Thursday, September 20, 2012

Drake's Divination: Week 4 - Psychology Week

Wow after last week, I feel a bit like Arkansas. Things got pretty brutal here at the Divination. I think I will take a page out of the book of modern Psychology and blame it all on my father. See, this week he parlayed all my picks. And, well, look what happened. Thanks Dad, now why don't you go parlay the other guys' picks so I can catch back up.

Let's look at the carnage that was week 3:

Week 3 Recap

Virginia Tech @ Pitt
Line: VT -10
Result: Pitt 35 - 17
Divination: VT 33 - 7
Quote: I should have known how the day was going to go after this one. WTF VT? Seriously? What I found out half way through the broadcast was Pitt had beaten the last three ranked VT teams. Now it's four. My research team has been fired.

Ohio @ Marshall
Line: Ohio -6.5
Result: Ohio 27 - 24
Divination: Ohio 42 - 30
Quote: Ohio just couldn't get it going in this game. They needed late heroics to pull it out. I don't know about the MAC, man, I just don't know.

BYU @ Utah
Line: BYU -4
Result: Utah 24 - 21
Divination: BYU 30 - 17
Quote: Well, I guess that makes Utah St the king of Utah football.

Houston @ UCLA
Line: UCLA -17
Result: UCLA 37 - 6
Divination: UCLA 52 - 33
Quote: I thought Houston would have some trouble here, but Christ on a cracker, 6 points? And not until the 4th? Well, we missed the over but got the pick. Even the single bright spot for the week isn't so bright.

Notre Dame @ MSU
Line: MSU -6
Result: ND 20 - 3
Divination: MSU 24 - 17
Quote: I guess all you need to do against MSU is stack the box and try and make Maxwell beat you with his arm. Which clearly ain't gonna happen. I'm scared about next weekend's UM/ND game.

The Divination Record
This week
SU: 2-3
ATS: 1-4

SU: 10-5
ATS: 6-7

Week 4 Divination
Alrighty kids, let's see if we can rebound from last week.

Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-3, 0-1 MAC) @ (21) Michigan State Spartans (2-1, 0-0 B1G)
Saturday, 9/22, 3:30 ET Big Ten Network
Line: MSU -33

In a little sweet vengeance from week one, Eastern Michigan gains membership as the newest member of my "riding bad teams to victory" betting strategy. Last week I was forced to abandon UMass (who of course came through again) due to my staunch "Don't bet on Michigan games" rule and you saw what happened to my results. Why do they make the list you ask? Well, you won't see UMass or Colorado this week because they play Miami, OH and Wash St respectively and I just can't trust either of those two school.

Bottom line is this: MSU is pissed off. They got handled at home and Dantonio don't like that, man. He's going to challenge his offense to get back on track. Add in the fact that EMU boasts the 124th ranked run defense and you have a recipe for lots of Le'Veon Bell. Sprinkle on the fact EMU is 110th on offense and it's going to be ugly. MSU wins and covers easily, 42 - 0.

Oregon State Beavers (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12) @ (19) UCLA Bruins (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12)
Saturday, 9/22, 3:30 ET ABC/ESPN2
Line: UCLA -8

The line for this game keeps going down, which is just fine with me. It started out at -11, was at -9.5 when I looked on Tuesday and now is at -8. Maybe I'm going to protest NV Nole having the Beavers in his Top 25 ballot, I don't know. What I do know is that they beat a terrible, terrible Wisconsin team at home by only 3 points. And that is the extent of their resume.

On the other hand UCLA is 3-0 ATS and has the 5th best rushing attack in college football. Wisconsin is 96th. I'm starting to believe in this UCLA team a bit. I don't think they're winning the PAC-12, but they will win a lot of games this year. And this week is no execption. Bruins win 33 - 17.

Utah State Aggies (2-1, 0-0 WAC) @ Colorado State Rams (1-2, 0-0 MWC)
Saturday, 9/22, 7:00 ET
Line: Utah St -13

We added a third team earlier and now we add a fourth to my running list of bad teams: Colorado State. Yep. Their sole win was a 5 pt home victory over Colorado. Two weeks ago CSU lost to 1-AA ND State by three scores. Now I know ND St is the top ranked team in the FCS, but still.  I'm dubbing this the Colorado Derivative Rule. If you struggle against or get beat by Colorado, you're not a good team.

Utah State on the other hand is pretty good. They just about handled business at Camp Randall last weekend. Yes, I know I said Wiscy is bad, but Camp Randall is a tough place to play. And the Utes are 3-0 ATS. They have a good defense and shouldn't have any trouble in this game. Utah St 30 - 13.

(22) Arizona Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12) @ (3) Oregon Ducks (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12)
Saturday, 9/22, 10:30 ET, ESPN
Line: Oregon -23.5

I'm starting to think I have some kind of Stockholm Syndrome thing with Rich Rod. This is the third time Arizona has made an appearance in my blog. It makes me ponder where the Wolverines would be now, in his fifth season, if he been given the tools and made the right choice at defensive coordinator. Let's just move on.

This game promises to be a shoot out. These two teams are second and ninth in number of plays run on the year, which total 539. That's crazy town. At the very least the game should be fun to watch. Lots of offensive guys looking to the sideline, then running like mad men for 30 seconds, then hurrying up to the line to do it again. Tempo baby!

Three things are directing my pick in this game:
First is QB play. How will OU's freshman quarterback handle his first PAC-12 game and first real opponent? On the other side, does Zona's Sr. signal caller say, "Auzten. Been there done that" and keep his composure? I'm going with the senior.
Second, is Turn Over Margin. So far on the season the Ducks are negative where the Wildcats are positive. That will be a factor in this game.
And third, Oregon is 0-3 ATS on the season. They've won, but may be overvalued a bit. The only spread Zona hasn't covered was its first against the Toledo Rockets who are 3-0 ATS.

When it's all said and done, the Wildcats keep it closer than the Ducks like. My man, Lionel may not be too happy with me, but take Arizona and the points. Oregon 42 - 37.

(10) Clemson Tigers (3-0, 0-0 ACC) @ (4) Florida State Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 ACC)
Saturday, 9/22, 8:00 ET, ABC
Line: FSU -14

Huge game in the ACC. The winner of this game is likely headed to a BCS game. I know its the fourth week of the season, but look at the rest of the ACC. Putrid. Not could it be a good BCS game, but THE BCS game.

For me this game comes down to a couple things. First, there is no denying that FSU defense is good. It's ranked number one. They've only allowed three points all year. Granted they haven't played anyone yet, but they did dismantle Wake Forest who isn't totally inept.  The other thing, like the Arizona game, is Turn Over Margin. Right now Clemson is averaging a 1.33 TOM/game. Their defense is creating turnovers and the offense is hanging on to the ball. And let's remember E.J. Manual is susceptible to a killer turnover in big games now and then.

From a betting standpoint I like these three things. First, FSU is 2-1 ATS (with the one loss being a crazy 67 pt spread). Second, Clemson is 1-2 ATS (the one win being against that terrible, terrible Auburn team that Vegas CyClown loves so much). Finally the last five games have gone like this: Clemson win, FSU win, Clemson win, FSU win, Clemson win. Yep, it's FSU's turn. I don't think 14 points is nearly enough. NV Nole gets celebratory drunk after FSU rolls, 38 - 16.

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