Monday, October 31, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 10-2016 Early Edition

#17 Western Michigan (-16) over BALL STATE: With Boise State going down to unranked-Wyoming on Saturday, WMU is the last undefeated Group of Five squad season-opening road upset of Northwestern looks pretty good given Wildcats mere-4-point loss to Ohio State in Columbus. Broncos are 5-2 ATS overall, though just 1-2 of late (winning by 15 vs. Northern Illinois, by 41 at Akron and by 14 against Eastern Michigan). Cardinals are under first-year coach Mike Neu after tallying just 8 outright wins over the previous two seasons (6 vs. I-A competition), but have already reached half that total to-date in 2016. They did lose, as a small fave, by 10 at home to the aforementioned Zips. Western Michigan has covered all three games laying points on the road and have scored 41 or more in six of last seven contests. WMU is giving up just over 19 ppg to opponents and 10 ppg on the road. State won’t beat itself, showing +3 turnover margin in Oxford and just 28 penalties on the season, third-best behind just Navy (16) and the Badgers (23). Broncos have been opportunistic though with a +12 turnover margin (+6 away). We expect some regression back toward the middle after underdogs beat the line in 13 of 17 last week…Wild Horses 37 BSU 19

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2016

IRVING, Texas (ITAR-Tass)…British voters ultimately agreed this summer to cut ties with the European Union and go it alone. Immediately following that revelation, representatives of the Big Twelve, Conference USA and Sun Belt lobbied heavily to bring the Brits into their respective folds! Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby last week declared it would not, in fact, expand and would stand-pat for now with the current ten clubs. In fact, the “Brexit” left Oxford playing as an FBS Independent this season, while University of Cambridge will be granted provisional I-A status as part of the Colonial USA and will not be eligible to play in a bowl until 2018.
Current World Series participant 1B Anthony Rizzo dispatched a playoffs hitting-slump last week by borrowing some wood from Cubbies’ teammate Matt Szczur. Vindy also commandeered said-stick from said-Major Leaguer and proceeded to whup the bejeezus outta’ his unsuspecting crystal ball. The results?...a sparkling 13-4 for Week 8, bringing us almost back even on the year at 66-67-3 (.496). By the way, in a close-vote, the Vegas Vindicator was also recently the bridesmaid to Bob Dylan for the Nobel Prize in literature after scribbling down…

(HALLOWEEN EDITION: “Straight Outta’ Goblin”!)

#25 Virginia Tech @ PITT (“over 56 ½”): At Heinz Field, we expect Pitt’s offense (and lack of scoring-defense) to dictate the pace, at 5-1 “over” in six games and all of da’ Panthers’ opponents have dented the scoreboard for at least 27, except I-AA Villanova. Hokies also show 4-2 to the “over”. Don’t be surprised if Pitt (+4) manages the outright upset…Pitt 37 VT 34

FRI. OCT. 28
#22 Navy (+7 ½) over SOUTH FLORIDA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK…Sailors 30 USF 28

SAT. OCT. 29
#1 Alabama: IDLE (next @ LSU)

MICHIGAN STATE (+23 ½) over #2 Michigan: Jim Harbaugh calls-off the dogs up mere 41-8 with more than half the final quarter to-play???!!! We call “Fix”!!!!! The local sportsbooks around town have sent a nice “donation” to Big Blue’s liberal-arts college scholarship fund! Just second road tilt for Michigan on the campaign. Sparty’s in shambles, but will go all-in here to try to save some face in light of a bad season currently noted as 2-5 and needs to nearly win-out to avoid missing the post-season for first time since 2006. UM is looking for payback, having lost three consecutive years to Little Brother...Michigan 27 MSU 10
#3 Clemson (-4) over #12 FLORIDA STATE: Chalk getting our blessing this week is in the minority, but Tigers escaped Louisville-game unscathed. ‘Noles didn’t show up vs. the Cardinals. Clemson shoulda’ letdown vs. Boston College, not vs. Wolfpack, but so be it. Dalvin Cook should get his rushing yards (#9 nationally at 128+ ypg vs. Clemson’s run-D…132+ ypg, but just 7 ground scores allowed). Though Tribe’s only demise in past 23 games at Doak Campbell came by 2 to North Carolina earlier this month, State’s four-year string of BCS/NewYear’s Six bowls (as noted by Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com) ends here…CU 29 FSU 18

#4 Washington (-10) over #17 UTAH: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We put our unconditional faith in Washington for the second time this season. Utes continue to win by slight-of-hand (oh…and four interceptions), including game at UCLA as a more-than-touchdown underdog. Joe Williams still gets no respect at QB. Just third road contest for UDUB on the season, but Utah won by double-digits in Seattle last year and Huskies have won by at least 24 points in all but one game to-date. Sled Dogs go for 11th-straight victory while Utes’ only loss in 11 tilts in Salt Lake was to the Bruins late last year. But the 2016 year’s Utes ain’t Navy…Washington 38 Utah 20
#5 Louisville (-32 ½) over VIRGINIA: Cards 51 Cavs 17

Northwestern (+27) over #6 OHIO STATE: Buckeyes 34 NW 20
#11 WISCONSIN (-8) over #7 Nebraska: In a reference that only the Rocky Horror Picture Show fans will understand….”Say!…Do any of you guys know how toMadison?!” The Ouija board predicts Bad Tommy throws a pair of INTs in this one…Badgers 24 Huskers 13

#8 Baylor (-3) over TEXAS: ‘Horns shot themselves in the hooves in last week’s FG-loss at K-State. At 3-4 SU, we figure a defeat here will be Charlie Strong’s last one in the burnt-orange. Steers enjoyed a +4 turnover-margin in last season’s 23-17 win over da’ Bears, one of just three losses by Baylor in 2015. Phil Steele’s #1 Most-Improved Team has not translated that vote-of-confidence to the win-loss record. Look for Senior QB Seth Russell to eventually salt-away the win and cover for…Baylor 44 Texas 37
#9 TEXAS A&M (-43 ½) over New Mexico State: Best guess for “wish we had it back” as we changed our initial gut-reaction pick, but NMSU has been one of the worst teams in the league and is playing in next-to-last season as part of the Stun Belt conference. State had gone 1-5 ATS facing Power Five teams until barely covering in earlier 20-point loss at Kentucky and has current overall spread skid of 12-21-1. Not sure how much this match will mean to A&M, who gets Mississippi State next after their mojo was ruined by ‘Bama’s fumble return for a score last week. NMSU yielded 62, 52 and 55 at Kentucky, Troy and Idaho, respectively…A&M 57 NMSU 10

OKLAHOMA STATE (+4) over #10 West Virginia: MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. In OT…Cowboys 34 WVU 31
WYOMING (+13 ½) over #13 Boise State: Runner-up choice for “lock”Broncos 31 Cowboys 23

Georgia (+7 ½) over #14 Florida (@ Jacksonville, FL): Gators have dominated World’s Largest Outdoor (Shrimp) Cocktail Party the past two years and Joja’ has gone poor 1-3-1 ATS in past five games this season, including 17-16 loss to Vandy between da’ hedges ahead of the bye week. Florida still has no scoring offense, getting 21 of its 40 points vs. Mizzou on defense and special teams. ‘Dawgs need more production from the running backs but get their top pair of defenders back on the field for this one. “Under 43 ½” wouldn’t be a bad choice, but we’ll jump on more-than-a-TD with UGA…Florida 20 Joja’ 17
#15 Auburn (-4) over MISSISSIPPI: Tigers 38 Rebels 28

Kansas (+40 ½) over #16 OKLAHOMA: Sooners 54 Blue Birds 20
SOUTH CAROLINA (+13 ½) over #18 Tennessee: Da’ Poultry finally banged the board for more than 20 points in 2016 as they held-on in Columbia to dodge UMass. Vols have beaten only Virginia Tech (though we respect that) by double-digits (on a neutral site) and last three games in this series have been decided by 2, 3 and 3… Tennessee 27 Carolina 19   

#19 Louisiana State: IDLE (next vs. Alabama)
#20 Western Michigan: IDLE (next @ Ball State 11/1)

#21 North Carolina: IDLE (next vs. Georgia Tech)
#23 Colorado: IDLE (next vs. UCLA 11/3)

PURDUE (+11) over #24 Penn State: Nifty Lions haven’t seen the Top 25 from the inside since 2011. We’re cheerin’ against a one-and-done as they look to put a fourth straight game in the dubya-column since the debauchery at Ann Arbor having overcome early special-teams mistakes (blocked FG try and a muffed punt) to pull off a major upset last Saturday!...We Are 24 Boilermakers 16

BTW, after the Big 12 announcement, Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard tweeted that the conference was “Just the Mountain West” minus da’ Sooners and Steers. Mimicking the thought was English Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore, who said “without Cambridge and Liverpool, we’re just…Scotland!”
For the Nobel Prize Committee, who’s been feeling slighted by Mr. Dylan’s lack of commentary on his hardware, Bob has authorized our fab-forecaster to relay this message…“Yo, Nobel homies…thanks. It’s da’ bomb!”

Da’ Pittsburgh Steelers conducted preseason-workouts with robotic tackling-dummies. The robots can also simulate the NFL running back position as well. In fact, QB I, Robotlisberger was overheard audibling “Klaatu, Beretta, nickleback!”, to which his sentient-machine teammate responded, “Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”
Rocky Horror Picture Show meets football stoppage of play…”Lettttt’s…doooo…da’ Tiiiiiime-Outt..againnnnnn!” (“It’s just a jump-offsides to the left…and a stutter-step to the riiiii-iiight.”). In a related topic, Steelers WR Antonio Brown drew a yellow hankie a few weeks ago for a post-TD pelvic thrust. Clearly, the official-in-question is not a fan of the aforementioned-movie or its dance-scenes!

With the NBA regular-season tippin’-off yesterday, we can’t help but inquire…if former Gators-standout-turned- Chicago Bulls player meets a popular series about zombies on AMC, is it….”The Joakim Noah Dead”???!! (Okay, go ahead and boo that one!)
On the big screen this weekend…Picknado! Featuring cameos by Donald Trump, Kendra Wilkinson, Vladimir Putin, Roger Goodell, Lance Henriksen, Miranda Lambert, Jon Stewart, UNLV coach Tony Sanchez, Caitlyn Jenner, Kurt Russell, Sean Astin, Ben Grimm, Ben Affleck, Ryan Lochte, penultimate undecided-voter Ken Bone and Billy Bush!

“Locked in a Box?”:    We correctly picked 13 of 17 selections, but our “lock of da’ week”, Michigan, was one of da’ four that failed (because that’s our secret super-power!) lowering the record to 5-3 (.600).   
Black Shirt: This week’s tremendous-tee goes to Boise State K Tyler Rausa for tanking on a pair of makeable FGs from 32 and 30 yards out, putting BYU in position to nearly pull off our upset pick of da’ week and at minimum, giving us a Thursday-night forecast win to send us up +1 into Saturday’s contests!

Shoppe Talk: Most of da’ usual suspects (Florida, Tennessee and Clemson) were idle, but the Aggies cooperated and get a weekend pass at 2-4 (.333).
Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets:       Last Week:  2-2   Season: 23-20 (.535)

Kansas State @ IOWA STATE “under 51”, UTSA -3 ½ over North Texas, Unlv @ SAN JOSIE STATE “over 57 ½”, Kentucky +4 over MISSOURI, HAWAII -3 ½ over New Mexico, New Mexico @ HAWAII “over 66”,  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 8-2016

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP)…Former Longhorns/NFL baller Ricky Williams has debuted a specialized exercise-facility here in the City by the Bay that lets members indulge in the herb-superb during and after work-outs. The name?… Acapulco Gold’s Gym. Cannabis is not only available to treat post-workout pain, the usual instrument-panels on the treadmills come with built-in roach-clips and feature cup-holders for bongs. Members have the option to pay monthly…or by the ounce. Patrons still need a prescription for medical-Maryjane until recreational-use is legalized in the state. Meanwhile, players for the Forty-Niners, Cal Bears, Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans are already lining-up for injured-reserve!
The “momentum” of Week Six’s 8-6 effort was short-lived as we sleepwalked through Week Seven’s 7-10 (another seven-win outing???!!!...53-63-3, .457), falling on the wrong side of the first half-dozen final-scores on the weekend before getting some relief from the Saturday’s later games. With the third and final presidential debate back in town tonight, security is pretty tight around da’ Vegas Valley, but officials still have no idea how to protect the candidates from…

(Totally Odellin’ it!)  

Brigham Young (+7) over #14 BOISE STATE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Yeah, it’s iffy taking a road dog off a double-OT victory to beat currently-highest-ranked Group of Five club, but this could be the match that de-rails Da’ Broncos’ post-season dreams and relegates them to a December game in Sin City (again!), allowing Western Michigan to excel elsewhere. Broncos have failed to cover the spread in three tries on the blue carpet this season and have lost outright to BYU in two of last three years. Six of da’ Cougars games to-date have been decided by 7 or less and the seventh was a 17-point margin-of-victory over Michigan State in East Lansing. BYU has covered all four tilts away from Provo in 2016 and QB Taysom Hill is da’ Man…BYU 27 BSU 24
SAT. OCT. 22

#6 Texas A&M @ #1 ALABAMA (“Under 58 ½”): Crimson Trype 31 Aggies 17
PENN STATE (+19) over #2 Ohio State: We’re just hopin’ this doesn’t turn into “Michigan: Da’ Sequel”. Lions couldn’t get outta’ their way in that one and the Wolverines established big distance fairly early.  Special teams will be important for the hosts and they’ll need a good game from RB Saquon Barkley, 6th in rushing in the conference at 97 ypg and 8 scores. On the other sideline, Buckeyes have three players among top eleven in B10 rushing, including #2 Mike Weber (no relation) at 102 ypg. In Serape Valley, we like…Buckeyes 31 Alma Mater 16

#3 MICHIGAN (-35 ½) over Illinois: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Illini show 1-2 SU/2-1 ATS record in the Big Tentpeg, but got their inaugural FBS outright victory last week with 17-point win over conference whipping-boy Rutgers. UI lost earlier by 3 to Purdue club that just jettisoned its head coach and suffered home-loss to Western Michigan by 24. Meanwhile, it’s Homecoming in Ann Arbor, can’t see Wolverines looking-ahead given current condition of “Little Brother” and Harbaugh has already shown the conscience of a sociopath when it comes to piling-on…Big Blue 51 Illinois 6
#4 Clemson: IDLE (next @ Florida State) (We ain’t crushed to see da’ Tigers on the sidelines this week. See Shoppe Talk below)

Oregon State (+37) over #5 WASHINGTON: UDUB 45 Beavers 14
#7 LOUISVILLE (-20) over NC State: ‘Pack caught Clemson in a letdown spot and nearly took out the Tigers on the road, but now face letdown of their own, having missed three FGs in that game that woulda’ give ‘em a signature win. Cards failed to exhaust post-loss emotions following Clemson during a bye week and got way more of a challenge from Duke than they wanted. Back to our regularly-scheduled programming…Da’ Ville 45 State 20

Purdue (+24) over #8 NEBRASKA: Look for better things from Boilers’ now that former-Coach Hazell is history. Meanwhile, the Big Red Wedding (for the Game of Thrones fans) should be peering forward to date in Madison vs. da’ Badgers. Boilers have been money as double-digits road dogs and when facing Top 25 foes…Corn Chowder 35 Choo-Choos 16
#9 Baylor: IDLE (next @ Texas)

#10 Wisconsin (-3 ½) over IOWA: “Under 42 ½” might be a solid play in this one too. We’re not ignoring the possible letdown-concept here, just considering fact that it’s a nominal spread for a team that’s far-better than its record. Iowa might even lead at the half, but final score belongs to…Badgers 17 Hawkeyes 10
#11 Houston (-21) over SMU: Houston 42 Pummel Horses 17

Texas Christian @ #12 WEST VIRGINIA (“Over 65”): TCU’s just 1-4 ATS, off a bye having dodged upset bid by (GASP!) Kansas and points-wise seem to play to the pace of opposing offenses. That portends a lotta’ points here. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com also shows the Frog-Legs at 12-0 with rest…WVU 44 Kermits 38
#13 Florida State: IDLE (next vs. Clemson)

#15 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Joja’)
#16 Oklahoma @ TEXAS TECH (“Over 84”): Running OK’s offense is Baker Mayfield, who returns to Waco three seasons after starting at QB for da’ Red Raiders! Tech is being spotted two touchdowns here, but we anticipate points-a-go-go here! Only four teams allow more ppg than TTU and in all honesty, da’ Schooners haven’t stopped any of the better teams they’ve lined-up against either...Oklahoma 49 Guns Up 42

#21 AUBURN (-9 ½ and “under 55 ½”) over #17 Arkansas: Tigers 28 Hogs 17
#18 Tennessee: IDLE (next @ South Carolina)

#19 Utah @ UCLA: OFF
Eastern Michigan (+23 ½) over #20 WESTERN MICHIGAN: In the Spring, EMU students and school officials proposed bailing outta’ Division I. Who are these guys and what’d they do with da’ Ypsilanti Iggles???!!! Broncos have game at improved Ball State (5-2 SU/4-3 ATS) next. Last two years have seen contests with EMU losing by 30 in 2015 and by 44 in 2014, but Coach Creighton, now in his third year, has 16 starters back and has his guys (5-2 SU) poised to go bowlin’ with one more victory. Better options for that win are later in the schedule, but we see a decent showing here…WMU 39 EMU 27

#22 North Carolina (-8 ½) over VIRGINIA: Second choice for “lock”… Tarheels 37 Cavs 23
#25 LSU (-5 ½) over #23 Mississippi: Not too unlike aforementioned Eastern Michigan, the LSU football team coulda’ been toast due to budget troubles based on the governor’s assertion last February. Not unlike Purdue, da’ Bengals are under new management, having finally decided the Les Miles thing wasn’t gettin’ it done and blasted SoMiss after the fact. Rebels are 3-3 SU and will prolly take out Joja’ Sudden and Vandy, but appear to need an upset elsewhere to get to a December game. Layin’ more than a FG with LSU remains scary, but Ole Mist’s tussle vs. ‘Bama seems ions ago and hosts have won 22 of last 25 in Death Valley…Bengals 24 Mississippi 17

#24 NAVY (+2 ½) over Memphis: Choice is more about Sailors’ ongoing ability to successfully-defend the home harbor than the upset (also in Annapolis) over Houston two weeks ago. Middies got an unanticipated-but-likely-welcomed fortnight off due to weather-postponement of last week’s tilt at ECU. Coming into the season, Tigers had one more SU victory in the previous 2 years than they’d tallied over the prior six seasons before that, but got blown out at Mississippi State and haven’t really been tested otherwise so far.  Navy won 45-20 in 2015, and then-Memphis QB Paxton Lynch is now seeing periodic snaps in the No Fun League. Ensigns haven’t been dogs at home since mid-2013, when they beat Pitt getting 4 ½ points…Armada 27 Tigers 23

BTW, for a limited-time only, free with the purchase of a medium pepperoni pizza or family-size bag of Doritos at Ricky’s “No Stems, No Seeds” Snack Bar is an autographed preview of Vindy’s Week 9 Picks!
Jonny Linehan, punter fer da’ BYU Coogs, put out a video for “Puntin’, Kickin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”, a satire of a tune by Luke Bryan. Good choice since somethin’ similar to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” likely woulda’ got the special-teamer dismissed on an honors-code violation! Sing it with us…”I’ve got friends in lowwwwww places, where da’ safety fouls and da’ cheerleader chaaases…my booze awaaaay…” 

Urban Meyer took an inadvertent shot to da’ chops by the referee in the Wisconsin game, who also flagged OSU for sideline interference. Da’ Buckeyes coach will reportedly sport a helmet of his own in State College, PA this Saturday, just in case! (BTW, Vindy’s already put a check in da’ mail to the officiating crew in exchange for an accidental zebra’s tug on Meyer’s facemask!)
This week’s obligatory bad-pun…if First-Downs meet a mythological river in Hell, do teams…”Move the Styx”?!

May’s Kentucky Derby champion Nyquist was named after Detroit Red Wings’ forward Gustav Nyquist. The horse ultimately finished third, behind Instigator…er…um…Exaggerator…and runner-up Cherry Wine, in da’ 141st Preakness, having spent “the most exciting two-minutes in sports” in da’ penalty box for boarding (barding?!) a fellow-competitor outta’ da’ gate! (BTW, race officials called upon da’ Zamboni-machine to smooth-over rough spots in the muddy track that day ahead of the contest).
“Locked in a Box?”:  Wisconsin’s OT-loss to the Buckeyes elevates the tally to 5-2 (.714)!     

Black Shirt: The coveted-clothing goes to Oregon State receiver Hunter Jarmon, whose only catch of the day was a 14-yard TD reception that allowed the Beavers (+10) to stay within the number vs. Utah. Honorable mention to Nebraska K Drew Brown for hitting the 39-yard FG with 45 seconds to play to give the Candy Corn the predicted cover at Indiana.
Shoppe Talk: We’re still stuffin’ ‘coon-skin caps of Tennessee (1-5-1, .167), while the idle Aggies loiter at 1-4 (.200), and we’re making snake-skin shoes outta’ da’ Gators (1-4, .200). Tiger-skin rugs are on the assembly-line as well as Clemson is 2-4 (.333), but show 0-4 (.000) skid!!!!

Vindy’s Week 8 Best Bets:       Last Week: 2-2    Season: 21-18 (.538)
Syracuse –BOSTON COLLEGE “under 52 ½”, Weeziana Tech -16 over FLA INTERNATIONAL, USAF -16 over Hawaii, Tulane +11 ½ over TULSA

Now if you’ll excuse Vindy, he needs to go powder his nose-guard!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 7-2016

LAS VEGAS (MSNBC)…This past summer, Las Vegas was granted an NHL franchise. The team-moniker is yet-to-be-announced, but options appear to include “Black Knights” in reference to owner Bill Foley’s Alma Mater, West Point, which has aficionados of Monty Python & the Holy Grail salivating at the prospect because hockey is the only sport in which loss of a limb is truly-considered to be “only a flesh wound.” As well as “Vegas Vorhees”, after the goalie-mask-wearing killer Jason. Home-games will feature pucks made of over-sized casino chips! Tourists and locals alike cannot wait to play the slot-machines that pay-out in hockey pucks rather than coins and hear TV broadcasters call…”Slot, save! Slot, save! Slot…scorrrrrre!”. In addition, offending-players will spend two minutes in the penalty box for Gaming Control Boarding!

Week Six saw Vindy enter Saturday in the hole on the fortnight (down 0-2 after Boise blew out the Lobos and Clemson-BC went waaaay over the total) for the first time this season. We also dropped our Friday night best bet Tulsa -17 over SMU and early-Saturday best bet as Sudden Mist (-16) was beaten outright by the Roadrunners of UTSA. Enter a wild 45-40 ending between Texas and Oklahoma in the Red River Shoe-Horn by noon Pacific Time to get us en route to just our second above-board finish at 8-6 (46-53-3 (.465). Let’s face it…the only menacing-clown in Sin City currently is the one who penned…

(As published in this month’s issue of Better Home-Games and Gridirons!)

#25 Navy @ EAST CAROLINA: Postponed til 11/19
FRI. OCT. 14

#7 LOUISVILLE (-35) over Duke: Cardinals 57 (Black &) Blue Demons 17
SAT. OCT. 14

#9 TENNESSEE (+12) over #1 Alabama: Again, Tide’s tendency is wins, not covers. The rabbit’s foot finally fell off the Vols’ collective neck in double-extras-defeat to A&M, but Rocky Top’s ongoing tenacity suggests it will do Halloween as the Energizer Bunny!...’Bama 29 Vols 24
#8 WISCONSIN (+10) over #2 Ohio State: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Yes, da’ Buckeyes have thwarted us four times in five tries. We even yielded to “if can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy last week, backing State laying four touchdowns vs. Indy after multiple weeks supporting OSU’s opponents…and we still failed! Cue-up Joan Jett & da’ Blackhearts…”We hate ourselves for pic-kin’ youuuuuu….”. Most-recent pairing was 2014 conference championship, won fitty-nine (GASP!)-nada by State en route to ultimate National Title. Only other DD-loss by Wisky in last three-plus seasons was 2015 opener to ‘Bama on a neutral site. OSU has walked off with 15 road-triumphs in a row…State 19 Badgers 16

#3 CLEMSON (-17) over NC State: Tigers 37 NCSU 12
#4 Michigan: IDLE (next vs. Illinois)

#5 Washington: IDLE (next vs. Oregon State)
#6 Texas A&M: IDLE (next @ Alabama)

#10 Nebraska (-4) over INDIANA: Money comin’ in hot and heavy on da’ Hoosiers after closer-than-it-appeared three-score loss to the Buckeyes. Rested Corn Pops get bowl-eligible with a sixth straight victory here. In its defense, Indy was mere 6-18 SU in previous 24 B10 tilts before dropping Michigan State (after home-loss to Wake Forest) and show decent 3-1 ATS home-dog run, but…Nebraska 27 Indiana 17
Kansas (+35) over #11 BAYLOR: Last week, Kansas, 0-fer-12 SU in 2015, had chances to pull major upset over TCU and…didn’t. We think Bluebirds, outscored 185-35 over past three years against Baylor should be sponsored by GEICO because “finding ways to lose…it’s what they do.” Bears enter this off a bye week after escaping the Dust-Devils by 3, showing 1-3 spread record and having progressively-lowered their final ATS tally in each of the previous three seasons. BU has now covered just 3 of last 8 FBS contests back to last year and will peek ahead to date in Austin…Bears 51 KU 24

#12 Mississippi (-7 ½) over #22 ARKANSAS: Rebels 41 Tenderloin 27
#13 HOUSTON (-21) over Tulsa: In March, Bob Dylan sold his personal archive of notes, draft lyrics, poems, artwork and photos to the University of Tulsa. Among the sale-items-in-question were such classics as… “Forever Vince Young”, “Mr. Tambourine Lineman (“Draw up a play for me”)” “Substitution Home-Game Blues” and “Lay, Lady, Lay Da’ Points”. (Is it just us, or has Vindy’s Picks featured a distinct musical-flavor this year?!). Hurricane’s faced one team with a defense…and lost by 45…Coogs 51 Tulsa 20

Wake Forest (+21) over #14 FLORIDA STATE: We expect a slight letdown from the ‘Noles, having needed to block a PAT to submit rival Miami (for the seventh straight season. Demon Deacons lookin’ good with five SU victories in six tries so far after putting just six of previous 24 in the dubya-column. Third-year HC Dave Clawson has 17 starters back from squad that lost by mere-8 to FSU in 2015…Da’ Chop 31 Da’ Forest 19
Colorado State (+31) over #15 BOISE STATE: State gains nominal edge over now-one-loss Houston fer Group of Five berth in a money-bowl (but see Western Michigan @ AKRON below) but have BYU on horizon just five days following this match. Colorado State beat common-opponent Utah State last weekend by 7. BSU won by two TDs vs. da’ Aggies. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com does not portend the Broncos excelling in this spot. We’ll look for a backdoor-cover of-sorts… Broncos 41 CSU 17

North Carolina (+8) over #16 MIAMI: ‘Canes 37 UNC 31
#17 Virginia Tech (-19 ½) over SYRACUSE: Hokies 34 L’Orange 10

Missouri @ #18 FLORIDA (“under 50 ½”): Second choice for “lock”.  Tigers were on a scheduled week-off while Gators got the unexpected “bye” when Matthew cancelled the LSU game. Mizzou-LSU totaled 49 points with UM managing a lone touchdown (now single digits for Missouri in six of previous eleven I-A contests). UF has limited four of five opponents to 7 or less to-date. Tigers are getting nearly two TDs vs. the Crocs, but figuring one week of rest doesn’t fix Gators’ offensive difficulties, we’ll just call it…Florida 28 Mizzou 3
Kansas State (+10) over #19 OKLAHOMA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK…Wildcats 31 OK 24

TEXAS TECH (-1) over #20 West Virginia: Guns Up 45 Mountaineers 39
OREGON STATE (+10) over #21 Utah: Utes 31 Beavers 27

#23 Auburn: IDLE (next vs. Arkansas)
#24 Western Michigan (-10 ½) over AKRON: Broncos have been a bit under our radar, but Phil Steele predicted WMU would be in it for a New Year’s Six post-season berth if they took out Northwestern in the opener. They did just that and beat Illinois by 24 on the road as well. A regular-season-ending date in Kalamazoo against Toledo awaits, but they should cruise into that one. Zips are 4-2 SU, but had just 7 total starters back and lost at home to App State by 7…Western Meeshigan 42 Akron 28

BTW, registered domain names in August for the new local hockey club included “Desert Knights”. Given the smorgasbord of pastries and other sweets found on any decent buffet-line in our humble berg, we think “Dessert Knights” would be equally apropos! (And if yer old enough to remember a certain animated segment of the Saturday morning “Banana Splits” TV show, we say…”Siiiiiize…of a cheesecake!”)

Even one of the commentators at the Steers-Sooners game stuttered announcing the contest as the “Red River Shoe-Down”!
The home of the Golden Hurricane also acquired the drink-coasters upon which Dylan scribed the words to “The Time-Outs They Are A-Changin’” and “It Ain’t Me, Tay”!

Followin’ a three-“game” stretch that saw Rutgers get outscored a hunnerd-fitty to seven by a trio of conference teams, da’ Scarlet Letters got excommunicated from da’ Big Tendril. Showing one SU victory in last eleven Big Tenor tilts and an inability to activate bulbs on da’ scoreboard, RU has been relegated to…Scarlet Nite-Lites!
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was at the 142nd Kentucky Derby and issued da’ command “Riders Up!”, which was immediately followed by the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home-Field”!

Tim Tebow’s first official game in the Arizona Fall League this week didn’t go as planned. The former Heisman QB stepped into the batter’s box, surveyed the defense, used a hard-count to try to draw the infield offside, then had to call a time-out!
“Wish We Had It Back”: We’d like a mulligan for…calling New Mexico +17 over Boise State after noting a couple of straight-up defeats to Rutgers and NMSU and near-collapse vs. San Josie did not bode well for the Lobos.

“Locked in a Box?”:  The Sled Dogs of Washington far-exceeded our expectations, pounding Oregon to run the “lock” tally to 4-2 (.667).     
Black Shirt: Goes to the officiating crew at the Texas-Oklahoma Red River Shoo-Fly for missing a blatant 1st Quarter pass-interference call vs. the ‘Horns that ultimately led to a Texas FG and for throwing an unnecessary roughness flag only on the Sooners’ player involved later, eventually resulting in a Texas touchdown. Honorable mention to ‘Bama CB Minkah Fitzpatrick for a 100-yard pick-six that would enable Tide to cover -14 vs. Arkansas.

Shoppe Talk: Texas A&M and Tennessee, facing each other last week, linger at 1-4 (.200) and 1-4-1 (.200), respectively and are accompanied by the return of the Ohio State Suckeyes, also at 1-4 (.200)
Vindy’s Week 7 Best Bets:       Last Week: 3-4   Season: 19-16 (.543)

Iowa-PURDUE “under 50”, GEORGIA TECH -10 over Joja’ Southern, South Alabama +4 ½ over ARKANSAS STATE, Unlv-HAWAII “over 54 ½”

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Vindy's Picks Week 6-2016

LAS VEGAS (UPI)…Unable to shake the seven forecast-win albatross along with 12 losses and a pair of ties (38-47-3, .447), the Vegas Vindicator calmly ascended the requisite number of elevator trips and stairs to reach the Big Shot thrill-attraction atop the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino resort here in Sin City, boarded the ride and somewhere in that momentary feeling of weightlessness, cut ties with his crystal ball. The globe hit the ground below, shattering into thousands of shards, startling tourists and locals alike. Quickly making his way down, backing-off security forces by brandishing a copy of his Week Five picks and threatening to make a nearby casino-employee wager with them, scampered away onto Las Vegas Boulevard, where eye-witnesses claim to see the fugitive-forecaster spirited-away by an Amazon delivery-drone to parts-unknown. Speculation is that the Weber Kid has scurried-off to that place where the President of the United States is taken in the event of nuclear holocaust. Citizens are advised that while Vindy’s Picks are considered clearly unarmed, they should still be approached with caution.

In a week that saw the underdog-pound rule at 12-6-2, we tanked on our “lock”, “upset” pick and both “minor upset” selections (though Wisconsin covered and Joja’ pushed). Comin’ at ya wearin’ a fake mustache, from behind a curtain and over an encrypted-channel, it’s…
(Droppin’ flares from Air Forecast One to deceive sportsbook missiles!)

#3 Clemson @ BOSTON COLLEGE (“under 46”): Tigers 24 BC 9

NEW MEXICO (+17) over #19 Boise State: With very-unsightly loss by San Diego State to Fun Belt’s South ‘Bama, Broncos (and perhaps Air Force, who hosts BSU to close the regular season) look like Mountain Jest’s best chance for big-dollar bowl, but other teams are closin’ the gap. Defense-minded USU hung around long enough to cover vs. State last week. Lobos’ outright losses to Rutgers and rival New Mexico State and near-squandering of an early-4th Quarter three-score advantage before outlasting San Josie do not bode well for the home team. We’re counting on both sides leaning on big running games and shortening the contest enough for New Mexico to grab a cover …Boise State 31 Lobos 18

#1Alabama (-14) over #16 ARKANSAS: Tide 31 Bacon Strips 14
#2 OHIO STATE (-29 ½) over Indiana: Buckeyes 45 Hoosiers 10

#4 Michigan (-28) over RUTGERS: Big Blue 48 Knights 17
#5 Washington (-8) over OREGON: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. The return of RB Royce Freeman did not prevent an 18-point defeat for the Mallards at Wazzou. Huskies look like the class of the 12-PAC and lost by just 6 last year after being abused mightily by Oregon much of the last decade and get to return the favor. Drakes have just four losses in last two dozen contests on the Pond, but even Sesame Street’s Ernie wants nuthin’ to do with these rubber-duckies…UDUB 41 Ducks 24

NAVY (+18) over #6 Houston: Best guess for “wish we had it back”. We watched the Midshipmen at Air Force last Saturday. They just don’t look like the same team without now-graduated QB Keenan Reynolds. While Navy was down just 3-0 at the intermission, they suffered a lost fumble, a pick and a punt-block to lose 28-14 in a game that was pretty much all-Pilots until the 4th Quarter and only a meaningless TD with about half-a-minute left made it even that close. Ensigns have gone 17-2 outright in past 19 at the friendly-marina (with both defeats coming in 2014 to Western Kentucky and [GASP!] Rutgers!]) but haven’t hosted a Top 25 opponent in at least 5 years. Middies have dropped UConn by 4 and Tulane by 7. A peek at the last five post-USAF tilts shows 2-3 SU/1-3 ATS (with one FCS game in there). Coogs won by three scores last year after previously-mentioned 2015 lone-loss to UConn, are either 3-1 ATS or 3-0-1 depending on whose closing spreads ya look at, and 10-1 as road-chalk in last 11 in that role. Still, can’t shake tiny bookie dressed in red suit with horns and pitchfork on Vindy’s shoulder prodding him to take the points…UH 31 Boat People 17
#7 Louisville: IDLE (next vs. Duke)

#9 Tennessee (+6 ½) over #8 TEXAS A&M: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1…Vols 29 Aggies 27
#23 Florida State @ #10 MIAMI (“under 65 ½”): Second choice for “lock”. Hurricanes shushed doubters (fer da’ moment) with two touchdown-win (and cover) at Joja’ Tech. Last two years have gone to the ‘Noles by 4 and 5 points. Pelicans are now 8-2-1 as home-faves and schedule shows the remaining tough games in Coral Gables. ‘Canes haven’t beaten FSU since start of 2009 season, but have lot just 4 home contests in past three years. Tribe absorbed last-play 54-yard FG to lose shoot-out in Tallahassee to North Carolina. Miami needs to come out big early, but even a romp in one direction or the other yields relatively-few total points because State will run Dalvin Cook, who’ll get his yardage and a couple scores. Miami ain’t got a Lamar Jackson…’Canes 24 FSU 20

#11 Wisconsin: IDLE (next vs. Ohio State)
#12 Nebraska: IDLE (next @ INDIANA)

#13 Baylor: IDLE (next vs. Kansas)
#14 Mississippi: IDLE (next @ ARKANSAS)

WASHINGTON STATE (+7 ½) over #15 Stanford: Trees 24 Wazzou 21
#17 NORTH CAROLINA (-2 ½ ) over #25 Virginia Tech: Hokies enter this week rested, while ‘Heels have to negotiate emotions off 54-yard FG on final play the beat Florida State last week to tally past pair of victories by total of three points! ‘Heels are coughin’-up average of 31 ppg-against and get sammich-game between ‘Noles and trip to Miami. Hokies haven’t been money in games decided by 7 or less last two campaigns. UNC won by a FG in 2015 following losses the previous two years…’Heels 40 Tech 34

Louisiana State (-2 ½ and “under 42”) over #18 FLORIDA: While a home-rout of Mizzou isn’t definitive, it does build confidence with the new coach and new (for now) RB for the Bengals. State’s beaten Florida three straight years. Gators collapse vs. Tennessee and struggles to get past Vandy are worrisome. Let the conference-cannibalism continue…LSU 20 Florida 14
Texas (+10) over #20 Oklahoma (@Dallas, TX): Horns (+16 at the time) won in an upset last season, 24-17. Both sides giving up a lot more points this year. We predict the losing-coach doesn’t get to go trick-or-treating with his current players on his current campus. This PC contest is now known as the “Red River Showdown”?! Geez, are hockey games and soccer matches now going to showdowns if not settled in OT??!! Pfffttt! Fine…in da’ Red River Show-Tunes/Sho-Gun/Showgirls/Showboat, we like…Sooners 41 Texas 34

#21 Colorado (+5 ½) over USC: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Buffs see the rankings from the inside for first time since 2009 (which also saw them put 5 of final 8 games in the “L’-column!). Almost bet vs. them laying 18 vs. da’ Beavers. Happy we didn’t. Troy whacked defenseless bunch of Sun Devils that lost starting QB before the half to rise to 2-3 SU/ATS. USC edged Colorado 27-24 in 2015. Phil Steele notes the Buffaloes took 8 conference defeats by a TD or less the past two seasons, and had won just 10 games overall the past three years coming into 2016. SoCal has now covered just 3 of last 14 vs. ranked foes and basically faces a must-win situation because the rest of the slate is not conducive to grabbing enough victories for bowl-eligibility…Bison 38 USC 34
#22 West Virginia: IDLE (next @ TEXAS TECH)

Arizona (+9 ½) over #24 UTAH: Utes 24 AZ 17

BTW, our secret location is downtown Vegas in the basement of the Golden Gate casino, where our protagonist finds himself disguised as a scantily-clad dealer-tainer and consuming mass-quantities of 99-cent shrimp cocktails! Shhhhh!
With Dak Prescott leadin’ the charge fer da’Cowboys,  Arts-N-Craftsy Tony Romo is helpin’ Vindy channel his frustrations into papier-mâché!

Eastern-Freakin’- Michigan is 4-1 SU???!!!!
FYI…we hit both (yes, both) of our calls on the total in Week 5!!!! (And we got three more total selections this week! Uh-oh!)

In June, Broncos DC Wade Phillips got presented a Super Bowl Fitty ring (Our Precioussssssss) bearing not his own name, but rather that of “Adam Peters” (team director of college scouting). Coulda’ been worse. Coulda’ been engraved as actress Bernadette Peters (whom we know from her role in Young Frankenstein) or…(GASP!)…John Phillips of Da’ Mamas & Da’ Papas or actors Lou Diamond Phillips (from Courage Under Fire and multiple horror-flicks including a Vindy-fave, Route 666) or troubled actress MacKenzie Phillips (whom we recognize from comedy-series One Day at a Time)!
Former Joja’Bulldog/NFL running back meets The Walking Dead meets minor league baseball in…“Herschel Walker’s Farm-Team”???!!!!

Tim Tebow, who roamed the high school baseball diamond before starring on the Gainesville gridiron, went yard on the first ball he was thrown in the Mets’ instructional league. Sadly, he struck his signature pose before leaving the batter’s box, triggering a bench-clearing brawl! (In all seriousness, we hope Timmy T-Bone’s MLB career works out better than Michael Jordan’s and doesn’t end up getting a role in remakes of “A League of Their Own” or “Da’ Bad News Bears”!
“Locked in a Box?”:  Da’ Corn Meal started too-slowly vs. the Illini and did not cover three touchdowns, lowering the record to 3-2 (.600).     

Black Shirt: In a rare award to a big ugly, we gift-wrap and personally-deliver this week’s Black Shirt to New Mexico State OL Sebastian Anderson, who recovered the fumble of Aggies teammate RB Larry Rose III in the end zone for a TD to win it in double-overtime vs. UL-Lafayette, notching our fourth “best bet” dubya on the weekend!
Shoppe Talk: Joining da’ fray is Texas A&M at 1-3 (.250). Hangin’ around despite posting a win or a push are ‘Bama (1-3-1), Rocky Top (1-3-1) and Flo-Rida (1-3)…all at .250. In case yer wonderin’ at home, the Weber-Friendliest squads to-date are UDUB, Stanford and Florida State…all 3-1 (.750) so far.

Vindy’s Week 6 Best Bets:  Last Week: 4-2   Season: 16-12 (.571) (And because we’re talented like that, we paired each of our two ATS-losers with each of our ATS-weiners…and got nuthin’ and liked it!) TULSA -17 over Southern Methodist, Sudden Mist -16 over UTSA, Eastern Meeshigan +17 over TOLEDO,  WYOMING +10 ½ over Air Force, Brigham Young +5 ½ over MICHIGAN STATE, Army +4 over DUKE, SOUTH CAROLINA +7 ½ over Joja’