Wednesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

Baseball stuff is posted on baseball page.
NFL writeup is now posted.

Wednesday’s 6-pack
NFL trends for Week 3:
— Falcons are 0-10 ATS in their last 10 games vs AFC opponents.
— Eagles covered twice in last nine games as a home favorite.
— Vikings are 20-5-1 ATS in last 26 games as a home favorite.
— Denver is 4-12 ATS in last 16 games as a road underdog.
— Patriots covered 12 of last 14 games as a home favorite.
— Raiders covered their last six road openers. 

Tweet of the Day
“Eli and I spoke this morning. I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games……”
Giants’ coach Pat Shurmur

Wednesday’s quiz
Who was the Giants’ head coach before Pat Shurmur? 

Tuesday’s quiz
Jeff Fisher coached the Tennessee Titans in their only Super Bowl appearance. 

Monday’s quiz
Chris Chandler was the Atlanta Falcons’ QB the first time they played in a Super Bowl, when they lost to Denver

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings……

13) NFL trends; over last 20 years, 11 NFL teams started their season 0-2, with both losses at home; those teams went 4-6-1 vs spread in their Week 3 road game. 

This week, Jets, Panthers, Dolphins fit the bill.

12) Since 2005, NFL Week 3 home teams who played their first two games on the road are 11-28-2 vs spread; 6-22-2 when favored, 5-6 as an underdog. 

49ers, Colts, Bills, Jets fit the bill this week. 

11) Daniel Jones is starting at QB for the Giants Sunday in Tampa; last time Eli Manning got benched, that coach got fired a few weeks later, and Eli started again. We’ll see how this goes, but Jones doesn’t play defense, which is the Giants’ biggest problem.

10) Submitted for your perusal, with no comment:
Jim Plunkett: 72-72 regular season, 8-2 playoffs, two Super Bowls. 
Eli Manning: 116-116 regular season, 8-4 playoffs, two Super Bowls.

9) Steelers signed QB Paxton Lynch to their practice squad; he figures to be Mason Rudolph’s backup sooner than later. 

8) NFC West teams are 7-1 against the spread so far this season. 

7) MAC teams are 4-12 ATS as a road underdog outside their conference. 

6) Nation-wide, home underdogs are 11-18 ATS in non-conference college games. 

5) Pretty cool with Giants’ OF Mike Yastrzemski in Boston this week, playing on the same field where his Hall of Fame grandfather played from 1961-83. 

Carl Yastrzemski hit 452 homers playing half his games in a ballpark not built for lefty hitters; he had an .841 career OPS. 

Mike Yastrzemski was traded from the sadsack Orioles to San Francisco on March 23; he is hitting .263 with 19 homers in a breakout rookie season- this should be a fun week for him. 

4) Cardinals beat Washington 4-2 Monday night, but St Louis pitchers struck out only one batter the whole game, which in this day and age is pretty rare. 

3) Sean Payton agreed to a 5-year contract extension that takes him through 2024, which would be his 19th season coaching the Saints.

2) New England is -22.5 against the Jets; how many points would you have to get before you would take the Jets? 

Dolphins are +21 at Dallas; when was last time two NFL teams got 20+ points in the same week? 

1) Big X teams are 13-4 ATS out of conference this season, 9-2 as a favorite. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Bad news on the quarterback front Monday; Ben Roethlisberger is done for the year- he needs elbow surgery. Roethlisberger will be 38 in March; there is a chance his Hall of Fame career is over. 

Mason Rudolph takes over as Pittsburgh’s starter; they traded #3 QB Josh Dobbs to the Jaguars last week, a move they probably regret now. Looks like the new backup is Devlin Hodges, who played college ball at Samford. 

12) Drew Brees needs surgery for ligament damage in his right thumb, is out for at least six weeks; Teddy Bridgewater is the Saints’ new starter. 

11) I’m endorsing something today that I never thought I’d endorse, the Peyton Manning stories on ESPN+ about the history of the NFL . Watched one the other day about the Lombardi Trophy, and it was excellent. 

Lot of information in there, even if Peyton continues to be annoying at the same time, just like his TV commercials. But if you like NFL history, this is good stuff.  

10) Armen Keteyian wrote an article on Nick Saban in The Athletic last week that made me sad, talking about how when Saban won his first national title at Alabama, he didn’t/couldn’t enjoy the win, he was still correcting mistakes made during the game, and then stressing out about the things that had to be done about recruiting in the next few days. 

If you can’t enjoy winning, coaching is a miserable job, because no one enjoys losing. Saban had a staff meeting in a hotel meeting room at 10am the day after Alabama won the title, less than 12 hours after the championship game ended. 

Understood that you don’t sustain winning without that single-minded focus, but life is short, and you need to enjoy the good things along the way, too. 

9) From Jen McCaffrey:
In 2001, an FBI investigation called Operation Bullpen found  that over 75% of all autographed items on the market were forgeries. As a result, Major League Baseball created an authentication department that now employs 220 current and former law enforcement officials. 

Authenticators Inc. is a company that works with MLB to ensure the legitimacy of milestone and game-used items as well as any player-autographed items. At least two authenticators are present at all 2,430 regular season games, with more at postseason games and special events like the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.

8) Baseball stuff:
— Braves put IF Johan Camargo (hairline fracture of shin) on the IL. 

7) Football stuff:
— Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) is out for the year.
— Saints’ QB Drew Brees is out for six weeks.
— Redskins RB Derrius Guice (knee) was put on IR.
— Florida Gators QB Feleipe Franks (dislocated ankle) is out for the year. 

6) Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett turned down a raise this week while extending his contract another year. The Cavaliers announced the extension Monday, saying Bennett asked for the money he turned down to be used to pay his staff more and for improvements to both his program as well as other Virginia teams.

5) Browns 23, Jets 3:
— Terrible game; wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates.
— Beckham caught an 89-yard TD pass to officially seal the win.
— Teams combined to convert 6-27 on third down. 

— 3rd-stringer Falk was 20-25/198 in relief of injured QB Siemian.
— Jets had 45 total yards in the first half, wound up with 262.
— Le’veon Bell had 31 touches for 129 yards. 

4) Handicapping 101— France upset the USA in that FIBA basketball tournament in China, then lost their next game by 14 to Argentina. For once, life makes perfect sense. Peaks and valleys, you have an emotional win, then a very disappointing loss.

3) In case you were wondering, the highest paid player on the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces makes $115,000 a year. They play a 34-game regular season. Was wondering the other day, so I looked it up, but I can’t find out how much WNBA coaches make. 

2) If I owned an NBA team and was shelling out hundreds millions of dollars to pay the players, no way in hell would I want any of them playing in these international tournaments during the offseason that don’t mean a damn thing. One of them gets hurt, then what?

1) Best wishes to Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez, who felt chest pains and underwent a cardiac catheterization Monday- he’ll miss the series in St Louis this week. Chip Hale is the interim manager for Washington. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……..

Colts 19, Titans 17
— Indy drove 69 yards in four plays for winning TD with 4:38 left to play.
— Total yardage was 288-242 Indy; neither team averaged 4 yards/pass attempt.
— 46-year old Viniatieri missed two more PAT’s; could the end be near?

— Titans converted only 1-10 on 3rd down; Colts were 7-14.
— Tennessee lost five of last six home openers (under 6-2 last eight).
— There were only two plays of 20+ yards in this game. 

Lions 13, Chargers 10
— Chargers had ball four times in 2nd half; two turnovers, two missed FG’s.
— Rivers threw INT into double coverage in end zone with 1:03 left.
— Three drives into red zone, only seven points for the Bolts. 

— This was only 5th cover for Lions in last 16 tries as a home underdog.
— Detroit beats Chargers for only 2nd time in last nine meetings.
— Total yardage was 424-339, Chargers. 

Bills 28, Giants 14
— Buffalo wins the state championship of New Jersey.
— Bills are 2-0 for first time since 2014.
— Buffalo is 21-17-2 ATS in last 40 games where spread was 3 or fewer points. 

— Giants scored first in both their games, were outscored 63-17 after that.
— Big Blue is 4-9 ATS in last 13 games as a home underdog.
— Barkley ran for 107 yards, but caught only three passes for 28 yards. 

Ravens 23, Cardinals 17:
— Arizona threw 40 passes, ran ball 11 only times.
— In four trips to red zone, Cardinals kicked three FG’s, scored a TD.
— Murray was 25-40/349 passing, with no turnovers, 

— Jackson threw for 272 yards, ran ball for 120 more.
— In first two games, Ravens ran ball for 447 yards.
— Over last decade, teams that won by 28+ points in Week 1 are 2-12 ATS in Week 2

Patriots 43, Dolphins 0:
— Brady threw a pass with 5:30 left and NE ahead 36-0; why????
— Patriots outscored first two opponents 76-3.
— New England had seven sacks, scored two defensive TD’s. 

— Miami has been outscored 102-10 in two ugly home games.
— Dolphins were outgained 1,024-384 in two games.
— 2020 NFL Draft begins April 23rd in Las Vegas. 

Cowboys 31, Redskins 21:
— Cowboys ran ball for 217 yards, covered 7-11 on third down.
— Dallas won eight of last ten series games, six of last seven visits here.
— Jason Witten caught a TD pass in both games this season. 

— Total yardage was 474-255, Dallas.
— Redskins had 11-yard edge in field position, but ran for only 47 yards.
— Washington lost last five and seven of last eight home openers. 

Texans 13, Jaguars 12:
— Jaguars scored with 0:30 left, went for two points and a win but failed.
— First eight Jacksonville drives: 37 plays, 107 yards, three points.
— Last two Jacksonville drives: 23 plays, 129 yards, nine points.
— Minshew was 23-33/213 in his first NFL start; he also ran for 56 yards. 

— Houston’s one TD drive was only 11 yards long.
— Texans’ first two games were decided by total of three points.
— Houston has now won nine of last 11 series games. 

Seahawks 28, Steelers 26:
— Wilson completed 29-35 passes; Seahawks ran ball for 151 yards.
— Seattle is now 1-6-1 ATS in last eight tries as a dog in road openers.
— Seahawks are 11-6-1 ATS in last 18 games as a road underdog. 

— Roethlisberger hurt his elbow, sat out second half.
— Total yardage was 425-261, Seattle.
— Steelers ran ball only 16 times for 81 yards; Conner led team with 33 YR. 

49ers 41, Bengals 17:
— 49ers ran ball for 259 yards, averaged 12.0 yards/pass attempt.
— SF ran 68 plays, only nine of them were on third down.
— Niners have picked off four passes; they had only two INTs all of last year. 

— In two games, Bengals threw 93 passes, ran ball only 33 times.
— Cincy is 0-2 for only second time since 2008.
— In six trips to red zone this year, Bengals scored one TD, kicked three FG’s. 

Packers 21, Vikings 16:
— Home side is now 13-1-1 in last 15 series games.
— Cousins threw ball only 10 times LW; he threw 32 passes here.
— Two trips to red zone; an INT and a field goal. 

— Green Bay’s first three drives: 19 plays, 176 yards, 21 points.
— Green Bay’s last 11 drives: 50 plays, 154 yards, no points.
— Packers won their last seven home openers (5-2 vs spread). 

Chiefs 28, Raiders 10:
— KC scored all its points in 2nd quarter, with shortest TD play 27 yards.
— Chiefs outgunned Oakland 464-307, averaged 9.4 yards/pass attempt.
— KC won nine of last ten games with their archival Raiders. 

— Last 2+ years, Raiders are 1-10 ATS coming off a win.
— Since 2012, Oakland is 13-20-1 ATS as a home underdog.
— On their first two series, Raiders ran 16 plays for 139 yards, scored 10 points; rest of game, they ran 45 plays for 199 yards, but no points. 

Rams 27, Saints 9:
— Brees hurt his thumb on second series; unsure how severe the injury is.
— Kamara ran ball 13 times for only 45 yards, caught only one pass.
— Total yardage was 380-244, LA. Bridgewater was ordinary at QB.

— Rams’ first six drives: 36 plays, 169 points, six points.
— Rams’ last four drives: 24 plays, 186 yards, 21 points
— Teams with more rest won five of six games this week.

Bears 16, Bears 14:
— Chicago drove 40 yards in 0:30, kicked GW 53-yard FG at the gun for a win.
— Bears scored only one TD in their first two games.
— In their first two games, Bears converted 6-26 third down plays. 

— Denver’s first six drives: 41 plays, 174 yards, 3 points.
— Denver’s last three drives: 37 plays, 197 yards, 11 points.
— Total yardage: 372-273, Broncos. 

Falcons 24, Eagles 20:
— Last 3+ years, Eagles are 5-10 ATS on artificial turf.
— Both teams had three turnovers; Philly had 16-yard advantage in field position.
— Eagles converted 20-35 3rd down plays in first two games. 

— Atlanta averaged 7.0 yards/pass attempt, had TD plays of 34-54 yards.
— Falcons survived three Ryan INT’s, including one in the end zone.
— Under is 11-4 in the NFL so far this week.

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a college football Saturday

13) Virginia 31, Florida State 24— Cavaliers had three TD drives of 72+ yards in the 4th quarter, as they handed FSU a loss that made the Seminoles 13-15 SU in their last 28 games. 

12) Iowa 18, Iowa State 17— Game was delayed twice by lightning for total of almost three hours; Hawkeyes won 5th straight game in this rivalry, despite being outgained by 105 yards. Cyclones lost two fumbles, were 3-9 on 3rd down; Iowa was 10-19.  

11) Temple 20, Maryland 17— Weird game; Terrapins were 5-21 on 3rd down, 1-6 on 4th down, failing to score on three drives where they had 1st-and goal. Maryland scored two safeties, was +2 in turnovers but still lost- they completed only 16-39 passes. 

10) BYU 30, USC 27 OT— Cougars win in OT for second week in a row; they won at Tennessee LW. Trojans were minus-3 in turnovers; total yardage was 452-430, fun game to watch. 

9) Air Force 30, Colorado 23 OT— Buffaloes started LY 5-0, then lost their last seven games and fired coach MacIntyre, who I think is a good coach (DC at Ole Miss now). 

Colorado beat Nebraska LW, in the renewal of an old rivalry, then they get beat in OT here by an Air Force team that ran ball for 289 yards. Buffs have a senior QB; this is their year to make some noise, but this is a bad loss. 

8) Wake Forest 24, North Carolina 18— Demon Deacons are 3-0, and appear headed to their 4th straight bowl, which would be the first time Wake Forest has done that. Thats the good news. 

Bad news for Wake Forest will be when a big $$$ school comes calling for coach Dave Clawson, who appears headed for greener pa$ture$ fairly soon. Very good coach.

7) Upsets:
— Kansas (+19) 48, Boston College 24
— Arizona State (+15.5) 10, Michigan State 7
— Kansas State (+7.5) 31, Mississippi State 24
— West Virginia (+7) 44, NC State 27
— Temple (+7) 20, Maryland 17
— Eastern Michigan (+7) 34, Illinois 31
— Liberty (+6) 35, Buffalo 17

6) I-A team losing to a I-AA team:
— Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24— Citadel runs the option, making things worse for Tech. 

Close call, red flag:
— Virginia Tech 24, Furman 17
— Nevada 19, Weber State 13
— Wyoming 21, Idaho 16

5) Eastern Michigan 34, Illinois 31— Was impressed by EMU senior QB Mike Glass III, who was 23-36/316 passing in the Eagles’ upset win. 

4) Arizona State 10, Michigan State 7— Spartans didn’t score until there was 8:37 left to play; Sun Devils went ahead 10-7 with 0:50 left, then Michigan State tied it on a FG with 0:06 left, but they had 12 men on the field- when they tried the kick again, they missed badly. 

Big win for Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils, who were 15.5-point underdogs; ASU is 6-2 ATS as an underdog under Edwards. 

3) Arizona 28, Texas Tech 14— Wildcats ran ball for 314 yards, converted 15-21 third down plays. Arizona QB Tate threw for 185 yards, ran for 129 more. 

2) Southern Miss 47, Troy State 42— Both teams threw for 500+ yards; there were six TD’s scored in 4th quarter, including back/back kick returns for TD’s— shortest play of the six TD’s was 34 yards. 12 TD’s, no turnovers, wild game. 

1) A gambler put $1,000 on Auburn to beat Kent State (with no pointspread) at a Caesars sportsbook Saturday night. Auburn won 55-16; the bettor wins $5, so he basically got a free drink for his trouble. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

13) Back in my college days (yes, I went to college, and even graduated), used to have a recurring argument with a friend of mine about handicapping and using trends in picking winners. 

I was (am) a nerd, and believed strongly in trends; I still do, although not as blindly as I did back then- there are many things that go into trying to pick winners. He argued (very loudly at times) that I was an idiot and totally wrong. 

With that in mind, here are a couple trends that involve early season NFL games……

12) Over last 20 years, Steelers have lost 11 games by 20+ points; they’re 10-1 vs spread the week after those games. 6-1 as a favorite, 4-0 as an underdog. 

11) Over last five years (2014-18), Week 2 road teams who were also on the road in Week 1 have gone 2-16 against the spread; 1-7 when favored, 1-9 when getting points. 

10) Jets’ QB has Sam Darnold has mononucleosis; he will miss Monday night’s game and maybe several more games. Trevor Siemian will start for the Jets Monday night against the Browns. 

In Adam Gase’s first 51 games as an NFL head coach, he’s started six different QB’s. 

Cleveland is now -6 or -6.5 Monday night, up from -2.5.

Darnold gets lot of credit from me just for playing last week; I had mono back when I was 20 years old (long, long time ago) and that is the worst I’ve ever felt, the a few days before a doctor told me I had mono. Darnold had to feel horrible, yet he played the whole game. 

Back then, I was out of school for a month; now that was many moons ago, and Darnold has the best medical care for sure, but hard to believe he’ll be back before Week 8. Jets have their bye in Week 4, which helps a little.

9) If there is a 3-way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots:

A’s host Tampa Bay – winner is #1 Wild card
Loser hosts Indians for #2 Wild Card.

8) San Francisco 49ers won in Tampa Sunday but didn’t go home after; they’re practicing in Youngstown, OH this week, in advance of their game Sunday in Cincinnati.

7) NFL stuff:
— Buffalo LB Tyrel Dodson was suspended six games for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
— Jets’ QB Sam Darnold (mono) is out indefinitely. 

6) Baseball stuff:
— New York DH Edwin Encarnacion left Wednesday’s game (oblique)
— Angels’ DH Shohei Ohtani (knee surgery) is out for the season. 

5) Last week, Alabama had 13 DB’s, 10 linebackers, 6 defensive tackles and 6 running backs on NFL rosters, all the most of any college at that position.

4) Antonio Brown has settled on wearing #17 with New England; his dad Eddie Brown was a great player in the Arena League, scored nine TD’s in one game- he wore #17 for the Albany Firebirds, who won the Arena Bowl 20 years ago. 

3) This from Chris Fallica: This weekend’s college football schedule is the first week without a matchup of ranked teams since Week 7 of 2017. That weekend, seven ranked teams got beat, three of them as favorites of 16+ points, so you never know. 

2) Showtime has a weekly program during football season Inside the NFL, but I’m not a fan; way too much talking, not enough highlights or information. A gambling-related segment would be helpful; their guys pick games, but it just isn’t as good as it could/should be.

1) Tampa Bay 20, Carolina 14:
— Tampa won for just 2nd time in last seven visits to Charlotte.
— Bucs have now won four of last five road openers.
— WR Godwin caught eight balls for 121 yards; defenses focus on Mike Evans, and Godwin takes advantage of that.

— Cam Newton was 24-50 passing, ran twice for no yards.
— Teams combine to convert only 5-26 on third down.
— A gambler at PointsBet USA bet $100K on Carolina -7. Oy. 

Friday’s List of 13: Writeup on extra college football games……

13) Ohio St has won at least 18 games in a row vs Indiana, but Hoosiers covered seven of last eight games vs OSU. Buckeyes covered six of last eight visits to Bloomington. Last three years, OSU is 6-8 ATS as a road favorite. Indiana is 3-7 in its last ten games as a home underdog. 

12) Maryland ran for 354 yards in its 63-20 win over Syracuse LW. Temple’s only game was an easy win over a -AA team. Over last decade, Terps are 5-4 as a road favorite. Temple covered six of last seven tries as a home dog. Last four years, AAC teams are 10-6 ATS when facing a Big 14 opponent. 

11) Pittsburgh split its first two games, both at home; they’re 14-6 ATS in last 20 games as a road dog. Penn State hammered Pitt 51-6/33-14 last two years; under Franklin, Nittany Lions are 18-11-1 as a home favorite. Last six years, Big 14 teams are 19-13-1 in their last 33 games vs ACC teams. 

10) Florida Atlantic gave up 93 points, 549 YR in losing first two games to top 25 teams, by 24-34 points. Last 5 years, Owls are 3-8-1 as road favorites. Ball State lost 34-24 to Indiana; Cardinals are 4-9 in last 13 games as a home dog. Last 4+ years, MAC teams are 16-9-1 ATS when playing a C-USA team. 

9) Akron lost seven of last eight games with Central Michigan; favorites covered four of last five series games. Zips lost last three visits to CMU, by 21-27-3 points. Zips are 3-1-1 ATS in last five games where spread was 3 or less. Central Michigan is 6-5 ATS in its last 11 games where spread was 3 or less. 

8) Alabama won its first two games by combined score of 104-13; last four years, Crimson Tide is 10-4 ATS when laying points on road. South Carolina was outgained 483-270 in its 24-20 loss to UNC; freshman QB Hilinski makes his 2nd college start here. These teams haven’t met since ’10. 

7) Colorado State (+13.5) upset Arkansas 34-27 LY, throwing for 389 yards; under Bobo, Rams are 7-4 ATS as road dogs. Arkansas lost 31-17 at Ole Miss LW, giving up 237 YR. Hogs are 7-9 in last 16 games as a HF. Last 4+ years, MAC teams are 8-6 ATS when playing an SEC opponent. 

6) North Texas gave up 503 yards in its 49-27 loss at SMU LW; Mean Green is 9-18 in last 27 games as a road dog. California upset Washington 20-19 in Seattle LW; under Wilcox, they’re 1-4-1 as a home favorite. Last seven years, Pac-12 teams are 7-4 ATS when playing a C-USA opponent. 

5) Southern Miss (-10.5) was upset 37-31 at home by Troy in last meeting in ’16. USM is 13-9 ATS in its last 22 games as a road dog. Troy beat up on a I-AA team in its only game; they’re 14-7 ATS in last 21 non-conference games. Last 2+ years, Sun Belt teams are 8-3 ATS when facing a C-USA team. 

4) Ohio won four of last five games with Marshall; teams last met in ’15. Bobcats lost 20-10 at Pitt LY, outgained 481-212; they’re 8-3 in last 11 games as a road dog. Marshall lost 14-7 LW in Boise; they were outgained 437-172. Herd is 4-9 in last 13 games s a HF. Last 4+ years, MAC teams are 16-9-1 ATS when playing a C-USA team.

3) Duke got smoked 42-3 by Alabama in its opener; they beat a I-AA team LW. Blue Devils are 6-3-1 in last 10 games as a RF. Middle Tennessee was outgained 453-301 in its 40-21 loss at Michigan; Blue Raiders are 5-3 in last eight games as a home dog. Last 4+ years, ACC squads are 12-6 ATS when facing a C-USA team. 

2) Clemson won five of last six games with Syracuse, but split last two, which were decided by total of 7 points. Tigers lost 27-24 (-23) in last visit here in ’17. Clemson is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games as a road favorite. Syracuse is 8-5 in its last 13 games as a home dog; they got whacked 63-20 by Maryland LW, giving up 354 YR. 

1) Northern Illinois (+11.5) upset Nebraska 21-17 two years ago, despite being outgained, 384-213. Huskies are 12-5 in last 17 games as a road dog. Nebraska covered twice in its last nine games as a home favorite. Last 2+ years, Big 14 teams are 16-10 ATS when playing a MAC team. 

Thursday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Current Washington State football coach Mike Leach became the Texas Tech coach back in 2000; on his Tech team that first year were 23 guys who later became either college or NFL coaches, eight have been I-A head coaches, another eight have been coordinators. 

Very impressive coaching tree he has: Kliff Kingsbury, Dana Holgorsen, Sonny Dykes, Art Briles, Dave Aranda (LSU’s DC), Lincoln Riley. 

12) A’s 5, Astros 3— 21-year old Jesus Luzardo made his MLB debut and threw three innings, allowing only a solo home run. Very impressive debut. 

11) Every time I watch Marcus Semien play shortstop for the A’s, I’m reminded what a great infield coach Ron Washington is; his hard work helped make Semien the player he is today. 

10) NFL teams that impressed me in losses last week: Panthers, Colts, Texans. 

9) Purdue LB Markus Bailey, team’s top tackler last season, is out for the year (knee).

8) NFL injury stuff:
— Chargers’ TE Hunter Henry (broken leg) is out for the year.
— Raiders’ S Johnathan Abram (shoulder) is out for the year.

7) Two pitchers on the Pittsburgh Pirates got into a fight with each other before Monday night’s game; one of them hurt his hand and needed surgery on that hand. Not good. 

Sometimes I lose sight of just how long the baseball season is; 162 games in 182 days, and if you’re having a cruddy year, tensions can run high. 

6) This nugget from Ralph Michaels:

Last 25 times Oklahoma was a road favorite, that game went over the total 22 times. 

5) There were 90 touchdowns scored in NFL’s Week 1, the most in an opening week of the NFL in the Super Bowl era. 

4) United States lost to France 89-79 Wednesday, in quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, snapping a streak of 58 straight wins in international competition. 

3) Dodgers clinched their 7th straight division title Tuesday, but they haven’t won a World Series since 1988, and until they do, lot of their fans won’t be happy. 

2) Jorge Soler’s season over/under for home runs back in the spring was 14.5; he hit his 43rd homer Wednesday night.

1) RIP to T. Boone Pickens, 91, the billionaire who donated over $500M to Oklahoma State; their football stadium is named after him.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) ESPN football analyst Brian Griese is very good; Monday night he produced an old set of notes he had as a player, when his coach was Jon Gruden, back when he played for the Buccaneers in 2004-05, 08. Gruden would hand-write the notes and distribute them to players. 

Griese said “…..I never felt more prepared as a player than when I played for Gruden” which is obviously high praise from a guy who spent 11 years playing QB in the NFL, and whose dad was also a really good QB in the NFL. 

12) Virginia is -7 over Florida State in Charlottesville Saturday; since 1997, Seminoles are 11-2 SU vs Virginia, 8-5 vs spread— FSU was favored in all 13 games, eight times by 12+ points. 10 of their 11 wins over the Cavaliers were by 14+ points. Teams haven’t met since 2014. 

11) Actor Matthew McConaughey is apparently the Texas Longhorns’ new Minister of Culture, which means that he is a prominent celebrity booster who helps pump people up when it comes to all things Texas Longhorn. People are impressed by celebrities. 

From The Athletic: “McConaughey once thought he would be a college or pro athlete — he jokes he only gave up the dream about eight years ago — and he believes if he hadn’t found the acting thing, he might have become a coach. Now he has the chance to speak with, influence and encourage college kids.”

Four years ago McConaughey started teaching a course at Texas, Script to Screen, in which film students receive a script from a film he’s working on and follow through all of its edits and iterations until production. The Moody College of Communications named him a professor of practice last week.

10) Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey had 29 touches for 209 yards in the Panthers’ 30-27 loss to the Rams LW; great production if you have him in your fantasy league, but Carolina better find some other weapons, because 29 touches a week isn’t sustainable, especially in a week like this one, when the Panthers are playing on three days’ rest. 

9) Sunday afternoon in Queens, the Phillies had Andrew Knapp at bat with two men on and the pitcher (reliever Mike Morin) due up next; the Mets walked Knapp intentionally to get to the pitcher’s spot, because they wanted Morin out of the game, either that or they didn’t think the Phillies would hit for him. This strategy had one glaring problem. 

Bryce Harper wasn’t in the game yet, so they walked Knapp to pitch to pinch-hitter Harper, and strategy does not get much dumber than that; it is baseball malpractice. Harper walked to force in a run. Philly won the game 10-7. 

8) Mets’ P Noah Syndergaard doesn’t want to throw to catcher Wilson Ramos; he pleaded his case to pitching strategist Jeremy Accardo, manager Mickey Callaway, and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, then got annoyed when word of the private conversation became public.

7) Mets’ bullpen has a 7.62 ERA in 80.1 IP in Jacob deGrom’s starts this season.

In totally unrelated news, Milwaukee star OF Christian Yelich fouled a ball off his knee Tuesday night and fractured his kneecap; he is done for this season.

6) Cleveland Browns had 19 snaps on 1st-and-10 Sunday; on 15 of those 19 plays, they were penalized and wound up with 1st or 2nd down and more than 10 yards to go. Not good. 

5) Kentucky QB Terry Wilson is out for the season after hurting his left knee last week.

4) Jets signed K Sam Ficken and cut K Kaare Vedvik, who has been traded twice, cut once in the last six weeks. Vedvik missed a PAT and a field goal in Sunday’s 17-16 loss to Buffalo. 

Jets also acquired WR DeMaryius Thomas from New England for a 6th round draft pick. 

3) Houston Texans released veteran CB Aaron Colvin, just over a year into a 4-year, $34M contract; he gets $7.5M this year- that was guaranteed. 

2) If you live in the Albany area and like pro wrestling, you will be interested to know that Ric Flair is doing an appearance at Colonie Center Sunday, at a hobby shop that is upstairs by the food court. They’re expecting a big crowd; get there early. 

1) Patriots at Dolphins opened at New England -14.5, but as I type this, it is up to -18.5 or -19. Takes lot of onions to back a Dolphin squad that lost 59-10 last week, while New England was killing the Steelers, but Patriots have lost SU in five of their last six visits to south Florida.

CG Technology got a $55,000 bet Tuesday on the Patriots (-18) to cover; if that person read this site, he/she would know that over the last decade, Week 2 teams who won by 28+ points in Week 1 are 1-10 vs spread in their Week 2 game. We’ll see what happens. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Last 10 years, NFL teams that won by 28+ points in Week 1 are 1-10 vs spread in Week 2. 

NFL teams that lost by 28+ points in Week 1 are 7-3-1 vs spread in Week 2. 

12) Gardner Minshew is Jacksonville’s new starting QB; he has an interesting story:

— Minshew was at Troy State for a semester but transferred to Northwest Mississippi CC.
— He led Northwest Mississippi to the 2015 NJCAA national championship, then moved on to play ball at East Carolina.
— He split playing time in two years at ECU, then was going to transfer to Alabama for his last year, sit on the bench in hopes of learning under Nick Saban and becoming a coach someday. 

— But he transferred to Washington State instead, because they needed a QB last year, and he lit the Pac-12 up under coach Mike Leach.
— He threw 50+ passes in 10 of his 13 starts at Wazzu, was Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year .
— Now he is Jacksonville’s starting QB. He’ll be able to write a great book someday.  

11) Last four years in the NFL, the teams that played on Thursday night in Week 1 have covered seven of eight games in Week 2. This year, that would be Green Bay/Chicago.

10) If you’re an Arizona Cardinal fan, 4th quarter of Sunday’s game with Detroit had to be very exciting, with Kyler Murray leading a comeback from down 24-6 to force OT. 

First three quarters were ugly; it will be interesting to follow them this season. Once they play some games and that offense is on film more, will defenses find it easier to stop them? 

9) 49ers intercepted three passes at Tampa Bay Sunday; they picked off two passes all of last season.

8) Strange fact of the day:

Odell Beckham Jr wore a watch while he played Sunday; the watch is a Richard Mille 011 Orange Storm, which sold for $160,000 when it was first produced in 2014, but is supposed to be worth as much as $340,000 now- only 30 of them were made.

7) Saints 30, Texans 28:
— Houston led 14-3 at the half but allowed 27 points in 2nd half.
— Watson threw for 268 yards, ran for 40 more but took some big hits.
— Game went over the total despite a scoreless first quarter. 

— Lutz kicked a 58-yard FG at the gun for the dramatic win.
— Total yardage was 510-414; Brees threw ball for 370 yards.
— Thomas, Ginn both had 100+ receiving yards. 

6) Raiders 24, Broncos 16
— ESPN should make Levy-Griese-Riddick the regular Monday night broadcast team; they’re very good.
— Down 21-6 with around 8:00 left, Denver kicked a field goal that didn’t help them at all.
— David Carr had a very big game; completed 22-26 passes. 

5) Jacksonville traded a 5th-round draft pick to the Steelers for QB Josh Dobbs, who will back up Gardner Minshew. Dobbs was a 2-year starter in college at Tennessee. 

4) Lynn Swann resigned as USC’s athletic director; would be nice if the school hired someone to be AD who didn’t play football for the Trojans- their last three athletic directors were Mike Garrett, Pat Haden and Swann. 

3) Since August 1st, Cardinals’ P Jack Flaherty has allowed three earned runs in 54 IP. 

2) San Francisco Giants are 69-75 in Bruce Bochy’s last season as manager, but a word of caution— the Giants have the best record in baseball (33-15) in one-run games, meaning they’re likely to regress some next year, especially with a new (and probably lesser) manager in 2020.

1) Red Sox fired team president Dave Dombrowski the year after they won the World Series; seriously? 

Is there no loyalty left in the world? Unless he was showing up to work drunk, how do you fire a guy whose Boston teams finished first three of his four years there, and still has an outside shot at making the playoffs this year? 

Lot of internal politics in professional sports, lot of back stabbing.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……

Eagles 30, Redskins 27:
— Washington led 20-7 at the half.
— Redskins threw 45 passes, ran ball only 13 times.
— Washington is 1-6 vs spread in last seven NFC East road games. 

— Eagles had TD plays of 51-53 yards, both on 3rd and 10 passes.
— Philly converted 11-17 third down plays.
— Eagle offense in 2nd half: four drives, 43 plays, 272 yards, 25 points. 

Bills 17, Jets 16:
— Buffalo’s first seven drives: 35 plays, 165 yards, outscored 8-0 by Jet defense.
— Buffalo’s last four drives: 28 plays, 220 yards, 17 points.
— 38-yard pass from Allen to Brown with 3:00 left was the game-winner. 

— Jets were outgained 370-223; they averaged only 3.4 yards/pass attempt.
— Jets’ new kicker missed a PAT and a 45-yard FG.
— Not many teams are +3 in turnovers and lose; Jets had four takeaways (+3). 

Vikings 28, Falcons 12:
— Atlanta turned ball over three times, was only 2-8 on third down.
— Falcons had punt blocked on first series, threw INT on second series.
— Last 2+ years, Atlanta is now 4-13 vs spread on road (1-7 as road dog). 

— Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 23-7-1 vs spread as a HF, 17-2-1 outside NFC North.
— Minnesota threw only 10 passes the whole game; that doesn’t happen much.
— Vikings won/covered their last five home openers. 

Ravens 59, Dolphins 10:
— Baltimore had ball 10 times, scored eight TD’s, kicked a FG.
— Jackson was 17-20/324 passing; he is 7-1 as an NFL starter.
— Ravens won last four Week 1 games by combined score of 139-20. 

— Miami ran only 12 times for 21 yards; they were -3 in turnovers.
— Dolphins gave app 643 yards, were down 42-10 at halftime.
— 2020 NFL Draft begins April 23rd in Las Vegas. 

Chiefs 40, Jaguars 26:
— McCoy carried ball 10 times for 81 yards in his KC debut.
— KC had a 14-yard advantage in starting field position.
— Five of KC’s seven plays of 20+ yards came on first down. 

— Foles got hurt; backup Minshew was 22-25/275 passing, with two TD’s.
— Jaguar defense gave up TD plays of 68, 49 yards.
— Both teams averaged 10+ yards/pass attempt, which doesn’t happen much. 

Titans 43, Browns 13:
— Tennessee defense scored nine points, gave up only 13.
— Titans were +3 in turnovers (3-0), had 11-yard edge in field position.
— Tennessee won/covered six of last seven road openers. 

— Cleveland were called for 18 penalties for 182 yards.
— Since re-joining NFL in 1999, Browns are 1-19-1 SU in Week 1
— Last 9+ years, Cleveland is 7-15-2 as a home favorite. 

Rams 30, Panthers 27:
— 89 of Gurley’s 97 rushing yards came in second half.
— LA converted 9-17 third down plays.
— Rams had one punt blocked, another deflected; no bueno. 

— McCaffery had 29 touches for 209 yards; their WR’s caught only 11 passes.
— Newton ran ball only three times, for minus-2 yards.
— First time in six years that Carolina lost its home opener. 

49ers 31, Buccaneers 17
— Five TD’s in this game: three scored by the defenses, two by offenses.
— Teams who were +2 or better in turnovers this week are 7-2-1 ATS.
— First time in five years 49ers won their road opener. 

— Tampa Bay scored only 10 points in four drives into red zone.
— Last 5+ years, Bucs are now 16-25 vs spread at home.
— TB started eight drives 75+ yards from goal line; on those eight drives, their offense was outscored 14-7 by SF’s defense. 

Lions 27, Cardinals 27, OT:
— Detroit led 24-6 with 11:30 left in the game.
— Stafford threw for 385 yards, had two guys with 100+ receiving yards.
— Last 5+ years, Lions are 11-5-4 vs spread when laying 3 or fewer points

— First three quarters, Murray was 9-25 passing for 70 yards.
— 4th quarter and OT, Murray was 20-29 passing for 239 yards.
— Last 3+ years, Cardinals are 8-16-1 SU at home. 

Seahawks 21, Bengals 20:
— Cincy threw ball for 395 yards but lost three fumbles (minus-2 in turnovers).
— Bengals scored only six points in three trips to the red zone.
— Since ’11, Bengals are 23-14-4 vs spread as road underdogs. 

— Seattle was outgained 429-273 but pulled out the win.
— Seahawks won their last 11 home openers (8-3 vs spread).
— Under is 16-2-1 in Seattle’s last 19 home openers. 

Chargers 30, Colts 24 OT:
— Indy ran ball for 203 yards, threw for 173; they converted 7-13 on 3rd down.
— Colts start season 0-1 for the sixth year in a row.
— Viniatieri missed two FG’s and an extra point.

— Chargers led 17-6 at half; they took opening kick of OT and drove 75 yards for a TD.
— 14 of Chargers’ last 17 home openers went over the total.
— Bolts had eight plays of 20+ yards, 2nd-most in NFL on Sunday (Ravens). 

Cowboys 35, Giants 17:
— Giants lost eight of their last nine season openers.
— Total yardage was 494-470 Dallas; NYG was only 2-11 on third down.
— Teams that were -2 or worse in turnovers are 2-8 SU this week.

— Cowboys have now won five games in a row against the Giants.
— Dallas averaged 12.7 yards/pass attempt; Prescott threw for 405 yards
— Elliott ran ball 13 times for 53 yards a couple days after he reported. 

Patriots 33, Steelers 3:
— Steelers were only one of 24 teams that played Sunday who didn’t score a TD.
— Since 1997, Steelers are 1-9-1 vs spread when an underdog in their road opener.
— Pittsburgh ran ball 13 times, dropped back to pass 48 times, a losing ratio. 

— NE averaged 9.6 yards/pass attempt, outgained Steelers 465-308.
— Since ’13, Patriots are 29-13-3 as home favorites, 18-8-1 outside AFC East.
— Last six Super Bowl champs are 4-1-1 vs ATS in their season opener the next year.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday…….

13) Colorado 34, Nebraska 31 OT:
— Cornhuskers led 17-0 at halftime and looked safe; they weren’t.
— Teams combined to score four TD’s in a span of 4:23, with Buffaloes cutting a 17-0 deficit to 24-21.
— Helps to have a 5th-year senior QB: Steven Montez was 28-41/375 passing.
— Nebraska has now lost eight consecutive road games.
— These teams used to be great rivals in the old Big 8 Conference; too bad they don’t play more often. Most of the fans in Boulder Saturday were wearing red. 

12) Michigan 24, Army 21 OT:
— Army lost in OT at Oklahoma LY; they’re a good team.
— Why would anyone schedule the Cadets? They play an unusual style that is hard to prepare for, they’re smart, poised, tough and they never give up.
— Army was up 14-7 in 3rd quarter and had ball in red zone, but threw a terrible INT. Seeing how they only threw five passes all day, they probably second guessed themselves on the flight home. 

— Michigan QB Patterson (19-29/207) didn’t look good at all.
— Wolverines lost three fumbles, ran ball for only 108 yards.

11) Florida State 45, UL-Monroe 44 OT:
— WarHawks missed a PAT in OT that ended this game.
— Seminoles led 24-7 at halftime.
— Cam Akers ran ball 36 times for 193 yards for FSU.
— Total yardage was 501-419 FSU; ULM scored a defensive TD. 

10) LSU 45, Texas 38:
— QB Burrow was 31-39/471 passing for LSU; he was once the 3rd stringer at Ohio State. 

— Total yardage was 573-530; when was last time LSU allowed 38 points and won? 

9) Minnesota 38, Fresno State 35 OT:
— Gophers tied game in last minute of regulation, scoring a 20-yard TD on 4th-and-10 wth 0:46 left. A perfect pass and a great catch.
— Fresno QB threw a pick in end zone to end game in OT; he had WR wide open, but lofted ball too much and a safety picked it off.
— Second tough loss in row for inexperienced Fresno; they lost 31-23 at USC last week. 

8) WTF is Georgia playing Murray State?
Florida-UTMartin?
Oklahoma-South Dakota?
Oklahoma State-McNeese State?
Washington State-Northern Colorado? 

Have some onions, play teams that give as many scholarships as you do. 

7) Upsets of the Week:
— California (+13.5) 20, Washington 19- Game ended at 4:23am ET
— San Diego State (+7.5) 23, UCLA 14
— Western Kentucky (+7.5) 20, FIU 14
— Coastal Carolina (+7) 12, Kansas 7
— Colorado (+4.5) 34, Nebraska 31 OT
— North Carolina (+4.5) 28, Miami 25
— BYU (+4) 29, Tennessee 26 OT

6) I-A team that lost to a I-AA opponent:
— Southern Illinois 45, UMass 20

Close calls/red flags:
— Kent State 26, Kennesaw State 23
— Georgia State 48, Furman 42
— Louisiana Tech 20, Grambling 14

5) Boise State 14, Marshall 7:
— First half, Thundering Herd gained 172 total yards, had 9 first downs.
— Second half, Thundering Herd had zero points, zero first downs. 

Not many games end 14-7 when total yardage is 437-172. 

4) Maryland 63, Syracuse 20— Whats up with the Terrapins? They hung 79 points on a I-AA team last week, they had 42 at the half in this one-sided game. Maryland ran the ball for 354 yards, threw for 296 more, converting 11-15 third down plays.

3) Memo to TV people who cover college football games: “Plays run” means more than “time of possession”, especially when one team is running a no-huddle offense. 

2) Baseball stuff:
— Minnesota Twins’ P Michael Pineda failed a PED test, is suspended for 60 games, will be ineligible for the postseason.
— Cubs’ SS Javier Baez has a hairline fracture in his left thumb, is done for regular season. 

1) Patriots dropped from 6-1 to 4-1 to win the Super Bowl now that Antonio Brown has finagled his way to Foxboro. Too bad Raiders-New England don’t play this season.

Word of the Day: Finagle— Obtain something by devious or dishonest means.

Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with the weekend here…….

13) Good Lord I’m tired of hearing about Antonio Brown; Oakland Raiders gave up 3rd and 5th round draft picks for Brown, who turned into a huge pain in the neck. The latest drama between Brown and GM Mike Mayock happened after HBO’s Hard Knocks turned their cameras off for the summer. Too bad.

Brown has $30.125M of guaranteed money in his contract, so he “apologized” Friday because otherwise they were going to cut him, and he was going to lose the $30M. Go figure. 

12) Line on Monday’s Denver-Oakland game moved from pick ‘em to Broncos -2 as soon as news of Brown’s Thursday hijinks became public. Total also dropped a point; we’ll see if the spread moves back to where it was, now that Brown is back in Monday’s lineup. 

11) Week 1 of the NFL season should be called National Overreaction Week. 

Everyone that wins is going to the Super Bowl; the losers are all going to get fired or replaced by their backup. 

Green Bay’s 10-3 win in Chicago Thursday was a dull, defensive struggle, and now the teams not playing their starters in preseason are getting the blame. All of which raises the question, is it worth it to risk a starter getting hurt in a meaningless game to be sharper in Week 1?

10) Jacob deGrom has a 2.18 ERA in his last 60 starts; Mets are 24-36 in those games.

9) Seven American League games Friday night; only one of 14 starting pitchers got a decision; lot of close ballgames, plus a few teams were using openers. 

8) Phillies’ catcher JT Realmuto has started 118 games behind plate this year, 14 more than anyone else in the major leagues. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Astros’ P Aaron Sanchez (shoulder) is done for the year.
— Cubs put P Craig Kimbrel (elbow) on IL. 

6) When the A’s/Tigers resumed a suspended game from May 19 Friday, Oakland was missing three of the nine players in their lineup when the game was stopped back then. Detroit was missing four of nine. 

A’s closer Liam Hendriks wasn’t the closer back in May; he was in the game when it was stopped in the 7th inning back then, so he was on the mound when the game resumed Friday. 

5) NHL’s San Jose Sharks hired former LA Dodgers’ general manager Ned Colletti as a scout; he once covered the Philadelphia Flyers as a beat writer, but has never worked in a hockey front office, so this is a very unusual move.

4) Glad to see Vlade Divac getting inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this week; he was one of my favorite players to watch, a big guy who was a terrific passer. Divac was a big part of the 2002 Sacramento Kings, who lost the Western Conference final to the Lakers in seven games, one of the toughest losses I can remember in the NBA playoffs. 

3) Thursday night’s Green Bay-Chicago game averaged a 12.8 rating and 22.0M viewers, up 13% and 16% vs last year’s Falcons/Eagles Week 1 Thursday game. It was the highest-rated and most-watched Week 1 Thursday game since 2016.

2) Wake Forest 41, Rice 21— If Wake Forest gets to a bowl game this year, it’ll be the 4th year in a row for the Deacons; Wake Forest has never played in four consecutive bowls. 

1) Altering an official government weather forecast is actually illegal. Who knew? 

Friday’s extra List of 13: Quick NFL knowledge…….

13) Buffalo Bills made the playoffs in 2017, for the first time since 1999; then they cut that year’s QB, Tyrod Taylor, and slumped to 6-10 last year. Taylor is now Philip Rivers’ backup with the Chargers. 

12) Nick Foles has never started more than 11 games in an NFL season.

11) In five years coaching the Redskins, Jay Gruden is 35-44-1, 0-1 in playoffs; since 2006, Washington is 0-3 in playoff games- their last playoff win was under Joe Gibbs, in ’05. 

10) John Harbaugh with the Ravens:
— First five years: 54-26, 9-4 playoffs
— Last six years: 49-47, 1-2 playoffs

9) Last eight years, Tennessee Titans are 5-17-2 ATS as an underdog of 3 or fewer points. 

8) Since 2010, Dallas Cowboys are 17-34-1 ATS as a home favorite. Over last decade, the underdog is 90-63-4 (58.8%) in Cowboy games. 

7) Over last 20 years, Detroit Lions are 0-4 in playoff games; the last four years, Detroit is 4-10 ATS as a home underdog. 

6) Cleveland Browns are 1-18-1 SU in Week 1 games, 0-5 ATS when favored; they tied the Steelers LY (+3.5). 

5) Houston Texans won last four season openers, scoring 30+ points in all four games. 

4) Since 2015, Denver Broncos are 5-12-3 ATS as a home favorite. 

3) Last six years, Atlanta Falcons are 14-24 ATS as a home favorite. 

2) Since 2012, Seattle Seahawks are 6-0 ATS as home underdogs; Seattle made playoffs six of last seven years, and went 9-7 the other year. 

1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl after the 2002 season; they’re 0-2 in playoff games since then, and are 55-105 since Jon Gruden left town, with no playoff appearances. 

Friday’s List of 13: College football trends from outside the top 13 games of the week

Ohio U covered six of last seven tries as a road underdog; Bobcats ran ball for 278 yards in 41-20 win over a I-AA foe LW. Ohio has a senior QB, an OL with only 45 returning starts. Pittsburgh was held to 263 yards in its 30-14 loss to ACC rival Virginia LW; under Narduzzi, Panthers are 5-10-1 ATS as a home favorite. Last three years, ACC teams are 11-2 vs spread when playing a MAC opponent. 

Old Dominion (+27) outscored Virginia Tech 28-7 in 4th quarter of 49-35 upset win LY; total yardage in game was 632-600, ODU. Monarchs lost 13 of 22 starters from LY; they’re 5-4 ATS as a road underdog. Tech was minus-4 in turnovers in its 35-28 loss at BC last week; under Fuente, Hokies are 9-5 ATS as home favorites. Last four years, ACC teams are 11-5 vs spread when they play a C-USA opponent. 

UAB completed only 8-20 passes in its 24-19 win over I-AA Alabama State LW; Blazers are 2-3 ATS as a road favorite. UAB has a soph QB and an OL with only 30 returning starts. Akron is just 8-22 ATS in its last 30 games as a home underdog; Zips got waxed 42-3 at Illinois LW, giving up 207 yards on ground. Last four years, MAC teams are 15-8-1 ATS when playing a C-USA opponent. 

Vanderbilt was outgained 481-225 at home in a 30-6 loss to Georgia LW; under Mason, Commodores are 13-11 ATS as a road underdog- they’re 6-3 ATS in last nine games outside the SEC. Purdue blew 24-7 halftime lead in LW’s 34-31 loss at Nevada; under Brohm, Boilers are 4-5 ATS as a home favorite. Last four years, SEC teams are 8-5 vs spread when playing a Big 14 opponent. 

Iowa (-13) won 14-7 at Rutgers three years ago, in teams’ only meeting. Scarlet Knights won their opener 48-21 over UMass- they outgained Minutemen 548-307. Under Ash, Rutgers is 7-8 ATS as a road underdog. Hawkeyes covered five of last seven tries as a home favorite- they drilled Miami OH last week, outgaining Red Hawks, 465-245. Iowa has a senior QB but only four starters back on defense. 

North Texas (-4) beat SMU 46-23 LY, ending its 3-game skid against the Mustangs; Mean Green beat a I-AA team 51-31 LW, but they gave up 456 yards. UNT has a senior QB (37 starts). SMU won its opener 37-30 at Arkansas State LW, gaining 508 TY. Mustangs are 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games as a home favorite. Last 6+ years, AAC teams are 15-13 vs spread when playing C-USA teams. 

South Florida (+3) beat Georgia Tech 49-38 LY, despite giving up 419 YR- Tech doesn’t run the option anymore- they lost their opener 52-14 at Clemson LW, giving up 411 YR to the Tigers. Tech is 9-5 ATS in last 14 games as a home favorite. Over last decade, USF is 20-10 ATS as a road underdog. Bulls got hammered 49-0 by Wisconsin LW. AAC are 16-9 ATS in their last 25 games vs ACC opponents. 

Tulsa hammered San Jose State 45-10 (-5) in last meeting in 2016; Golden Hurricane was held to 80 yards LW in its 28-7 loss at Michigan State- Tulsa had minus-73 YR. Last three years, Tulsa is 1-3 ATS as a road favorite. San Jose beat a I-AA team 35-18 LW; Spartans are 6-4-1 in last 11 games as a home underdog. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 10-0 vs spread when playing an AAC opponent. 

Over last six years, UConn is 3-22 ATS outside its conference, 0-12 last three years. Illinois had 207 yards running, 194 passing in its 42-3 win over Akron LW; Illini has 10 starters back on defense, but a new QB. Over last five years, Illini is 3-0 ATS as a road favorite. UConn held off I-AA Wagner 24-21 LW, a red flag; Huskies are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as a home underdog. AAC teams are 8-5 ATS in their last 13 games vs Big 14 opponents. 

Arkansas State (-7.5) beat UNLV 27-20 at home LY; Rebels ran ball for 310 yards, though. Last three years, ASU is 8-9 ATS on road. Red Wolves lost their opener 37-30 at home to SMU LW. UNLV hammered a I-AA team LW; Rebels are 10-21 ATS in their last 31 home games, 9-15 under Sanchez. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 8-3-1 vs spread when playing a Sun Belt opponent. 

San Diego State beat a I-AA team 6-0 LW, gaining only 238 TY with 14 first downs- not good. Last three year, Aztecs are 3-1 as road underdogs- they’ve got a senior QB and an OL with 69 returning starts. UCLA lost 24-14 at Cincy LW, completing 8-26 passes, gaining only 218 yards. Last five years, Bruins are 8-15 as a home favorite. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 13-10 ATS when playing a Pac-12 opponent. 

Trap game for Wyoming after they beat Missouri LW as 18-point dogs. Wyoming (-16) drilled Texas State 45-10 in last meeting two years ago, but that was with Josh Allen at QB. Cowboys are 3-6 ATS in last nine non-league games. TSU lost 41-7 at Texas A&M LW; they’re 4-10 ATS in last 14 games as a home underdog. Last three years, Mountain West teams are 8-3-1 vs spread when playing a Sun Belt opponent.

Central Florida (-13) waxed Florida Atlantic 56-36, gaining 545 TY. last three years, UCF is 7-2 ATS as a road favorite. Knights have a senior who transferred from Notre Dame- their OL has 75 returning starts. FAU was down 28-0 after 8:10 at Ohio State LW; Owls covered only once in their last eight tries as a home underdog. Last 6+ years, AAC teams are 15-13 vs spread when playing C-USA teams.