South Florida Bulls at Temple Owls College Football Week-12, AAC, East Division Betting preview for Saturday, November 17, 2018.

           

                       Written by NCAA Football Point Spread Analyst Charlie Red McDougall.

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The (7-3) SU, (3-7) ATS South Florida Bulls have lost three straight, their most recent a 35-23 defeat to Cincinnati as 15-point road UNDERDOGS ATS. South Florida began the season unranked but climbed to a #21 national ranking after winning their first seven games in 2018.

The Bulls defense gave up 432 total yards to the Cincinnati offense of which 238 were on the ground.

  • South Florida is 0-4 ATS their last four on grass.
  • The OVER is 3-1 South Florida last four on the road.
  • OVER bettors have profited in 9 of the Bulls last ten vs. teams with a winning SU record.
  • The Bulls are 1-7 ATS the Bulls last eight after allowing over 200 yards their previous game.

The (6-4) SU, (7-3) ATS Temple Owls look like the second best team in the AAC East division after a strong showing on primetime against Central Florida before losing 52-40 SU as 10′ point road UNDERDOGS.

Sports bettors who took Temple with the points watched the Owls take a 34-28 lead into halftime only to get outscored 24-6 in the third and fourth quarters. The Owls bounced back last week in another high scoring affair taking down Houston 59-49 as 3′ point road UNDERDOGS ATS.

Senior will get recognized Saturday, and they close out the 2018 season at Connecticut.

  • The OVER is 3-1 the last four meetings between the teams since the inception of the AAC.
  • Temple is 5-0 AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD their last five after scoring 40 points or more their previous game.
  • The home teams are 4-0 ATS the last four times the teams have played.
  • OVER bettors have cashed in Temple last six in November.

Saturday’s game is at 12:00 PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field home of the NFL Eagles in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The ESPNN Television Network will be broadcasting.

The Opening Betting Line has Temple 14 point home FAVORITES ATS. The TOTAL is 62-Points for Saturday’s contest.

Charlie Strong is in his second season on the sidelines at the Tampa based institute where a showdown with rivals Central Florida looked like an East division title game three weeks ago, but things have taken a different course.

The South Florida offense is struggling without starting quarterback Blake Barnett (2,395) passing yards who missed the Cincinnati game with a shoulder injury. The California native is questionable for Saturday again Temple. Sophomore Chris Oladokun did an admirable job last week in Cincinnati throwing for 165 yards with two touchdowns completing 10 of 22 passes. South Florida offense ranks fourth in total offense among the American Athletic Conference averaging (474.0) yards per game. They score (32.3) ppg which is the sixth-best in the AAC. Running Back Jordan Cronkrite (982) rushing yards leads the 36th ranked running attack in College Football.

The Bulls are challenged on the other side of the football, and the run defense has given up (2,472) total yards, 121st in the FBS.

Strong earned his reputation as a defensive coach while at the University of Florida under Urban Meyer and must address the unit at USF. The bulls have given up133 total point the last three games which is unacceptable.

South Florida can’t get caught looking ahead to their showdown with Central Florida.

Bovada.Lv, list the South Florida Bulls at +1,500 to win the 2018 American Athletic Conference East Crown.
The Temple Owls are trending upwards but needs help to play for the AAC Championship. If the Owls can win out and Central Florida loses their remaining games against Cincinnati and South Florida, the Owls would win the East division. Quarterback Andy Russo leads the Temple offense to a season-high 59-points last week at Houston with no signs of slowing down this week against a pathetic South Florida defense. Temple has scored (343) total points this season which is 33rd best in the FBS. Running Back Ryquell Armstead (978) rushing yards leads a ground game that has (1,613) yards on the ground which ranks 69th in College Football, and average (4.2) yards per attempt.

The Owls defense has given up 100-points the past two weeks, but Central Florida and Houston are among the best in College Football on offense. They also gave up 45-points at Boston College in September other than those three games they’ve played lights out on defense.

However, they’ll face another prolific offense Saturday, but the weather conditions could put a hamper on the South Florida offense.

Temple has allowed opponent (3,835) total yards this season which is 63rd in division-1.

A key to a Temple win over USF is to run the football and keep the USF offense off the field.

Bovada.Lv, list the Temple Owls at +1,300 to win the 2018 ACC Title.

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Miami Ohio Redhawks at Northern Illinois Huskies NCAA Football Week-12, Mid American Conference Betting preview for Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

                             

                                  Written by College Football ATS Analyst Al Presto.

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The (4-6) SU, 6-4 ATS Miami University RedHawks were due for an upset, and they’ll pull one off last Wednesday, November 7th in front of the home crowd 30-28 against Ohio University as 4′ point home UNDERDOGS ATS.

Know as the cradle of coaches Miami University has produced successful players in the NFL, most notable Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Miami took a 28-7 lead into halftime but scored two points in the second half to hold off rivals Ohio University.

  • The UNDER is 3-0-1 the last four Redhawks games on Wednesday.
  • OVER bettors have been profitable in 5 of the Redhawks last seven overall.
  • Miami Ohio is 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 after giving over 200 rushing yards the previous game.
  • The Redhawks have covered five of the last six between the teams AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD.

The (7-3) SU, 6-4 ATS Northern Illinois Huskies, came closer the West division title with a 38-15 win over Toledo last Wednesday as 3′ point home FAVORITES ATS. It seems as though Northern Illinois is always in contention for the division title and got revenge on 2017 MCA title champions Toledo.

Northern Illinois is on a six-game winning streak but the next two weeks could determine a lot with the season finale at Western Michigan who’s a little down the season.

  • Northern Illinois is 4-1 ATS their last five after an SU win.
  • The Huskies are 7-3 AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD their last seven on Wednesday’s.
  • bettors have cashed in Northern Illinois last four at home.
  • The UNDER is 4-0 NIU last four after rushing for more than 200 yards their previous game.

Wednesday’s game is at 8:00 PM EST at Huskie Stadium on campus DeKalb about 30 minutes from Chicago, Illinois. The ESPNU Television Network will be broadcasting. The Opening Betting Line has Northern Illinois 6′ point home FAVORITES ATS. The TOTAL isn’t available for Wednesday’s contest.

Miami University head coach Chuck Martin will have his team ready for action as they try to become bowl eligible for the second time in three seasons. The Redhawks have beaten Northern Illinois once since the 1998 season, 26-21 in 2010. Miami has been competitive this season with their last two losses 31-30 SU as 6′ point road UNDERDOGS ATS to Army and two weeks ago 42-31 at Buffalo as 6 UNDERDOGS. Quarterback Gus Ragland (2,281) yards passing this season with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions leads the 75th ranked scoring offense in the FBS (28.2) ppg.

However, the Redhawks are averaging (38.0) points per contest their last three on the road.

The Redhawks defense allows opponents (27.8) ppg with (156.1) yards per game on the ground which ranks 4th in the MAC. With the windy weather conditions around the area they’ll more than likely get a good dose of NIU on the ground. The Redhawks seventh-ranked pass defense in the conference allows (210.6) yards per game through the air.

A key to a Miami Ohio win is to stack the box, NIU isn’t as good throwing the football as the Redhawks passing attack but wind could for Miami to run.

Miami Ohio is out of contention for the 2018 MAC Championship.

Northern Illinois will be looking to clinch the West division along with their seventh consecutive victory on the Senior night in DeKalb. The Huskies are known for at least one big upset over a powerhouse school each season and it held as they went into BYU to come away with a 7-6 SU win as 6′ UNDERDOGS ATS. The Huskies seek a trip to the MAC title game in December and a win Wednesday gets them a step closer. For that to happen, they’ll need the defense to perform against a more than capable Miami Ohio offense.

The top-rated scoring defense in the Mid American Conference gives up an average of (21.0) ppg, on the ground, they allow opponents (109.6) yards per contest almost 35 yards less than the second-ranked rush defense. However, their ninth-ranked conference pass defense is suspect as opposing quarterbacks are throwing for (245.2) yards per game through the air.

Northern Illinois scores an average of (21.1) ppg on offense which ranks tenth in the MAC. The (180.2) yards per contest produced the by running game is fifth in the Mid American Conference. Quarterback Marcus Childers (1,383) total yards through the air leads the conferences 11th ranked passing attack which average (138.3) ypg.

Northern Illinois can’t take Miami Ohio for granted they gave Buffalo all they can handle and beat Ohio University.

Bovada.Lv, list the Northern Illinois Huskies at +325 to win the 2018 Mid American Conference Title.

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Temple Owls @ Houston Cougars Tide NCAA Football Week-11, American Athletic Conference Betting preview for Saturday, November 10, 2018.

         

Written by NCAA Football Expert Point Spread Analyst Bobby Wallace.

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The (5-4) SU, 6-3 ATS Temple Owls, are second in the East division of the AAC as they let a golden opportunity slip away on a November 1st, 52-40 SU loss as 10′ point road UNDERDOGS ATS. Know for playing tough defense the Owls showed they could score points which they’ll need to do again tonight in the Lone Star State.

Quarterback Anthony Russo earned the respect of teammates with 44 yards through the air with four touchdowns in defeat. The Owls offense produced 670 total yards well above their average.

  • Temple is 22-6 ATS their last twenty-eight vs. AAC opponents.
  • OVER bettors have been profitable in 5 of the Owls last six as an UNDERDOG.
  • The OVER is 5-0 the Owls last five in November.
  • Temple is 5-0 ATS their last five after throwing form more than 280 yards the previous game.

The (7-2) SU, 5-4 ATS Houston Cougars, are on top of the American Athletic Conference, West but look to bounce back after a 45-31 SU loss to SMU last Saturday a 14-point road FAVORITES ATS. Quarterback D’Eriq King and the Houston offense produced 365 total yards while the defense yielded 514 yards to the SMU offense.

The loss also knocked Houston out of the top twenty-five in rankings. Houston has the Owls number winning all four since the inception of the American Athletic Conference, and you can bet both teams will be ready.

  • OVER bettors have made a profit 4 of the Cougars last five after allowing more than 280 passing yards the previous game.
  • The Cougars are 5-0 ATS their last five after a POINT SPREAD loss.
  • UNDER bettors have cashed in the past four times, the teams have played.
  • Houston has covered 3 of their last four ATS.

Saturday’s game is at 7:00 PM EST at TDECU Stadium on campus in Houston, Texas. The CBSSN Television Network will be broadcasting.

The Opening Betting Line has Temple as 4′ point road UNDERDOGS ATS. The TOTAL is 70 points for Saturday’s contest.

Temple head coach Geoff Collins is pickup up where former coach Matt Ruhl left off as the Owls are still a formidable opponent for any team in College Football. However, they’ll probably play second fiddle to Central Florida again this season unless the Knights get upset a couple of times. Temple must get past Houston today, South Florida next week at home and then a road trip to Uconn.

The Owls offense have another chance to increase their (31.6) ppg today against a vulnerable Houston defense. Temple signal caller Anthony Russo leads a unit that ranks 6th in the AAC with (406) total yards per game. Running back Ryquell Armstead run for 142 in last weeks loss, he’s got 768 total yards on the ground this and must get touches Saturday.

The Owls defense allowed UCF 312 yards through the air last week which is more than double their season average of (147.5) Senior defensive tackle Michael Dogbe knows he must get pressure on the

Houston quarterback and most of all keep him in the pocket. Temple has allowed opponents more than 200-yards per game on the ground in five of their last six games.

Bovada.Lv, list the Temple Owls at +1,400 to win the 2018 American Athletic Conference Championship.

Major Applewhite has the Houston offense performing at an elite, but SMU held them to a season-low 31-points. The Conferences top offense averages (548.0) total yards per game with (44.7) ppg as a result. Quarterback D’Eriq King is the leader of the leagues top passing attack (315.9) yards per contest through the air, but four teams in the AAC have more yards on the ground. Wideout Marquez Stevenson (823) receiving yards on 49 catches with nine touchdowns is third in the American Athletic Conference.

Houston All American junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver has already declared for the 2019 NFL draft, and he’ll be a top ten pick; he’s back in action today after missing the past two games. However, the unit has their issues this season. Coordinator Mark D’Onofrio who once had the same title at Temple under Al Golden must have his group ready for an Owls offense that’s surging.

The Cougars defense has allowed opponents 400 or more yards in five consecutive games and the (324.0) passing yards given up which ranks among the worst in College football.

The coaching staff watched the Temple vs. Central Florida film and must find ways to make Russo uncomfortable, if you give his time he’ll throw darts.

Bovada.Lv, list the Houston Cougars at +400 to win the 2018 AAC title.

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#16 Mississippi State Bulldogs @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide NCAA Football Week-11, SEC-West Division Betting preview for Saturday, November 10, 2018.

 

Written by College Football Expert ATS Analyst Al Presto.

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The (6-3) SU/ATS Mississippi State Bulldogs beat Louisiana Tech last week 45-3 SU as twenty-three point home FAVORITES AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD in a tune-up for this week’s huge obstacle.

Mississippi State hasn’t played very well on the road this season in conference play beginning with a 28-7 loss to Kentucky as nine and a half point road FAVORITES ATS. They were expected to lose in Death Valley against LSU which happened 16-3 in a span which they dropped three of four ATS. The Bulldogs know what’s in store Saturday, they’ll be fired up and can only hope Alabama has a lingering effect from last week rivalry game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

  • The UNDER is 6-0 Mississippi State last six games vs. Teams with a winning SU record.
  • Mississippi State is 1-4 ATS the last five times the teams have played in Tuscaloosa.
  • UNDER bettors have cashed in the Bulldogs last four on the road against a team with a winning home record.
  • The Bulldogs have stayed UNDER the total their last five games.

The (9-3) SU, 6-3 ATS Alabama Crimson Tide took another step in their quest to the BCS Playoffs last week with a 29-0 win over LSU as 14-point road FAVORITES ATS. Last Saturday’s highly anticipated contest was supposed to expose a weakness in the Crimson Tide, but as usual, they proved to be too much for the opponent.

2018 heisman trophy front-runner Tua Tagovailoa threw his first interception of the season in the shutout only to prove insignificant as he went 25 of 42 for 295 yards through the air with two touchdowns.

  • Alabama is 4-1 ATS their last five against teams with a winning SU record.
  • The home team is 6-2 ATS the last eight meetings between the teams.
  • UNDER bettors have cashed in 8 of the last eleven times, the two teams have played.
  • The OVER is 3-1 Alabama last four at home.

Saturday’s game is at 3:30 PM EST at noisy Bryant-Denny Stadium on campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The CBS Television Network will be broadcasting.

The Opening Betting Line has Mississippi State as twenty-three point road UNDERDOGS ATS. The TOTAL is 53 points for Saturday’s contest.

Since taking over for current Florida Gator head coach Dan Mullen, Joe Moorhead is doing an admirable job his first year on the sideline in Starkville, Mississippi. However, Mullen brought his Florida team into Davis Wade Stadium on September 29th for a 13-6 win over the Bulldogs.

The Mississippi State offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald who can do a better job trying to beat Alabama with his legs than arm. Mississippi State has rushed for (2,077) total yards on the ground which ranks 19th in the FBS. The average (6.5) yards per play which is 20th in the nation. Running Backs Aeris Williams and Kylin hill must take some of the pressure off of Fitzgerald by catching passes out of the backfield.

The Bulldogs defense hasn’t faced an offense like they’ll see Saturday and it’s the job of coordinator Bob Shoop to have them in position to make plays. Mississippi State gives up an average of (14.6) ppg, and the (288.0) total yards per contest allowed ranks fifth in the FBS.

A key to a Bulldog upset Saturday is to somehow create a few big plays on offense, they must also sustain drives to preserve their defense.

Mississippi State has been eliminated for Conference title contention.

What else can be said about Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide football team? In twelve season’s on the sidelines he’s become a legend, and in the 2018 BCS title game showed why. With his looking for a spark he came out of the locker room with an unknown quarterback by the name of Tua Tagovailoa who led the Crimson Tide to the win. The move is trying to be replicated by Clemson, Notre Dame along with many other power five football institutes.

Although everything is in place for an Alabama vs. Georgia matchup for the 2018 title game, Saban wants to go undefeated. Alabama has scored 462 total points this season which is the best in College Football. Running Backs Najee Harris (572) yards on the ground along with Damien Harris lead the 26th ranked rushing attack in the nation. South Florida native Jerry Jeudy has (880) receiving yards which are third in the SEC.

The Crimson Tide defense accepted the challenge of LSU last week by pitching their first shutout of the season, and they sacked the Tigers quarterback five times. They’re allowing (15.9) ppg while giving up (309.2) total yards per contest. Alabama gives up (4.6) yards per play which is 10th in the FBS.

Alabama has to come out and play their style of football to remain unbeaten; with the annual Iron Bowl showdown with Auburn along with a title game vs. Georgia is looming they can’t afford to become complacent.

Bovada.Lv, list the Alabama Crimson Tide at -225 to win the 2018 SEC Championship.

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Boston Celtics @ Denver Nuggets NBA Betting preview for Monday, November 5, 2018.

       Written by National Basketball Association Betting Analyst Al Presto.

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The (6-3) SU, 4-5 ATS Boston Celtics began their five-game road trip with a 102-101 SU loss as a 3 and a half point road FAVORITE ATS to Indiana on a last-second Victor Oladipo three-point shot. Boston is two and a half games behind first-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference Atlantic division.

The Celtics will face Denver, Phoenix, Utah, and Portland before returning home on November 14th to host Chicago.

  • Boston is 2-9 ATS their last eleven as ROAD UNDERDOGS.
  • The UNDER is 4-0 Boston last five on the road.
  • The Celtics are 1-7 ATS their last eight on the road against a home team that has a home winning percentage of more than 60%.
  • UNDER bettors have cashed in the Celtics last five after an SU loss.

The (8-1) SU, 6-3 ATS Denver Nuggets are playing at an elite level the first two and a half weeks of the 2018 season. Denver beat Utah their last game 103-88 SU as four and a half point home FAVORITES ATS extending their SU winning streak to four games. The Nuggets outscored Utah 35-15 in the finals quarter to pull away from their Northwest division rivals.

Denver along with Golden State, Toronto, and Milwaukee team with one loss and all four on first in their respective divisions.

  • UNDER bettors have made profits Denver last five home games v. a team with a winning SU road record.
  • The OVER is 4-1 the last five meetings between the teams.
  • The UNDER is 4-0-1 the Nuggets last five after scoring over the century mark their previous game.
  • Denver is 4-0 ATS their last four vs. Teams with a winning percentage of more than .60%

Monday’s game is at 9:05 PM EST at Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, Colorado. The Local Television Network will be broadcasting. The Opening Betting Line has Boston as two-point road UNDERDOG ATS. The TOTAL is 209 points for Monday’s contest.

Despite losing then free agent acquisition Gordon Hayward the first game of the 2017-18 season the Boston Celtics still were a game away for making it to the NBA Finals.

With LeBron James no longer in the Eastern Conference expectations are through the roof in Beantown but theirs no certainty especially with Kawhi Leonard in Toronto. Head Coach Brad Stevens is brilliant designing schemes at both ends of the floor which is why they’re the only team in the league that gives up an average of fewer than 100 points (99.8) ppg.

The Celtics score an average of (103.9) ppg which ranks 28th in the NBA and the (48.2) rebound per contest they grab is sixth in the NBA. Point Guard Kyrie Irving leads the team in scoring with (17.9) ppg along with (5.3) assists per game. Second-year forward Jayson Tatum pulls down a team-best (7.7) rebounds per contest while scoring (15.8) ppg, second on the team.

The Celtics have bought into Stevens philosophy of defense, and it showed as they held a high powered second-ranked Milwaukee offense to 113 points in a recent four-point home win. The organization is monitoring Hayward’s minutes while he gains more confidence after recovering from his gruesome injury.

Boston must continue to clamp down on defense to get a win tonight.

Bovada.Lv, list the Boston Celtics at +135 to win the 2018-19 NBA Eastern Conference Atlantic Division.

Of all the team’s in the NBA the Denver Nuggets could have the best start of any in the league. After missing the playoffs, the past five season’s fan in the Mile High City sees a change in culture. Known for playing at a fast pace the Nuggets allow opponents (101.9) ppg third in the league on .44% shooting from the field. Leading scorer Gary Harris averages (18.9) ppg on the 14th ranked scoring offense in the NBA, and the former Michigan State star is an elite defender. Center Nikola Jokic grabs a team-high (10.0) boards per contest on the leagues fifth-ranked rebounding team.

Everyone seems to be buying into head coach Mike Malone’s system, and it’s paying dividends. Denver has won twelve in a row SU at the Pepsi Center and you can Boston can’t wait to take the court to break the streak. The Nuggets are shooting (46.6)% from the field which is tenth overall in the league. Point Guards Jamal Murray along with Monte Morris will have their work cut out defending Irving and Terry Rozier.

The Nuggets must shoot a higher percentage from the field tonight to get a win over a hungry Boston Celtics team. Power Forward Paul Millsap must defend Al Horford in the post with an aggressive style.

Bovada.Lv, list the Denver Nuggets at +275 to win the 2018-19 NBA Western Conference Northwest Division Crown.

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Falcons v Redskins: A not-so irresistible force meets a fairly immovable object

Falcons v Redskins: A not-so irresistible force meets a fairly immovable object

Two teams with short winning streaks meet in the 2018 NFL campaign’s ninth week. The Atlanta Falcons [3-4] visit FedEx Field in the nation’s capital to take on the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins [5-2]. The pressure is on the Falcons to not allow their season to slip away and the ‘Skins to consolidate their position and prove they’re a cut above the Dallas Cowboys and defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.

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Washington head coach Jay Gruden resembles the fella on Antique Roadshow who discovers he’s picked up a long-lost Vincent van Gogh masterpiece at the flea market. Both quarterback Alex Smith and tailback Adrian Peterson are castoffs that other coaches no longer wanted. Andy Reid let the 34-year-old Smith go for a song to hand his offence over to young gun Patrick Mahomes. Smith has responded with a steadfast 1561 yards passing, eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. Peterson, 33, played for both New Orleans and Arizona last season. In ten games combined, he rushed for 529 yards and two TDs. He already has 587 and four this term.

Atlanta coach Dan Quinn, two years removed from an epic Super Bowl collapse is retooling on the fly. Tevin Coleman is now the main ball carrier and Steve Sarkisian is calling the plays in his second year, from the sideline no less. Matt Ryan can still sling it. The Boston College product, now in his 11th season with the Falcons, has put up 2,335 yards passing with 15 TDs and two INTs.

Quinn’s woes stem mainly from the defence, specifically the secondary. Of the last 10 offensive TDs scored against the Dirty Birds, eight were passes. It’s not that the defensive backs are being stretched, either. Seven came from inside the red zone. They just can’t cover anyone.

Atlanta is relatively healthy. RB Devonta Freeman remains on the IR with a groin problem. Kicker Matt Bryant is questionable for the game with a hamstring problem. Emergency replacement Giorgio Tavecchio was perfect against Philadelphia last week, with two extra points and three field goals, one for 56 yards.

Washington isn’t so lucky. Three starters and as many second-stringers are listed as questionable for the game. Wideout Jamison Crowder, left tackle Trent Williams and right cornerback Quinton Dunbar comprise the first group, RB Chris Thompson, left corner Adonis Alexander and weakside linebacker Ryan Anderson the other.

The LINE favours the Redskins by 1.5 points in this one. The TOTAL is 47.5. Something has to give there. Sarkisian’s offence racked up 30 points or more in four of their last six but went nine points UNDER against another NFC East opponent, the New York Giants, last week. Washington hasn’t conceded 20 points in their last three. They did surrender 43 to New Orleans before the streak began.

Atlanta is OVER in their last four after failing to cover but they’re UNDER in six of their last seven following a STRAIGHT UP win. The ‘Skins are UNDER in their last four after surrendering more than 250 yards in the air and their last five against losing teams. They’re also 5-0 AGAINST THE SPREAD vs teams with a losing road record, but that’s countered by the road team in this series sitting 5-1 ATS entering this tilt.

There’s a strong case for the UNDER in this one. Washington’s a top defence at home and Atlanta stalled in their last outing, rescued by a journeyman placekicker. On the other hand, the teams have alternated between OVER and UNDER in the last six and it’s OVER’s turn.

In the end, I think it’s simple. Atlanta can score and still lose. Washington doesn’t score much but consistently wins. Take the Redskins and give the points.

Free Pick: WASHINGTON -1.5
2018-19 NFL ATS Betting Predictions
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Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.

 

Fisher, Malzahn relive 2014 national championship when Texas A&M visit Auburn

Fisher, Malzahn relive 2014 national championship when Texas A&M visit Auburn

Two schools with a shared legacy as college football dark horses meet this weekend. Texas A&M were named national champions three times but the last was in 1939. Auburn has been honoured five times but it’s complicated.

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The Aggies’ most recent claims to success are more dubious. Johnny Manziel’s freshman Heisman that turns out to be his career peak in the US although he’s coming on strong in the CFL with Montreal. The school’s successful courtship of former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher wasn’t exactly Ohio State landing Urban Meyer, although it may turn out to be more ethical in the long run. I said maybe.

Auburn only lays claim to two of its five proffered championships but has strong arguments it should have won in two other seasons. Miami leapfrogged them in 1983 after squeaking past Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. The War Eagles went undefeated in 1993 but were on probation. There was also the 2014 National Championship game at the Rose Bowl in which Auburn were nipped by Florida State 34-31 SU. The coaches in that game will be facing off again at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Can Gus Malzahn claim a small measure of revenge by knocking off Fisher’s No.25 A&M?

Jimbo Fisher had the better of it in 2014 but may be feeling nervous this season. He recently accused Gus Malzahn of employing “illegal tactics” on offence. [Photo: Kevin C Cox]

It won’t be easy even with the home advantage. The LINE moved in the Aggies’ favour early in the week. The Tigers were giving six points. Then it dipped to four. A&M won at Jordan-Hare in 2016 although Auburn returned the favour in College Station last year. In fact, the visiting team has won the past five meetings STRAIGHT UP. The winner is 3-2 AGAINST THE SPREAD in that stretch with the three wins coming in the most recent games.

Both teams are 5-3 SU. The Aggies lost to Mississippi State last week. Auburn were idle but ended a two-game slide the previous Saturday against Ole Miss. Both teams are 5-3. The shifting line could be explained by Gus Malzahn’s announcement that leading rusher Jartavious ‘Boobee’ Whitlow and starting right tackle Jack Driscoll are day-to-day. Jimbo Fisher’s biggest concern is reserve wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon’s foot surgery, which rules out his 15 catches and 221 yards until the bowl season.

The TOTAL [49] is conflicted by recent trends. Texas A&M is 4-0 with the UNDER in their last four games, all SEC clashes. On the other hand, Auburn exploits bye weeks very well. They’ve gone OVER three times and pushed once in their last four opportunities.

Overall, the road team is 6-0 ATS in the last half-dozen encounters, with the underdog 3-0-1 ATS.  A good deal depends on whether Boobee Whitlow is fit for the game and if not, whether Kam Martin and Shaun shivers can step up in his absence. Even so, the Aggies are coming off a loss and Auburn is rested, challenging the trend of road team’s winning streak in this matchup. With doubt on both sides rather than confidence, I feel safest risking my money on the UNDER in this one.

Free Pick: Texas A&M v Auburn: UNDER [49]
2018-19 NCAA Football ATS Betting Predictions
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Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.