play reasonable defense. State’s limited only Tulsa, K-State and FCS McNeese to fewer than 27 points while hitting the board itself for 40 or lower in 7 of 9 contests to-date. Jayhawks have been generous too, conceding nearly 44 points a pop. KU is off a bye and we expect Les Miles to have enough of a plan to stay within the spread. Sponsored this week by AT&T, our call is...Just Okay State 41 Lawrence Larks 27 
BTW, the Secret Service detachment in Wasilla, Alaska, after inadvertently-intercepting air-traffic control transmissions, alerted Salin Palin that her daughter, Bristol Palin, was pending an unexpected visit from the aforementioned Hall of Fame pass-catcher! 
A heartfelt salute to the Alma Mater for providing no-charge tickets and a complimentary tailgate-party to active duty, Reserves and National Guard folks, their kin and their loved ones for this Saturday’s game against #24 Indiana, celebrating “Seats for Servicemembers”. Likewise, fans of the visiting-team will be relegated to uncomfortable chairs in a series of catacombs beneath Beaver Stadium, in what Happy Valley officials are calling “Holes for Hoosiers!”, where said-attendees can view the contest on coin-operated, 10” black-and-white TVs...with rabbit-ear antennas! 
Replacing injured teammate Stephen Gostkowski in early October, New England Patriots K Mike Nugent, lesser-known brother of rocker Ted Nugent, entered the game vs. the NY Giants to the tune of Strangle-holding Penalty blaring on the PA-system. The stadium-operator also had Wildcat Scratch Fever at his disposal. The Dallas Cowboys plan to counter any possible future appearance by Nugent on the field in Arlington with a rousing-version of Great Randy White Buffalo!
Allegedly-blackballed quarterback Colin Kaepernick will soon workout in the presence of an unknown number of NFL scouts/team-representatives in an effort to rejoin professional football for the first time since 2016. Should those sessions go fer naught, the former UNR standout will put at least his handicapping-skills to the test in front of several well-known stateside touts and a few off-shore establishments. And, yes...yer humble-host will be present to determine if the controversial figure warrants inclusion as part of his 2020 Preseason Forecasting Strategy Team! 
If the members of the Seattle Seahawks defense all got married around the same time, would they be known as the “Legion of Groom”?! 
While playing Wake Forest not long ago, Boston College hoopster Derryck Thorton had his Under Armour sneaker split on him, reminiscent of Duke center Zion Washington getting injured last February when his footwear blew a tire.  In either case, we have just one question...was there insole added to injury???!!!  
“Boxers or Briefs?”: Speaking of wardrobe-malfunctions...the skimpy length of Memphis Tigers guard Lester Quinones’ uni-bottoms has created much hullabaloo. By today’s standards of wear, the player’s cheek-covers are almost bikini-worthy and have invoked media-references to the “short-shorts” of yore. In fact, we wonder if Quinones might be considering shaving his legs to do a remake of the 1980’s Nair commercial-series! 
Black Shirt: This week’s top-shelf tee goes to ‘Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa for inexplicably dropping the pigskin at the LSU 8-yard-line during the game’s opening drive, creating a minimum 10-point swing and a serious change of momentum in Bengals’ eventual upset-win! 
Shoppe Talk: That aroma you smell wafting-up from Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe is coming from a big pot of alligator soup after Florida hosed us again for the 4th time in 5 appearances (.200)! 
Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets:    Last Week: 4-1     Season: 24-19-1 (.558) 
SAN DIEGO STATE (+1) over Fresno State, Virginia Tech –5 ½ over JOJA’ TECH, Kentucky @ VANDY “under 41 ½”, Louisville –4 over NC STATE  

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Vindy's Picks Week 11-2019

DALLAS, Texas (CNN)…Ricky Williams’ 1998 Heisman Trophy sold recently at local Heritage Auctions for the record-setting $504,000. The stand-out running back at University of Texas would ultimately cost then-New Orleans Saints’ coach Mike Ditka seven draft-picks, his first-born male grandson and a year’s supply of Gatorade. Williams went on to play in a dozen NFL seasons before moving on to briefly become head coach at I-AA school Incarnate Word to Your Mother, where, as an early-and-ongoing proponent of marijuana use long-before serious legalization efforts came about, he barely-missed leading his team to a post-season berth in the Smoke-A-Bowl, while favoring the now-popular “RPO”...Run-Pass the Joint-Option!  
Vindicator’s sub-par 2-3 (15-10, .600) outing was the direct result of being called for intentional grounding because he was not outside da’ bookie-box, his forecast failed to reach da’ line-of-scrimmage and there were no eligible bettors in the area!  
Attempting a step-back three with a hand in our Facebook, we’re jackin-up... 
SAT. NOV. 9 
#1 Louisiana State (+6 ½) over #2 ALABAMA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Neither of our calls for the ‘dog to win outright last week came to pass, but we’re a slow-learner. Both sides benefited from the bye coming in, though an extra week to heal for Tua Tagovailoa meant more of a boon for ‘Bama. The Heisman-candidate QB’s status is unknown thus far for this one. In the six quarters since that injury, Mac Jones has a decent 4-1 TD-to-INT ratio and hit 70% of his throws, but those came vs. Tennessee and Arkansas. If Tagovailoa can’t go, Pachyderms are probably in trouble as Bengals will blanket top-rusher Najee Harris and force Jones (or Tide’s D) to make the big plays. Alabama has taken this game in each of last three years (by 10, 14 and 29), including shutouts in 2016 and 2018. In fact, Tigers haven’t posted a scoreboard-victory since 9-6 FG-fest in 2011! LSU has fared well getting points, covering 7 of last 8 as a ‘dog and also winning ATS in 11 of last 14 (10-4 straight-up) vs. Top 25 competition. We lean slightly toward the “under 59” despite State’s defensive-woes at Texas and at (GASP!) Vandy, as well as the departure of Tigers sack-master Michael Divinity...LSU 29 ‘Bama 23 
#5 Penn State (-6 ½) over #13 MINNESOTA: Admittedly, there had been much hand-wringing in our camp the past three or four weeks over this one as Minnesota is enjoying first 8-0 start in 78 years (and we salute third-year head coach PJ Fleck for the accomplishment!), including 5-0 SU/ATS run in the conference. Upon further analysis however, the 41 points allowed by the Gilded Gerbils in last four tilts came vs. Illinois, Nebraska, at Rutgers and Maryland. Said-quartet is 6-18 SU in the Big Tenderizer and 14-22 overall. Alternatively, the Alma Mater granted 47 combined-points to Purdue, at Iowa, Michigan and at Michigan State...who are collectively 11-11 in the B10 and 20-14 overall. Minny scores better than 38 ppg, but the best defense it’s faced to-date was Pun Belt’s Joja’ Sudden (23 ppg, ignoring 55 allowed at LSU). Minnesota’s non-conference slate shows 7-point win over current FCS #4 South Dakota State and track-meet victories by a FG-each over Fresno State and aforementioned Eagles. Nifty Lions bide their time toward possible Playoff berth (#4 in the opening CFP rankings!) while taking home the Governor’s Victory bell trophy...WE ARE 27 Gophers 16 
Vanderbilt @ #10 FLORIDA (“under 48”): This was the last contest we decided to make a call on this week, thus the pick we’re the least warm-and-fuzzy about. Admirals have averaged less than 12 ppg over last four matches and are now down to their third quarterback on the campaign. Gators need a feel-good win after Georgia answered every UF score last week each time Crocs closed the gap. Florida is 0-3/0-3 the last trio of seasons following the Cocktail Party and Marc Lawrence notes it has just one spread-win following Joja’ in last 8 tries. Vandy shows 5-2 to the “under” thus far...Gators 31 Commodores 7 
#20 Kansas State (+7) over TEXAS: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. We’re still hangin’ our head in shame fer not recognizin’ the over-reaction to Kansas’ recent-outings and not backin’ K-State last week as a small-fave over its in-state rival. Les Miles has managed small wonders in Lawrence, but there’s obviously still much to be achieved. Purple Persians have beaten two teams already that defeated Texas (and coulda’ been three had above-noted Blue Birds been on the right side of wild 50-48 game vs. the Steers). MOV last three years have been tight at 3, 6 and 5, so the line looks reasonable. We are, however, undaunted by KSU’s earlier losses at Okie State and against Baylor by 13 and 18, respectively. We note also that a pair of Longhorns’ three defeats came by 7 to LSU and a like-number vs. the Sooners. Two Marc Lawrence trends favor the host here...1) away-squad has failed to beat the spread in last 7 tries and 2) Burnt-Orange has covered last 11 games ahead of tilt with the Cyclones...Kansas State 30 Cattle 27 
Nevada-Reno @ #24 SAN DIEGO STATE (“under 39 ½”): We typically shy-away from any total that’s not at least 40, but we’re feelin’ some confidence here. UNR had been limited to single-digits just five times in the last ten seasons, but that’s occurred three times already this year and Nevada hasn’t been white-washed since 2009-opener at Notre Dame, but could finish on the wrong-end of a goose-egg in this one. Prior to facing Reno, Wyoming, Utah State and New Mexico had been allowing 16, 25.6 and 37.6 ppg-against. ‘Pack hit the board for basically two-touchdowns fewer than those averages against each of them. State has given up just 16.1 ppg in FBS-play and 14 ppg overall, well-ahead of last season’s 22 ppg final-tally. We lso expect somewhat of a slow-start by SDSU after quietly-slipping out of Sam Boyd with 20-17 win over the Rebels last week. Wolfpack, who actually toppled Sudzu 28-24 at Mackay Stadium in 2018, needs one additional victory to get bowl-eligible. It’ll have better opportunities for that later this month with Fresno and UNLV still on the slate...Aztecs 24 UNR 6 
BTW, the anonymous bidder said he planned to meltdown the award and refashion it into neck-ware, not unlike the Hurricanes’ “turnover-chain”, which bears the Miami area code number of “305”, flaunting instead the numerals “420” to honor the former-Longhorn! 
Football fans, rejoice! We’re in the midst of that magical-time each season when there is at least one NCAA or NFL pigskin game played for 27 straight days! The period-in-question began on Halloween and continues thru Wednesday, November 26! 
Eagle-eyed viewers (including yer humble-narrator) watching the Miami-Florida State game Saturday noticed ABC’s ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen and announcing UPSET ALERT as Virginia Tech was up late 20-14 at Notre Dame, with the Irish in possession at the Hookies 48. Officials in Blacksburg were not immediately-available for comment, but it coulda’ been worse. The network coulda’ referenced sports-gambling (Bookies), “Star Wars” (Wookiees) or (GASP!) “Jersey Shore” (Snookies)! 
Deshaun Watson attributed his recovery from an eye-injury recently to consumption Popeyes’ chicken sammiches prior to Houston’s rout over the Jags in London. No word as to whether the Texans’ QB wolfed those down with sides of red zone beans-and-rice. (BTW, we’ve heard of holding a steak up against a black-eye, but never a chicken sandwich!) 
The Green Bay Packers’ offense was so bad vs. the Chargers on Sunday...altogether now...’How...bad...was it?! was soooooo bad that Aaron Rodgers was replaced at quarterback by his own State Farm insurance agent (who led the team to its only touchdown, late in the 4th Quarter!) 
LVRJ sports-contributor Ed Graney joked Boise State took the hardwood against Life Pacific Insurance as college hoops got underway this week. Vindy’s spies determined the Broncos were to actually face University of the Pacific, but the team came-down with the flu and LPI was brought-in as a late substitute. (In reality, the Tigers were busy beating lower-division Staniscoleslaw State!) 
Coming soon to da’ Silver Screen...Pete Rose provides the voice of the title-character in “Charlie Hustle’s Angels”! 
“Wish We Had It Back”: Southern Methodist @ MEMPHIS “’Over 68 ½’ wouldn’t be a horrible call” after taking the Ponies and the points.  
Black Shirt: Gets presented to NC State QB Devin Leary for late first-quarter pick at the Wake Forest 26, helping to keep that contest below the total. 
Shoppe Talk: We’re linin’ Da’ Shoppe walls with stuffed-Huskies after UDUB fell to 0-5 going “over”. Cohort-in-crime Utes make an appearance on 0-4 forecast-skid for contributing to the “over” in that same game! 
Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets:    Last Week: 3-1     Season: 20-18-1 (.526) 
ARMY –35 over UMass, Utah State +6 over FRESNO STATE, Texas-San Antonio +4 ½ over OLD DOMINION, Georgia State –2 ½ over WEEZIANA-MONROE, San Jose State +7 ½ over HAWAII