Friday, September 29, 2023

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2023


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MSNBC)...On the heels of a well-met-better-than-expected response to the annual version of an altered NFL All-Star Game back in January at Allegiant Stadium, which hosted  such alternate contests as flag football, dodgeball (Editorial note: “if ya can dodge a wench, you can dodge a ball”...sumthin’ like that!), Kicker Tic-Tac-Toe, Longest Drive (“Last year, a lowly punter about to become this year’s...Pro Bowl champion...It’s in da’ hole! It’s in da’ hole!”) and “Best Catch” (but enough about trout-fishing in Lake Mead!). Regional authorities did not return calls for comment about bodies found in barrels! Coordinators, looking to make the events even more-enticing for tourists and locals-alike, are pondering adding a rousing night of Trivial Pursuit, Dungeons & Drag-Races and Coleco Electronic Quarterback!


The Alma Mater pitched a shut-out late Saturday against Iowa to grant us a 3-2 effort (12-8, .600) and we just missed an exact score, calling 30-24 in the actual 31-24 FSU victory over Clemson! 

Tell your friends that “Vindicator lives in Las Vegas...and all we got was... 


(As obvious as the lipstick on our horse-collar tackle) 



#19 OREGON STATE (-3 ½) over #10 Utah: Second choice fer “lock”. Utes are undefeated thru first four contests with Cam Rising nursing an ACL problem back to bowl-season and back-up QB Nate Johnson under center. He’s not lighting it up at #126 in pass yardage and RB Jet Johnson checkin’-in at #92 nationally (though nice 6.1 ypc), so the defense has carried the burden, allowing just 22.25 ppg and that includes 31 to I-AA Weber State. State counters with RB Deshaun Fenwick (4 TDs in four games) and RB Damien Martinez (#10 in rush yards and 7.6 ypc). Beavs have taken 13 straight games outright at Reser Stadium and have won 3 of 4 overall on the year, though no one special on that scheduleEliminating 76-point outlier in 2021, the other three totals in the series average 57 ppg, well-higher than the over/under 44 ½ number on this oneOn a short week fer both sides coming off tough games, we’ll lay the small line and take the host club with a better running game and a more experienced quarterback...Beavers & Butthead 30 Utah 20 



#24 Kansas (+16 ½) over #3 TEXAS: Under 61wouldn’t be a bad guess either. Bluebirds tallied more SU victories (6) last year than they had collectively over the previous three seasons. With now-3rd-year HC Lance Leipold calling the shots, Kansas has started out 4-0 for the second straight campaign and Marc Lawrence had KU as the #1 team nationally in returning production. So far, so good. Three of the last four in this series were close, decided by 7, 2 and 1, with 55-14 runaway by the ‘Horns in ‘22 being the exception. The defense looks solid to-date, permitting just 12.5 ppg (including 24 to the Tide). Marc Lawrence also shows UT 2-15 in the wake of scoring 35 or more and playing a club seeking revenge. Wunderkind Arch Manning has seen no live-fire snaps yet, much to the dismay of fans on social media. Red River Sudoku is on the horizon for the Cattle...Texas 31 Kansas 24 

#11 Notre Dame (-6) over #17 DUKE: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. A rare inclusion of the same team in back-2-back forecasts. Irish had 10 defenders on last two snaps in late loss to OSU. Moving forward, ND will implement a signal to “reach out and touch someone”, as in commit an “offsides” penalty, on future such occasions, bringin’ a hankie but getting' the right number of guys on the field after the stoppageLeprechauns could’ve bested the Buckeyes for the first time in almost six decades and blew it on defense, losing 17-14. Devils are still riding the upset of Clemson, but last three victories have come vs. Ul-Lafeyette, Northwestern and UConn (who’ve posted a combined 5-7 record). To their credit, Dukies shaved 18 ppg off their scoring defense average last year and have carried that over to ‘23, giving up only 7 three times and 14 once. Devils are on 10-2 non-conference spread run and its Homecoming in Durham. Shamrocks have covered 9 of last 10 against the ACC and 9 of last 12 vs. ranked opposition and hitting the boards for 39.6 ppg (and 477.2 total offensive yards per tilt). With apologies to Lionel Ritchie and The Commodores...”Yer once...twice... three tiiiiiiimes...Our Lady 34 Blue Beelzebubs 17


#13 Louisiana State @ #20 MISSISSIPPI (“under 67”): Another pick involving a designated-team in consecutive forecasts, but it’s a relevant pairing of Top 25 clubs in the SEC. This game showcases the top scoring offenses in the conference LSU at 42.8 ppg and Mississippi at 42 ppg and past three against each other resulting in an average final total of 71.3. Having declared that, we’re relying on a fatigue-factor, with Bengals recording 33 ppg (all three “over” da’ number and Lane Kiffin’s Rebels finishing below this total in first trey of melees to-date in ‘23 and 59 points per FBS contest since he took over the reins in Oxford three years ago). Outside of 72-point anomaly vs. Grambling are conceding 25 ppg and Rebs are stingy at 27.3 points per match. Bengals’ O-line is still young and learning, and State got smashed 45-20 last season, but straight-up, da’ coin likes...Tygahs 29 Misspelled 27


Nevada-Reno (+25) over #25 FRESNO STATE: Best guess for “Wish We Had It Back”. A tilt that doesn’t mean much, but Mountain Jest gets a little forecast exposure here. Wolfpack, based on straight-up record alone, is tied for worst-team in the nation at 0-4 (with UConn, Virginia and Sam Houston State; though it’s the lone team to be topped by a I-AA squad [badly] facing Idaho). Reno has dropped 14 consecutive contests back to last year, tanking a 17-nil advantage at Texas State and, at 2-14, is on the heels of catching-up to currently 3-14 Camel Hairs of Virginia (which will likely lose at Chestnut Hill this weekend), but lost “respectably” 35-24 at Kansas. Bulldogs had a significant number of skills players depart in the offseason and won just 34-32 in the last match-up here. Nevada was the victim of an FCS opponent fer the second consecutive year..Bulldogs 37 UNR 19




BTW...Going further to prevent “quiet-quitting” and unnecessary injuries, future competitions under consideration include...Red Rover, Team Duck-Pins, Running-Backgammon, Quarterback Sack-Race, 4th-and-8-Ball Tourney, Pok√©mon GO-Route, End-Zone Breakdancing, Chinese Hip-Checkers and the Navy-based Battle-in-Da'-Trenches-Ship! Do we hear “Frisbee Golf”??? (Oh sure, they can accurately throw a football. Can they do so with a plastic disc??!!). How ‘bout some Paintball??!! 

Following up on our Penn State comments from Week part of the 2023 “white-out experience”, the first 5000 fans in the appropriate attire at Beaver Stadium also got a free “Mr. Clean Magical Eraser Pad”!. In addition, Pepsi fans could enter on Facebook, X or Tik-Tok to win a specially-made commemorative can. We actually acquired a collectors’ edition container on eBay after notching the highest bid for one that was “used only once by a little old lady from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who drank from it on the way to church one Sunday”. 


Last Saturday morning, the Las Vegas Review-Journal posted an overnight point spread as SYRACUSE –143 ½ over Army. To say the Long Grey Line was insulted is an understatement, but we digress. Ever cautious, we raced to our nearest sportsbook and took a 6-point teaser to get that number to the Keydets +137 ½, then dropped a couple mortgage payments on West Point! We graciously offered to cover up to three months' rent fer the disgraced LVRJ sports section editor while he seeks new employment elsewhere! 

Notable trends thru Week 4 (in no particular order)...Liberty 4-0 ATS, Minnesota 0-4 ATS, UMass 4-1 “over”, Texas-San Antonio 0-4 ATS and Vanderbilt 0-4 ATS!


Earlier this week, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings (currently winless in three tries) threw the home-crowd under da’ bus for the excessive noise that “caused” Minnesota’s blown opportunity to pull out a dubya late vs. the Chargers. Ironically, just a day before, Vindy said the decibels from the forecaster-friendly sportsbook attendees kept him from hearing the play-calls from his Preseason Forecasting Team and led our humble-narrator to unsuccessfully audible to plays on his own in the waning moments, leading to a 1-3 “best bets” tally (see below). Cousins’ claim led to his social media account being bombarded by YouTube videos of Taylor Swift’s “Yer Bein’ Too Loud”! (Yes, yer prestigious prognosticator is a Swiftie! Guilty pleasure. Don’t be hatin’! BTW, there’s nuthin’ wrong with KC TE Travis Kelce’s eyesight!)


Back in May, a Dodgers’ fan dexterously corralled a foul ball off the bat of St. Louis Cardinals Tommy Edman while grasping a beer and simultaneously securing his infant against his chest, not missing a beat. The fan would eventually seek out the Redbirds’ middle-infielder between innings later in the game and ask him to autograph his plastic beer-cup...and his baby!


Earlier this week, a Phillies’ fan and his emotional support alligator were blocked from getting thru the turnstiles into Citizens Bank Park for the game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. No word as to whether the fan-in-question was able to get refunds for the two tickets. We’re guessin’ Vin and his emotional comfort anaconda ain’t seein’ the inside of said-venue either. 

In March, Tom Brady became part-owner of the WNBA Las Vegas Aces, currently playing in the semi-finals. No word as to whether said-hoops team is using slightly deflated basketballs! 

As NHL preseason hockey gets underway, we point out Vegas Golden Knights’ fans were able to tie the knot outside T-Mobile Arena before puck-drop of Games 1 and 2 of da’ Western Conference Finals back in May. Team Captain Mark Stone presided over hundreds of nuptials and said, leading the couples to repeat, “To slash and to hold, during short-handed and man-advantage, ‘til sudden-death overtime do us part.” More on this next week.


Hooray Fer Da’ Little Guy: Kudos to the unranked FCS Lions of Texas A&M-Commerce for coming within a missed two-point conversion with 28 seconds left to snatch an outright win over Old Dominion, falling 10-9. Three I-AA squads take on I-A teams this week...Utah Tech at COLORADO STATE, Abby Christian (as opposed to “Abby Normal” from Young Frankenstein) at NORTH TEXAS and Wagner at RUTGERS. Can’t confidently pull the trigger on any of those.


Black Shirt: This week’s bodacious bodice goes to the lines maker that gave us the extra “hook” to eventually haul-in a prediction-win of Notre Dame (+3 ½) over Ohio State! 

Lock of Da’ Week”: Irish had multiple late opportunities to validate our “upset” choice, but hung on ATS (barely, as noted above), to justify our “lock” and raise our preferred choice record to 2-2 (.500)!!!!


Shoppe Talk: On the Shoppe menu this week...Poached Pachyderm as ‘Bama falls to 2-4-1 (.333) on the forecast back to ‘22, Iowa Hawkeye Fricassee (now 0-3, .000) and Oregon Duck a L’Orange (also 0-3, .000)! 

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 6-10 (.375...we gonnahavetasee somebody about that!)


South Alabama +3 over JAMES MADISON, South Florida @ NAVY “under 54 ½”, Michigan State @ IOWA “under 36 ½”, Texas A&M –6 over Arkansas 


Until next week..."May Da' Fourth-Down Be With You!"