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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 6 Analysis/Review/Notes-Look Aheads


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Oct 10, 2018
   
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Saturday, October 06, 2018 LSU vs. Florida (NCAAF) - 3:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -125 LSU Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Earlybird Dependable (LOSS)

Yep, I'm glad the mushes are on Florida this week. Regardless of venue, this should be an "in the trenches" type SEC game. The difference here has to be the strength of schedule. Even though the Gators are 9th in scoring defense (LSU 12th), it was against competition like Charleston Southern, Colorado, Tennessee & Mississippi State. The toughest team they faced was Kentucky who gave them their only loss of the season. In the important rushing defense category, the Tigers are a head above Florida giving up under 100 yards per game & less than 3 yards per carry. I believe we also have the better QB. Joe Burrow is definitely more efficient than the Gators' Feleipe Franks. New HC Dan Mullen (1st year after a 9-year tenure @ Mississippi State) is in a transitional season & it shows here. Mullen actually played Division III football for Ursinus in Pa..

My bottom line says HC Ed Orgeron now has a stronger nucleus in his 3rd year for the Bayou Bengals. His QB has been solid on the road in hostile environments. He wasn't too shabby when he went to Auburn & threw for 242 yards. They also had a quality neutral site win over Miami of Florida on opening weekend. For this matchup, L.S.U. has had Florida's number winning 4 out of the last 5. Most recently, they shut down late drives by Franks last season when they held on for a 17-16 win. This is a game about numbers. Key numbers tell us this series has been really close. The past 4 meetings have resulted in wins by a grand total of 17 points. I love the momentum the Tigers have built. Expect that to continue to build as the Tigers make the proper 2nd-half adjustments as DC Dave Arande (spent 3 yrs. @ Wisconsin) shuts the Gators' "O" with his suffocating 3-4 alignment. Let's go to Ben Hill Griffen Stadium in Gainesville to play the L.S.U. TIGERS as my CFB Earlybird Dependable!

Northern Illinois vs. Ball State (NCAAF) - 3:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -132 Northern Illinois Rating: 7* Mike's CFB Public Missed Perception Play (WIN)

Everyone's looking @ how well Ball State looked last week. However, those 52 points (446 passing yards) registered were also versus a vulnerable Golden Flashes' defense. Northern Illinois may not look like much if you skim the surface & over-emphasize 2-3 SU record. But upon further investigation, you'll find 2 losses on the road versus Power 5 conferences (Big 10/ACC). You'll ALSO find they're a perfect 2-0 SU inside the MAC & atop of the West Division. HC Rod Carey (in his 6th season) has just 1 losing season (2015 @ 5-7) since coming to DeKalb. He's built a 5-0 SU since that time against Ball State. In fact, his overall record coaching in the MAC is a super solid 34-8 SU. Going back 9 years in this series has also produced "zero" wins for the Cardinals. I'm looking for road-tested NIU to shine here as MAC games are just what the doctor ordered to get their offense back in gear. Remember, this game is always a rivalry. Each year, the winner of this game is awarded the Bronze Stalk Trophy. On the defensive front, DC Jeff Knowles 4-3 alignment has started to kick in. After a shaky start last week, they held the Eastern Michigan offense scoreless for the last 51 minutes as well as not yielding a first down on 9 consecutive series after those early scores. Look for them to pressure QB Riley Neal into mistakes. OC Mike Uremovich has used sophomore RB Tre Harbison sparingly (36 carries) in the 1st four games. It looks like he's sprung as he ran the rock 32 times against EMU for 136 yards. My bottom line says the Huskies with an established ground game & a stingy defense should not disappoint. Let's go to Schuemann Stadium in Muncie to play the NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES as my CFB Public Missed Perception Play.

Kentucky vs. Texas A&M (NCAAF) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -205 Texas A&M Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Saturday Night Bailout Play (WIN)

The Aggies may not look the part @ 3-2 SU. However, a 28-26 home loss to Clemson saw them post 430 passing yards. Two weeks later, they put up close to 400 total yards (out-rushed the Crimson Tide 130-109) versus Tosh Lupoi's aggressive 3-4 for top-ranked Alabama. New HC Jimbo Fisher has 16 veteran starters (55 returning lettermen) returning & now faces a familiar face in Kentucky HC Mark Stoops (Stoops was DC under Fisher @ Florida State). This game represents the 1st meeting between both schools since 1952! The 5-0 SU Wildcats (best start since 1977) may be undefeated to date, but closer examination reveals they've only won 1 of their last 10 meetings SU with teams from the SEC West. Even though it looks like Kentucky's scoring defense is top-caliber, they've faced some weak offenses overall during their current winning streak. Texas A&M is also a perfect 3-0 ATS @ home under Fisher who should have his troops sky-high after the Arkansas game which clearly indicated a look-ahead flat spot. My bottom line says that "Lexington's Finest" shouldn't have a full tank after 2 emotional SEC home wins versus Mississippi State & South Carolina. This Wildcats' squad has started quick now 4 of the last 5 seasons. So what's the BEST SU record for ANY of those years? Try a disappointing 7-6 all under current HC Mark Stoops. They haven't proved they can win against the west division or anywhere during the later stages of any season under Stoops. Even though they'll likely get to 8 or 9, they're currently set to take on the intimidating "12th man" in College Station during Prime Time Saturday. Let's get pumped up as we go to Kyle Field to play the TEXAS A&M AGGIES as my CFB Saturday Night Bailout Play!

NOTES: Close to a sweep for us but L.S.U. got outplayed down the stretch as we settled for a 2-1 day. One of the true stories building up for the rest of the season has to be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. HC Brian Kelly benched QB Brandon Wimbush in favor of sophomore Ian Book & it has paid BIG dividends. They're 6-0 (for the 4th time in the last quarter century) & will be favored in all 6 games the rest of the way. They're currently ranked 5th in the Amway Coaches' Poll (for what its worth) & entertain Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon @ 2:30 PM. ND 22-point margin of victory @ Virginia Tech was their largest against a ranked opponent since their white-washing of John McKay's U.S.C. Trojans 51-0 back in 1966. If the Irish can find an effective replacement for OLG Alex Bars (season-ending knee surgery), it will be interesting to see how far the offense leads them.

However, much depends on the post-season rankings of Stanford & Michigan & if Virginia Tech runs the table & wins the ACC. Playing in their favor would be losses by either Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson or West Virginia. I still feel that 1-loss Michigan can still get in IF they run the table in the Big Ten AND 2 or more undefeated teams lose. Keep in mind that the overall rating of each Power 5 conference will matter in determining the Top 4 teams for the playoffs. This week's games to keep an eye on are: Pittsburgh-Notre Dame, Washington-Oregon, Georgia-L.S.U., Michigan State-Penn State & Wisconsin-Michigan. Be back @ VegasTopDogs & click article (upper right corner) each to get that feel for the upcoming week as well as recaps. We'll see you Saturday for another premium package winning week!

Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 CFB Overall Seasonal Record: 10-6 for a not too shabby 63%
 


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