Bully The Bookie: 09-22


First, lets look at week 4 of college football, where I see two developing programs getting slightly disrespected by Vegas on the road this week.

THE ‘EARN SOME MEAN GREEN’ GAME

North Texas Mean Green (3-0, 2-1 ATS) @ Liberty Flames (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Williams Stadium, Lynchburg, VA, Saturday September 22nd, 6 P.M EST

Spread: North Texas -13, O/U 65

Who vs Who? Yeah, fair enough, but hear me out. North Texas Mean Green, a program branded after ‘Mean’ Joe Greene, the famous Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive End who graduated from North Texas, will put the flames out in Liberty this weekend. 3rd year coach Seth Littrell has improved this team every year he’s been there. They recently joined the Conference USA in 2013, which is a major step for the program. Followed up by Littrell's second season, where he takes the program to the conference championship. Now, they'll be going to their 3rd straight bowl game at the end of this season, after a hot 3-0 start.

Most recently, the Mean Green defeated the only major 5 conference team last week in Arkansas. North Texas was able to pull off a 44-17 beat down, despite being 6 point underdogs last week on the road to an SEC school. They even showed off the whole play book by fooling the Razorbacks into a nasty punt return TD.

North Texas is on a mission. They want their first C-USA ship and Coach Littrell wants his first bowl win. They have the talent to do so and the Liberty Flames will not be scorching anyone in this fireproof program.

Liberty is an Independent FCS school. Not a major conference, not a mid-major FBS conference but all the way at the bottom of Division I football - FCS. Liberty may be making the necessary steps to becoming a true division 1 program, however, the first few years of an independent school is tough and you're going to have to roll with the punches.

North Texas is headed in a strong direction and Liberty is in the midst of a rebuild stage. The Mean Green is a strong, potentially 10 win team that will come out of the gates hot and keep the foot on the pedal. 13 points is not enough on this spread.

THE PICK: NORTH TEXAS -13

PREDICTION: MEAN GREEN 38 - FLAMES 20

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South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1, 1-1 ATS) @ Vanderbilt Commodores (2-1, 3-0 ATS)

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN, Saturday September 22nd, 4 P.M EST

Spread: South Carolina -2.5, O/U 53.5

Gooo What?!

South Carolina flew under everyone's radar last year and by the looks of this minuscule 2.5 spread, they’re being slept on again. They’re coming off a cancelled game due to Hurricane Florence, and the week before, they were walked off the field by Georgia, their SEC east rival. For the last number of years, SEC East football has been much weaker than the SEC West, which sometimes makes it easy to forget about certain programs in the East. The Gamecocks came 2nd in the SEC East last year, only behind #2 ranked Georgia. They are tough team with a tough schedule every year.

Vanderbilt is a school of nerds who weren't smart enough to get into Ivy league schools (also, unreal baseball team). Business Insider has them ranked as the 5th highest SAT score in America. As history shows, low SAT scores usually correlate with strong football performance.

The Commodores two wins this season have come against weaker programs in Middle Tenn State and Nevada U. Somehow, Vandy hung around with Notre Dame last week (losing 22-17).

Quick Stats:

South Carolina 4-0-1 ATS last 5 conference road games

Vanderbilt 1-6-1 ATS last 8 conference games

South Carolina is clearly the better team with a spread that's less than a field goal. I’m thinking Vegas is trying to trap the bettor. Sin City wants you to 2nd guess yourself. They want you to think about the close game that Vandy just played with Notre Dame. Hoping you think that maybe, just maybe the Commodores could pull this game out of a hat. WRONG. Don’t get sucked in. I believe the spread should be more like a TD for the Gamecocks. And if the spread was -7, I would still bet South Carolina.

THE PICK: SOUTH CAROLINA -2.5

PREDICTION: GAMECOCKS 27 - COMMODORES 13

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Extra College Road Warriors

Michigan State Spartans @ Indiana University Hoosiers

Pick: Michigan State -5 as they travel to Indiana University for their BIG10 opener

TCU Horned Frogs Football @ Texas Longhorns University

Pick: TCU -3.5 as they go into Longhorn country for a BIG12 showdown

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NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL LOCK

New England Patriots (1-1, 1-1 ATS) @ Detroit Lions (0-2, 1-1 ATS)

Ford Field, Detroit, MI, Sunday September 23nd, 8:20 P.M EST

Spread: New England -6.5, O/U 51.5

It’s the ultimate clash of characters - recovering doper and NFL bad boy Josh Gordon ‘going long’ for the poster boy of the NFL, Tom Brady. This week the Patriots added talented WR Josh Gordon to their depleted receiving depth chart. While the Patriots signing of the problematic receiver isn’t surprising, what comes next may be. Gordon has been known for causing problems here and there but also has been known for making defensive backs scratch their heads. I’m just hoping he stays off the weed so that the star wideout stays on the field to show what he can do.

Whether he's off or on the ganj this Sunday, Josh Gordon will not be much of a factor. He’ll only have 3 or 4 practices with the team before suiting up. Realistically, Brady's brittle body will likely only practice in 1 or 2 of those days, thus making it hard for Gordon to click with Brady.

So, why this game is a lock??

In the Belichick era, the Patriots are 49-24-1 ATS following a loss. AND when the Patriots have lost by 10+ points in the Belichick era, they’ve followed with 21-6 ATS. Crazy bounce back numbers. The Pats are resilient.

Secondly, this game is the Sunday Night Football game. Under the lights for Tom Brady and the Patriots, that’s enough to put fear in the opponent. In Brady’s last 18 road games that were prime time, the Pats have gone 13-5 ATS.

Lastly, Matt Patricia. It has been a rough start for his first year as head coach with the Lions. Patricia started coaching under Belichick in 2004. Over the last 5 years, he has tediously worked his way up from defensive coordinator. This is significant because their will be mind games all game long to make the narrative even more interesting. When Belichick has faced his former underlings, Bill is 12-6.

Obvious bounce game for NFL’s best dynasty. New England will take care of business at Ford Field on Sunday Night.

THE PICK: NEW ENGLAND -6.5

PREDICTION: PATRIOTS 34 - LIONS 24

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EXTRA NFL Games:

Pick: Oakland Raiders +3 against the Dolphins.. Miami is too hot and raiders are too cold. It’ll switch this Sunday.

Pick: LA Rams -7 against the Chargers. The battle of Hollywood will be handled by the Rams crazy powered O.