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NCAAF week 5/

NFL week 4


updated 9/30  11:00 am et


2 selections for this weekend



It's no surprise that Jimmy Claussen couldn't do anything but keep the punter on the field at Seattle, and it's no surprise that Josh McCown couldn't get the win at home vs. Oakland which was coming east for a 1:00 game.  But now Oakland must do it again.  But even more importantly they must do it against a Bears team which gave up a record number of points in its last home game, so they will be very embarrassed and eager to make up for that performance.  Chicago punted on all of its possessions at Seattle last week, which is pathetic.  The good news is that it probably won't happen again in consecutive weeks because it just doesn't in the NFL.  And they won't give up another 48 points like in the last home game, because that just doesn't happen in the NFL either.  So with those two worlds colliding, expect more defense and a bit more offense (not much) out of Chicago in what could be a low scoring game (it might be an idea to give the UNDER some consideration).   Chicago's coaches will have to make some offensive adjustments and rely on the defense to make up for their last home performance.  What's harder is the adjustment Oakland will have to make in coming east (well, central time zone, but close enough) for yet another early game and this time against a team which was blanked in its last game and totally embarrassed the week before.   Remember- embarrassment fuels motivation.

Chicago has quarterback problems with both the starter and the backup, but expecting Oakland to win consecutive weeks at the 1:00 road time slot against a group of Bears whose jobs are at stake, is a bit too much to ask. 

Chicago 20, Oakland 17





Colin Kaepernick is a good competitor but his QB days may be up.  Also, the OC will have to fine tune the playbook because even Tyranny Mathieu said the Niners' pass plays and routes were too simple and predictable.  BUT, they are still the high percentage play today.  The 49ers upcoming schedule has them playing Seattle twice, the Cardinals, Giants, Falcons, Ravens and Rams, so they could be 2-10 heading into Chicago.  But I like them here for one game, as they go from a 6 to 7 to a 9-point underdog coming off a blowout.   Now compare that to Green Bay.  They go from a 3.5 to 6 twice up to nine points here.   Time to go against them, and with the dog for one game.   True the Packers played great on Monday for everyone to see and Rodgers is on fire, but the Niners' are the high percentage play coming home off a bad blowout.  Jacksonville is in the same boat coming off a terribly embarrassing performance and more than a TD dog against a very good QB at Indy, but the Niners are probably the better play since they get the Pack off a Monday night game, are at home, and are coming off two bad performances. 

Teams which get blown out by 28+ points then come home as a TD+ dog are over 60 percent ATS in the last 20 years, so go with the Niners' for one game only as they look to gain back some pride at home from two horrible performances.

Green Bay 27, San Francisco 21















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Pay picks are 32-11-a few ties for the life of the site.  A summary of the last 28 pay picks, in order from most recent:



"2015 NFL conference championships"

The Packers went from +4.5 to +7.5 from the regular season to the playoffs at Seattle, with the same teams playing.  Plus Seattle's defense wasn't as good against good quarterbacks.  New England, even minus a touchdown, would NOT fail in its 5th attempt to win a Super Bowl, especially at home.  Selection goes 2-0. 

"UNDER-standing Urban"

Oregon was playing Ohio State for the National Championship with an over/under set at 75 points.  That didn't seem like much for those two teams, but Urban Meyer's history in big games couldn't be neglected.  He managed to slow down every fast opponent he ever faced in big games.   Not to mention, Ohio State's defense was very underrated.  UNDER 75 points was the selection, which won.


"NFL Week 16 and Bowl Selections"

Dallas (-3.5) vs the Colts was almost automatic, and those who read my write up knew why.  The Redskins (+7) vs. Philly was the other, in RG3's last chance.  The Bowl selections were Northern Illinois (L), Penn State (W) and Baylor (L)

Selection goes 3-2, but just 1-2 in the bowls.  Oh, Baylor....


"December Gut-Check"

SMU was getting 12 points against two-win UConn which was out of bowl contention and nothing to play for, but the Mustangs had a new coach and motivation to not finish winless.  The Falcons were playing the red hot Packers, but oddsmakers adjusted after GB covered six prior home spreads, and jacked it up to their highest of the season in an effort to get the dog to cover, which they did.  Selection went 2-0


"Thanksgiving with TFM 2014"

Cincinnati over Temple and UAB had to beat a 3-win team as a small favorite for its first bowl berth in 10 years, and Northern Illinois (the better team) as a 6 point dog over Bowling Green.  Idaho and UL Monroe were getting big points over 2 teams out of bowl contention.  Idaho (+17) lost by 17 and pushed.  The other four selections won.  4-0-1


"NFL Playoff Selections 2014"

The tough 49ers were the weekend's top play over Cam Newton and the Panthers and come out with a decisive win.  The Saints (+8) were the other selection at Seattle.  Those who got in on gameday probably won the Saints, as the spread creeped up to nine points.  Either way, the selections end up on the winning side.

"Thanksgiving with TFM 2013 including the 'Fab 5' "

Alabama and Rutgers started the day on a sour note by losing outright, and the Eagles, favored by 3 or 3.5, won by three.  But the remaining selections for Saturday, five special college underdogs, all covered the spread and three won outright (Southern Miss, Iowa State and Temple).  The Pay picks go 5-2-1 or 5-3. 

"Rookies vs. Veterans"

It was Aaron Rodgers getting points and Matt Ryan favored by small points against two rookies, and I said both rookies would not come away with the win in the same weekend.  I was right about that, except Atlanta missed the spread by a half point, making this double pay pick a very unfortunate loss. 

"Third time a charm"

Mon tee Ball, James White and the rest of the seniors were playing in their third straight Rose Bowl and after losing the first two, Wisconsin (+6.5) was the top play for the bowls.  Had to get the play in before New Years Eve though, as the spread went down during the final 24 hours. 


"Thanksgiving with TFM 2012"

Four college selections.  Marshall and Purdue had to win.  Purdue won, Marshall covered.  Colorado was getting 23 at home to 7-loss Utah, who was favored by way to many points for just losing a bowl berth.  Illinois was the 4th pick and failed to cover, so the 2012 Thanksgiving selections go 3-1 after going 4-0 last Thanksgiving. 

"Passion, Ego and Double Revenge"

Combining Bill Belichick's ego, Tom Brady's passion and the team's revenge, New England was the Super Bowl selection and although the defense did a decent job against the Giants for most of the game, a Wes Welker dropped pass likely prevented the spread cover as the Pats could not overcome the Giants in the trenches. The first Super Bowl pay pick loss.

"2012 Bowl Selections"

There were just two.  Wisconsin (+6) was the first selection, with the thinking they were about equal to Oregon but getting a nice amount of points.  They just missed the spread, but the second selection and top play, Alabama, was totally dominant over LSU for a split selection. 

"Thanksgiving with TFM 2011"

The top play for the weekend was the Ravens (-3.5) vs. the Niners who wouldn't win their 5th east coast game in 11 tries, and the Packers (-6) weren't favored by nearly enough over Detroit.  On Black Friday, 2 teams HAD to win to secure a possible BCS bowl and $$$, Houston (-3) and Louisville as an underdog.  Favorable low spreads for a pair of must win teams.  The selections went 4-0 for the best pay pick ever on this site so far.

"Saturday Knight Selection"

Boston College over UCF, the ACC team off a bowl game was getting points, but was 25-0 ATS against non-BCS conf teams setting a hypo of +7.5 like the spread was here, and UCF was 0-26.  That streak came to an end when UCF won and covered with a 21 point 4th quarter.

"On the Road Again"

In NBA action this past winter in 2011, Golden State was coming off a win at Cleveland and was favored at New Jersey, but they never win 2 road games in a row.  Nets were the pick, and won.

"No sense of Urgency"

Easy call with Oklahoma St. in the Big 12 second round game in NCAA basketball 

that featured a team that didn't need to win (Kansas) favored by 14 points.

"Saturday Selections"

This was a dual selection for Saturday in the  NCAAB conference tournaments. Kentucky didn't need to win over Alabama but they did and covered the spread as Bama was the pick.  But the night cap and day's top selection was San Diego State over BYU as Jimmer wouldn't get 52 points again or beat the Aztecs 3x in a row, especially without their power forward.  Selection Split.

"No sense of Urgency, Part II"

OSU didn't need to win but were favored by 10.5 points over Penn State in the Big 10 NCAAB conference tourney.  They won by 11 points, but Penn State made the tournament anyway.  Pay picks are 20-8 now for the life of the site, and 4 of the last 6 losses have come by a half of a point (including Akron +29.5 over Temple in October and TCU -2.5 over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl).

"A Heat-ed Revenge"

The Miami Heat (-4.5) over the Spurs in the rematch where Miami lost by 30 at San Antonio.  This time they won by 30.  I also said to take the UNDER, as the Spurs wouldn't hit 18 shots from 3-pt range again and that Miami would step up the defense at home after getting very embarrassed the first time, which also hit.

Round 1 NCAA Tourney Picks

Wofford and Wisconsin were the round 1 pay picks.  BYU was a bit overrated without their leading rebounder and taking on a slew of seniors from Wofford, who covered by a half point.  Belmont had 30 wins but none over a quality opponent, and 24 of their 30 wins came over teams void of a winning record.  Wisconsin was the better team and not favored by enough.  Both selections covered.

The 2010-11 Bowl selections:  

There were 3 bowl selections for the end of 2010 as 1 package, with Tulsa and UTEP splitting.  That left it all up to TCU, who I promised would beat Wisconsin, but they missed the spread by a point.  

Thanksgiving with TFM 2010:  

I did a teaser and guaranteed the open end (Alabama) would hit, which it did, barely.   However, the Arizona Cardinals, the 2nd part of the teaser, laid an egg on Monday Night Football.   The free selections that weekend, Memphis (+20) and Texans (-6) did win however.


  Akron was a +29.5 at Temple and coming off 2 consecutive MAC blowouts (28+ point losses) but MAC teams never lose 3 conference games in a row by that margin, until Akron lost by 30 at Temple.  When my pay picks do lose, they are close, as this one was by a half point after a 6-0 halftime deficit.  

  "A SUPER letdown"  

49ers (+5) over Saints

The Saints were coming in 1-0 ATS, but no SB winner had ever started 2-0 ATS except for one (including the 2008 Pats instead of the Giants). To compound the situation was the fact the Niners were a home dog coming off a blowout.   

"Sleeping Giants"

  SF Giants over Wash Nationals   You had to go back to the 60's to find the Giants perform worse than they did in a 3 game series at Oakland from May 21-23. Hosting the Nats, from the East Coast, as almost even money, they were a lock to win that game after scoring just 1 run over the 3 game series.    

    "Walking the Plank"  

Pirates (+1.5) over Astros   The Pirates were coming off losses of 8-1, 8-0 and 20-0 and were almost a shoe-in to get some hits/runs and cover 1.5 runs at Houston, which they did in a 4-3 loss on April 23rd. 


"NBA Playoff Double Trouble"

Perhaps the greatest Pay Selection I've ever had. Up until this point, I hadn't seen a pair of games cross such good parameters as the Lakers (vs. OKC) and the Mavs (vs. Spurs) in game 5 for both teams. Lakers gave (literally) game 4 to OKC, and they were 17-0 at home in game 5's, and were coming off dual losses at OKC but were 9-0 at home off consec. losses (avg. win 10 pts) and 9-1 off a double digit loss with Gasol, and OKC hadn't beat a playoff team 3x in a row all season. The Mavs, playing earlier that night and losers or 3 straight to the Spurs coming home facing elimination, hadn't lost 4 consec games in 135 tries, playing the Spurs who hadn't beat a playoff team 4x in a row in 2 years. Selection won easily.   

                "Game 3 double trouble"  

This selection did not win, but it was close. Real close. Utah missed a tip-in at the buzzer which would have given them the win, and the selection a split since Atlanta failed to cover the first game. I made a huge case of why both game 3 home teams would not lose- Atlanta ATS and Utah outright. I was an inch away from being right.

  "In the spirit of good ole Tim Donoghy" Oregon St (+9) over Washington  

A Tim D. themed selection in March 2009 where I detailed why the Beavers would cover the spread in their conf. tourney, detailed and listed how they got favorable calls all season compared to other Pac 10 teams (due to coach?) and how Wash didn't often win 3 consec games by double digits. Also, the Beavers didn't lose consec games by d.d. all season, and they were playing a team they just lost to by d.d, in the conference tourney, and keeping in mind they won the CBI the season before as Obama's brother in law became coach. Beavers lost the game, but covered.   


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