Thursday, October 26, 2023

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2023


HACKETTSTOWN, New Jersey (TMZ)...Back in January, M&M’s appointed Saturday Night Live regular, Maya Rudolph, the new spokesperson and face of the brand, ultimately renaming the morsels as “Ma & Ya’s”. Each piece of the classic chocolatey treat featured the face of the comedienne rather than the traditional alphabetical lettering. With the annual parade of trick-or-treaters on the horizon and an opportunity for cheap publicity, the Vegas Vindicator recently closed on an agreement with parent-company Mars to release a limited-edition called “Vee & Dee’s”, displaying the likeness of the prestigious prognosticator on one side and, in very tiny font, one of his weekly prediction scores on the other! 


Week 8 “results”?! 0-fer-5 (17-19-2, .472) and 1-3 on “best bets”. We don’t wannatalk about it, so don’t ask.


As our body parts are still being picked up off the sportsbook floor by casino employees, who are draping them over slot-machines to enhance the Halloween d├ęcor, we’re hopin’ to avoid hearin’ the refrain from a certain 70’s cereal commercial featuring an Atlanta Braves home-run slugger (“”Vinnnnn-deeeeeee, yadidn’t have yer Wheaties....) for a second-straight outing and launch... 

                                                  THE WEBER KID’S 2023 WEEK 9 FORECAST 

(“Colder than a witch’s tipped-pass!”)                 

SAT. OCT. 28


Florida (+14 ½) over #1 Georgia (@ Jacksonville, FL): World’s Largest Crocodile Party” (sumthinlike that!)! Numbers are too tight to make a call on the total, so we’ll embrace the cushion. Gators, whose 11-point “showing” in opener vs. Utah, had many (including us) dismissing them until 2024, have stealthily slithered their way back to fringe of the rankings (now at #26, 34 votes in the AP Poll). Both sides rested last week before this one, as they traditionally do. Gators own a Swamp-victory over Top 25 Tennessee. Last three have gone “over” this number 47 with one just south of that number and haven’t topped the Dawg-Pound since ‘20. Joja’ has won the spread-dollars only once in six chances on the year and past four contests coming in have reached beyond the total in 4 of 4 and 3 of ‘em above this number. The scoring-defense has been basically exceptional at 16.75 ppg in four SEC melees, while the offense has been scoring almost 35 ppg. UF has shown to be a bit less efficient, hitting the boards fer 30.5 ppg in conference while yielding 25.5 (though we think 41-39 over the Gamecocks is a “one-off”). Bulldogs have covered 7 of last 10 on neutral ground. Fightin’ Tebows have covered of 6 of prior 8 (and 5 of 6) getting points in conference play...UGA 29 Florida 19 

#6 Oklahoma @ KANSAS (“under 65 ½”): We considered da’ Birds +10 but passed as KU has lost two of three vs. quality opponents (though both on the tarmac) after lookin’ like a playa in the B12. Sooners get caught in a letdown-spot with a scheduling conundrum, hittin’ the conference road in wake of draining 31-29 victory in Norman that saw OK defeating a 2-point try with a little more than a minute to play by Central Florida, travelling here then going to Stillwater to play the rival Cowpokes. Spooners are 5-1-1 against the spread and show four of seven games finishing below the total here. Kansas looked good early, but fell in two of last three versus quality foes (but trashed common opponent UCF 51-22 in that time). Marc Lawrence has KU dropping 10 of 11 ATS getting points with payback off a straight up loss as chalk. Jayhawks tilts have ended “under” this number in five of seven (fer those scoring at home, that’s a collective 9 of 14 “under”. Okies are 4-4-1 in last 9 true roadies. Even if Kansas loses out starting here, it still records first season with fewer than nine defeats in a decade...Schroomer Bloomers 33 Azur Avians 27 

GEORGIA TECH (+12) over #17 North Carolina: ‘Heels got surprisingly dumped by then 1-5 Cavaliers last week and have revenge for last season’s 21-17 unusually defensive battle demise to Tech. Wahoos entered the contest as one of the worst rushing programs in the country, but ran amok for 228 yards vs. Carolina. ‘Jackets clock-in at #60 with average of 169 rushing yards per game, beat ranked Miami 23-20 two weeks ago (before getting ripped by Boston College College) and have covered four of last five vs. ranked teams, winning three of ‘em outright. Three of the past four were semi-close high-scoring affairs (‘22 was the anomaly). ‘Heels have finished under this total (currently 63 ½) so far and the Bees Knees also show four tilts below this number. UNC QB Drake Maye’s Heisman hopes took a hit in the loss to Virginia, with odds dropping from 8-1 to 15-1. Rushing yards between the two sides are comparable, but Tech is granting a 59% completion to opposing passers. Elephants are now 2-8-1 as away favorites over last 11 in the role (including 1-6 vs. ACC foes). Keepin’ the initial gut reaction. It’s Homecoming in the “A-T-L"...Wooly Mammoths 35 Wramblin’ Wreck 27


#22 Tulane (-10 ½) over RICE: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wave yielded a three-touchdown advantage in the 3rd Quarter to get past North Texas by 7. Tulane’s only SU loss in 7 games came at then-ranked (still Top 25) Ole Miss and finds itself back in the Top 25 following a four-week absence and in search of second-consecutive AAC title. Owls have won 4 of 7 (4-2 ATS), including a pair in which they were underdogs. Barnyard Birds are experienced on both sides of the ball and lost by 7 at Houston, but also gifted UConn its only victory on the year. Emerald Ripple holds a significant edge in rush yards per game (169, tied fer 49th nationally, Rice is near the bottom at mere 92.4 yards per contest) and should top 37 points for the first time in ‘23...Shamrock Surf 40 Hooters 24 

Old Dominion (+20) over #25 JAMES MADISON: Thumb Belt gets some forecast air-time this week. Best guess fer “wish we had it back” as, while JMU’s totals have been all over da’ board, only two finished below 48 ½ and just one of the Monarchs games came-in under that number, suggesting “over” mighta’ been a more prudent choice. Dukes, despite taking 8 contests in ‘22 and are undefeated 7-0 at the moment, will still be at home fer da’ holidays after failing in an appeal this week to NCAA regs that prohibit teams making the jump from I-AA to I-A from participating in the post-season until 3rd year in the higher division. Not sure if that will suck the air outta’ da’ locker room or just stoke the flames. JMU has posted just one triumph by this many so far. Dukes got an extra two days to prep for this one. Monarchs already have more victories to-date (4) than all of last year (3). Ground attacks are basically a wash, but ODU needs to shore-up the pass-protection (last in the conference with 38 sacks-against, JMU leads the league with 34 sacks on D). Several stats favor the host and we damn-near talked ourselves outta’ this pick, but we’ll call it...Dolly Madison 30 Royalty 17




BTW, some bags will include special collectors’ chase-candies that include images of the Nittany Lion and/or the “Budweiser Ferret” (Raise yer hand if ya remember da’ Budweiser Ferret!)


Earlier this week, Connor Stallions, pigskin analyst fer Big Blue, was delegated to ride the pine until future notice amidst a sign-stealing investigation and possible violation of an NCAA rule about gathering in-person intel on subsequent Michigan foes. Stallions is an ex-Captain in the Marines, so potential recruits that didn’t fit the need fer the Wolverines, or even rebuked scholarship offers to play in Ann Arbor, were covertly signed-up and shipped-out to Parris Island! More thoughts on this in Week 10.


Penn State’s September season-opener against West “By Golly” Virginia was delayed for a short time by a squirrel that made its presence known on the gridiron, embarrassing Players, coaches and security personnel before hitting paydirt. ‘Eers staffers quickly contacted Happy Valley animal-control and offered the rogue-rodent a scholarship at halftime. Frankly, the Alma Mater coulda’ used the elusive little bugger on offense in its loss to the Buckeyes! 

Not long after the New Year, Universal Studios revealed intentions to construct a year-round horror-experience in Sin City, including such terrifying interactive classic features as Children Shouldn’t Play-Call with Dead-Ball Things, Game-Plan 9 From Outer-Space, The Punt-Return of Dracula, Student Body-Right-Snatchers and Michigan Big House of Frankenstein! Sportsbooks would be allowing wagers on the Texas Longhorns Massacre and NC State Werewolf Pack of London!


Crappy Game of Da’ Week: FBS newcomer Sam Houston State (now 0-8 after blowing the chance to get its first victory at the I-A level last week vs. Texas-Il Forno) hosting FCS bottom-feeder Kennesaw State (1-5). 

If a “tush-push” is unsuccessful, does it go into the box-score as a “tail-fail”?! 

If a vintage cookie commercial meets a certain NFL quarterback, do we hear...”The big...fig...Cam Newton”??!! 

Last June, Major League Beisbol Commish Rob Manfred asserted the Automatic Ball-Strike System prolly ain’t gonna’ appear in “The Show” next season. A recent Triple-A ball pilot did not fare well. Other robots have been piloted...T-1000 Terminator (who consistently demanded batters give him their helmet, Louisville Slugger and their “clothes” while also trying to attempt the location of “Sarah Connah” and sporting sunglasses). R2-D2 always needed C3P0 to interpret calls on balls and strikes. More on this next week!


This week’s featured member of the 2023 All-Vindicator Hockey Team...


   Center- Jacques “Roomba” Roy: Cleveland State-Saskatoon. Senior. 4’5” 133. Hometown: Trois-Riveres, Canada. Major: Janitorial Science. Crafty skater that often goes unnoticed by his “Ice Scrapers” teammates, much less his opponents. Gets plenty of chances to score “cleaning up the loose change” off errant centering passes, deflections and rebounds! Helps keep the playing surface groomed between whistles and when not directly involved in play. 


On the big screen...Jodie Foster (as Clarice Starling) squares off vs. Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) on the ice but scores nary a goal in...”Silence of the Lamps”! 

The NBA regular season tipped-off a few days ago. Announcers who often refer to an easy shot as a “bunny” have clearly never seen the killer rabbit from Monty Python & the Holy Grail! 

Bizarre random thought...if an Olympic event involved consuming 10 cups of lesser-potent coffee, would it be the Decaflon??!! 

“Wish We Had It Back”: Coulda’ been any given choice in Week 8, but we pre-emptively declared Utah @ USC “under 54 ½” as the most-likely “oops” calling Utes 30-21 (and woulda’ cashed on our back-up selection of Utah +7).


Black Shirt: No worthy recipients in Week 8! Week 9’s winner gets a spare garment!


“Locked in a Box”: Last Week: 0-1 as neither offense for Air Force nor Navy realized there was a game being played until basically the 4th Quarter! Season: 4-4 (.500)!


Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: A “don't give up the day-job"-worthy 11-21 (.343). Too bad we’re already retired! 

UConn @ BOSTON COLLEGE “over 51 ½”, TEXAS A&M (-14) over South Carolina, OKLAHOMA STATE (-7 ½) over Cincinnati, Tulsa @ SMU “under 57 ½”, East Carolina @ TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO “under 45 ½”