The NCAAF week 10
NFL week 9 selections
updated 10/29 230 pm et
3 selections for this weekend (all NCAAF)
EAST CAROLINA (-7) over TEMPLE
ECU has failed to cover the last three games after a 70-point outburst against UNC. So, oddsmakers take them from 40 points to 28 points to 17 points all the way down to seven points. Against the youngest team in the country. This is a team which challenged South Carolina, beat the team which beat Ohio State, destroyed and embarrassed North Carolina, and won its other three games by double digits. They were a 17-point favorite at South Florida, a team similar in talent to Temple. Now they get demoted 10 points. After getting seven turnovers out of Vanderbilt in the season opener, Temple's youth is showing and their offense is declining. This is the third time this season I'm going against them (vs. Navy and Tulsa were the other two). In Temple's loss at Houston, QB Gary Ward was 29/33 passing against the Owls' defense and the Cougars held the ball for 42 minutes. And last week UCF held the ball for 38 minutes in its handling of Temple. I can tell you if Temple only has the ball for 22 or 23 minutes in this game, ECU might score 70 points again. Its true Temple beat UConn by 26 while ECU beat them by just ten points, but the Owls scored on an interception return, fumble recovery, and only got 272 yards for the game while being out-gained by 35 yards. ECU out-gained UConn by nearly 200 yards. Actually ECU hasn't been out-gained all season. ECU is fourth in the country in offense and led by senior QB Shane Carden and a wealth of talented receivers. Carden is similar to Rakeem Cato of Marshall, and this game is like when Marshall was favored by single digits at Akron a few weeks ago and blew out the Zips. Pick your poison with the Pirates. Even when Carden passed for his lowest amount of yardage this season (250), the Pirates got 231 yards rushing on over six yards per carry at South Florida. ECU is also alive and well for a New Years Bowl and a bigger payout if they stay with one loss, so down the stretch they need to concentrate a bit more on taking care of bad teams early instead of the hiccup they had in the previous two games.
The Pirates being favored by just seven is a treat rather than a trick. If Houston's QB went 29-for-33 passing against Temple's defense, just imagine what Shane Carden is capable of doing this Saturday.
ECU 45, Temple 17
Play on: EAST CAROLINA
MICHIGAN (-7) over INDIANA
Indiana was poised for improvement this season, but they've got big problems at the moment. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld is out for the season and wasn't available for Indiana at Michigan State two weeks ago, and rookie Zach Diamont came in and passed for 11 yards. For the entire game. On 15 attempts. True it was Michigan State's stout defense he was up against, but even Idaho's QB would have tallied more than 11 yards. Now he must go to the Big House and make his first road start against a Michigan team that needs a statement in the very worst way. The youngster doesn't seem ready yet. He was fourth string at the beginning of the year. And despite some around Indiana saying he has some Johnny Manziel im him, Diamont rushed for zero net yards against Michigan State. Manziel would have gotten at least 30 or 40. This is an absolute must win for the Wolverines or they will fall off the map for the rest of the season and Brady Hoke will be as good as gone. The one shining light Indiana has is running back Tevin Coleman, who is third in the nation in rushing and is getting an amazing 8.8 yards per carry. He does have a bunch of long runs for 40, 50, 60 and 70 yards though (three alone vs. Iowa), so the average is a bit skewed. Last season the Wolverines racked up 750 yards of offense against Indiana, but Devin Gardner had Jeremy Gallon constantly open. The senior WR racked up an amazing 360 yards receiving that game, but he's gone along with Fitzgerald Toussaint who rushed for 150 yards. Michigan won't come close to the 63 points they scored last season at Indiana, but look for a 30-17 win.
Even with the bye week, Diamont at QB could mean the Hoosiers will likely be one-dimensional in the running game which should chew up clock for the UNDER, and even with Coleman, will still be hard pressed to stay within the number against Michigan's 14th ranked defense. At the same time, Michigan's offense, while not great, is in need of a showing at home in what should be a grind out breakaway victory against an Indiana team which hasn't won there since 1967.
Take Michigan minus the points and game total UNDER 53.5
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Pay picks are 27-11-a few ties for the life of the site. A summary of the last 25 pay picks, in order from most recent:
"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.
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.
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.
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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