recd in email, just passing on. Gavazzi has been around forever,used to sell here also. IDK his overall success at picking winners. (cfb picks are 3-9 so far though going by record of each labeled play)
Saturday, Sept 18th
Joe Gavazzi’s DOG of the DAY! (1-1)
San Diego State (+9-) 7:00 PM ET
We take advantage of a mid-week line movement when money flowed in on the Utes due to San Diego State QB Brookshire (foot) downgraded to questionable. But you or I could hand off the ball to Aztec RB Bell, who is averaging 7.5 YPR. Some may look for the “bounce” after the Utes were upset by BYU in the “Holy War” last week, 26-17. But the Utes are historically just 2-5 ATS following a clash with BYU. All that aside, this selection is based on the well proven premise of “HOME DOG WITH BETTER DEFENSE”, and in this case, running game as well. The Utes love to run the ball at 191/6.8. That won’t play vs. an Aztec run defense allowing just 49/2.2, along with a front 7 that has 9 sacks in 2 games. When San Diego State has the ball, they will rely on their own strong ground game averaging 260/5.4. It should do business all day long against a Utah front that just allowed 219/4.8 to BYU last weekend. Last week at Arizona, the Aztecs played to an “OVER” in a 38-14 winning final. That dropped their record to 22-5 ATS UNDER of late, a strong indicator of how well the Aztecs have controlled recent games with their defense and running game.
Joe Gavazzi’s STEAMROLLER of the Week (1-1)
Oklahoma (-22) Noon ET
30 years ago, people would have trampled each other getting to the betting window to say “Gimme’ Nebraska +22” in this hard-fought, historical rivalry. That is no longer the case this week as these once BIG 12 rivals, who have not played each other since 2010, have gone in opposite directions. Those who believe Nebraska flashed a “buy sign” in the last two weeks with victories over Fordham and the declining Buffalo program, by combined scores of 80-10, are sadly mistaken. Clearly they have forgotten Nebraska’s opening night journey to Illinois, a 30-22 loss against an Illinois team who has since lost to UTSA and UVA. The truth is that Nebraska still has HUGE ISSUES. Let’s begin with a defense that will be totally exposed by Oklahoma QB Rattler (77% C, 6/2) in his first two games. And the Sooners DL will feast on the Huskers OL which gave up 5 sacks to Illinois. Sooners are vying for a Top 4 berth in the CFP standings. And if last week’s rout over Western Carolina by a score of 76-0 on this field (covered by 24) is any indication, there will be no mercy.
Joe Gavazzi’s THE HUNTER GETS CAPTURED BY THE GAME (1-1)
Kent State (+22) 3:30 PM ET
Historians may point to Iowa’s 2-0 ATS record as Big Home Chalk in 2018 and 2019 against Northern Iowa and Mid Tenn the last two times they defeated Iowa State. And yes, there were look aheads in those games (to Wisconsin and Michigan) unlike the fact that lowly Colorado State is on the horizon next week for the Hawkeyes. But the numbers simply don’t add up for an Iowa team, off to a 2-0 SU, ATS start, and now 8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS on the trot, against an invader like Kent State. Let’s begin with their false feelings of grandeur after last week’s 27-17 victory over Iowa State. The Hawkeyes were outrushed and outpassed for a combined 339-173 Iowa State advantage YET WON THE GAME BECAUSE OF A +4 NET TO MARGIN! The visiting Golden Flashes feature one of the most prolific offenses in the nation. Yes, there may be concerns that they scored just 10 points against a similarly staunch defense as Iowa in their 41-10 loss to the Aggies opening week. They followed that last week with a confidence-building 60-10 wipeout of VMI (covered by 41, +4 Net TOs) in amassing 698 total yards. With the coaching of 4th year leader Lewis and an offensive attack led by QB Crum, the offense returns virtually intact from a unit that averaged 50/607 LY. Have confidence that Kent gets the cover with the back door swinging wide open as Iowa has been celebrating their victory over State for the entire week and now goes from the role of Hunter to Hunted.
Joe Gavazzi’s FAUX or FO’ REAL Game of the Week (0-2)
Fresno State (+11-) 10:45 PM ET
UCLA has had two weeks to bask in their 2-0 SU, ATS press clippings, including their win on this field two weeks ago, 38-27 vs. LSU. That’s not quite as impressive as it might seem based on the fact that LSU could not bounce last week putting up just 306 yards as 39 point chalk vs. lowly McNeese. Meanwhile Hawaii, their 1st victim, was failing miserably at Oregon State being “200 Clubbed” by the Beavers for 558 yards, while being outrushed 256-88. Bottom line: not ready to believe the Bruins are FO’ REAL. Fresno is clearly another story. The Bulldogs enter at 2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS led by QB Haener (74% C, 4/0) and a solid defense that has allowed just 246 YPG. Granted, the combined 108-10 wipe outs of U. Conn and Cal Poly were simply stat builders. The real indicator came two weeks ago when they traveled to Oregon (you remember them, the team who just upset Ohio State as 14 point dog), outgained the Ducks 373-358, and lost by only 7, despite committing 3 turnovers. That game definitely makes them FO’ REAL.
Joe Gavazzi’s THIS B. U. D. (BIG UGLY DOG) is for you! (0-2)
Northern Illinois (+27) Noon ET
After defeating a better MAC opponent than this (Western Michigan 47-14 in Wk #1), and beating up on Washington (31-10, 342-50 overland) who could only manage 7 points Wk #1 vs. Montana, this is a spot where Michigan could be looking dead ahead at their 9 game BIG 10 slate to follow. That would be a mistake against a Northern Illinois team who is a totally different animal from last season. After going 0-5 SU in 2020, the Huskies have parlayed the addition of Michigan State transfer QB Lombardi (this will be his Super Bowl), and the fact that 3rd year HC Hammock sacrificed last season by playing his younger players. That tandem of events has paid off handsomely in the opening weeks. A 22-21 upset (as +19) over Georgia Tech was followed, as predicted on these pages, by a flat 1st half against Wyoming who led them 42-16. This edition of the “never give up” Huskies then scored 27 straight points to finish with a “200 Club” offensive performance in outrushing and outpassing the Cowboys by 82 yards in overcoming 3 turnovers. Yet all the linemaker sees is the 2-0 SU, ATS start by Michigan. This B.U.D.s for you!
Joe Gavazzi’s WTF (Wrong Team Favored) Game of the Week (1-1)
Memphis (+3) 4:00 PM ET
Bad situational spot for a Miss State team who, in their opener, trailed LA Tech by 20 in the 4th only to storm back for a 35-34 win as -23. The 24-10 win vs. NC State last week was far easier on the scoreboard than in reality as they were outgained 335-316 but profited from a +3 Net TO margin. Now thinking highly of themselves, they travel to play a highly-motivated regional rival, Memphis, but with one eye ahead to their next 3 games in which they face LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama. As a result, they are a classic WTF fade. After a 42-17 win vs. Nicholls, Memphis proved their offensive explosiveness to build an almost insurmountable lead vs. Arkansas State before surviving a 55-50 win (no cover) against the Red Wolves. The explosive Tigers rushed and passed for at least 263 yards in amassing 680 total yards. The loss of 4 year starter QB Brady White is a distant memory. Frosh QB Seth Henigan has beaten out AZ transfer QB Gunnell. He was spectacular in each of the first two games including 5 TDP vs. Arkansas State last week. Both the defense and offense figure to improve meaningfully under the direction of 2nd year HC Silverfield, who directed the team to an 8-3 SU mark last year.
Joe Gavazzi’s PERCEPTION/REALITY Game of the Week (0-2)
Florida International (+21) 7:00 PM ET
Simply not impressed with TTRR under 3rd year HC Wells who has posted a pair of 4 win seasons. Last year, in the role of Big Chalk, they beat Houston Baptist by 2 and Kansas by 3. The showing to date has been anything but inspiring. In WK #1, they took advantage of a +3 Net TO margin to storm from behind and beat Houston by 17. Last week’s 28-22 win vs. SFA (as -32) saw them lose the stats 375-363. With the BIG 12 slate ahead, including Texas, WVU and TCU in the next 3 weeks, it will be hard to focus on this visitor. The real reason for this Perception/Reality play however is on a Florida Intl team who perhaps suffered more from the impact of COVID than any other team. With only 8 returning starters in 2020, they additionally had 45 players miss up to 55 days due to the virus. That winless record dropped their power rating tremendously setting up, what I believe to be, one of the “Hidden Gems” of the 2021 season. A confidence-building opening day win over Long Island, 48-10, gave them great promise when they entertained Texas State last week, a team who had won only 4 road games in the previous 6 years. My selection on Florida Intl was a highly disappointing Penthouse Picks loss. They led virtually the entire game, held a 400-336 yardage advantage, but suffered a -3 Net TO margin (there’s that statistic again), and lost 23-17 in overtime. With their reality much better than their perception, we gladly step in with these Cats as Big Dog against a Red Raider team who continues to underperform and will be clearly looking ahead.
JOE GAVAZZI’S WEEKLY NFL SELECTIONS
Sunday, Sept 12th
Joe Gavazzi’s NFL LONE RANGER Game of the Week (1-0)
Minnesota Vikings (+3-) 4:05 PM ET
The Lone Ranger kicked off his NFL Season with the Saints stunning upset of Green Bay, 38-3. This selection is even more contrary making it every bit as strong. When Young Blood Sports gave out “Arizona (money line) +134”, I thought it was a ballsy call considering the Tennessee pedigree. Final score: Arizona 38-13 as 3 point pup. Off that huge road victory, everybody and their dog named hairy will be lining up on the Cards at home laying this miniscule number, and why not! Today they are being visited by a quickly eroding Minnesota Vikings team who was outrushed badly 149-67 by Cincinnati in the Vikings 24-27 road loss. Remember at mid-season last year, when our once favorite NFL money machine, Vikings HC Zimmer, stood 68-38 ATS? Well, his Vikings are now on a 0-8 ATS slide and his marks of 30-15 ATS/loss and 47-27 ATS non-div are quickly eroding. Why would anybody join you and I and the Lone Ranger in betting the Vikings today? They wouldn’t … unless they wanted to catch this winning contrary ticket.
Joe Gavazzi’s NFL CRUSHER of the Week (0-1)
Denver Broncos (-6) 1:00 PM ET
Jags crumbled like burnt toast in the opener behind new HC Meyer and rookie QB Lawrence. Against a Houston team who is projected to win only 5 games (lowest in the NFL), the Jags were never in the game losing 37-21 and being outrushed 160-76. Denver HC Fangio extended his mark to 14-7 ATS vs. non-div foes when he proved his selection of QB Bridgewater, now 37-14 ATS, TRGS, to be the perfect complement to his top rated defense. The 14 point win at NYG came with an overland advantage of 165/5.9 to 60/3.0. Note that in NFL games where the line is 6 or less, the team who wins outright has a 90% chance to beat the spread (see “Keep on Trackin’”). Jags fall to 0-17 SU and the Broncos get the money.
Joe Gavazzi’s NFL OVER/UNDER Game of the Week (0-1)
OVER (55) LA Chargers 4:25 PM ET
Total has moved from 51 to 55 on early money seeing the same thing as this bureau. Cowboys had a 58/18 pass/run ratio against Tampa Bay in putting up 29/451. LAC had a 47/29 ratio and put up 334 PY in their win at Washington. With quality passers QB Prescott (Dallas) and QB Herbert (LAC), why not another shoot out for each of these teams. Dallas DL miseries add fuel to this fire.