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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 7 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Oct 18, 2021
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Saturday, October 16, 2021 Fresno State vs. Wyoming (NCAAF) - 3:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-110 Wyoming Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS) It maybe easy to play the bubble-burst theory since Wyoming just suffered their 1st loss of the season last week when it fell to Air Force in Colorado Springs 24-14. Yes, it appears like HC Kalen Deboer (2nd season) 4-2 SU Fresno State Bulldogs' squad has the upper hand with a road win @ UCLA (40-37) & a near miss @ Oregon earlier (31-24). I'm not sure if 2nd-year DC William Inge (came over from Indiana LY) implementation of 4-2-5 defensive scheme has taken full root. They looked confused a bit last week as a double digit favorites @ Hawaii. The result was Todd Graham's Rainbow Warriors pulled out an outright upset 27-24 due to a weak 4 INT performance by QB Jake Haener. The last time these 2 hooked up @ this venue in 17' saw FSU grit out a close 13-7 triumph. I feel the Fresno State rushing defense can be had as Hawaii sustained drives last game & amassed 232 yards (5.3 YPR) on the ground. I look for a low-scoring game here as the Cowboys' "D" are giving up 14 PPG @ home this season. My bottom line says I'll gladly grab the senior-laden team with 21 out of 22 starters back on both sides of the ball versus a team that's had issues with high-altitude venues. Last season, they lost @ Nevada 37-26 & @ New Mexico 49-39 as 12 1/2-point favorites. Now FSU travels 7,100 feet above sea level. I look for their defense to be gassed in the 2nd half. Crunching the numbers show HC Craig Bohl (8th year) is 28-14 SU @ home & an impressive 8-1 ATS if @ home & coming off 2 wins in his last 3 games. They take on a Bulldogs' team that's already failed both chances @ covering as a favorite in Mountain West Conference games this season. Let's make the steep climb up to Laramie's War Memorial Stadium to play the WYOMING COWBOYS (buying to + 7 1/2) as my 8* CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Mississippi vs. Tennessee (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2.5/-110 Tennessee Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Mushes Analytic Nightmare (Win off the BUY) Just like Mississippi HC Lane Kiffin's up-tempo style offense using Heisman candidate QB Matt Corral, new Tennessee HC Josh Heupel (went 28-8 with UCF the last 3 seasons) & his OC Alex Golesh (brought him over from UCF) are a perfect fit for a high-octane similar tempo "O" that's put up 107 points their last 2 SEC games. I feel this is a BAD prime-time game for the (4-1 SU) Rebels after their tooth & nail 52-51 home win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Ole Miss is a missed 2-pt. conversion away from starting the SEC season @ 0-2 SU. Kiffin returns to Neyland Stadium where he ditched the Vols' (after 1 season as HC in 2009) to take the job with Southern California. There's definitely motivation on the Orange side. The last time these 2 met was @ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford where Ole Miss won 34-3. However, that win was later vacated due to an NCAA ruling. For this one, I think Heupel (after earlier injuries to QB's Joe Milton & Hendon Hooker) has ex-Virginia Tech QB Hooker now playing @ 100% & grasping the new offense. He'll be up against the Ole Miss "D" (DC is ex-Maryland HC D.J. Durkin runs a 3-4 scheme) that ranks 105th in total defense. The Rocky Top "D" chimes in @ 36th in scoring defense & was instrumental in a 62-24 blowout @ Missouri 2 weeks ago. Tennessee's offense are out-gaining their foes @ a rate of 130 YPG. Peyton's alma-mater have been a thorn in Eli's alma-mater's side winning the last 15 of 17 in this series. My bottom line says the home team doesn't get behind much early. in fact, their 17.8 PPG first-quarters ranked 1st in the nation. They now take on a vanilla & gassed Mississippi "D" that got shredded for 350 rushing yards & 676 total yards last week & now go on the road in prime-time. O'k let's unleash the 8-part mushes nightmare part by part! 1) Play AGAINST a road favorite 2) off a SU win 3) that allowed 30+ PPG & 4) 4+ yards per rush IF 5) their defense gave up 60+ points in their last 2 games AND 6) now take on a squad that allows less than 30 PPG IF 7) the home team has won 8 or more of its last 28 home games SU while 8) playing before Game 7 of the regular season. Playing AGAINST the team that fits all 8 pre-requisites of this criteria has gone a take-me-to-the-window 20-3-1 ATS the last 41 years! I feel 7 is a key number for this game. Get pumped & get ready as we roll the dice going to Knoxville's Neyland Stadium to play the TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (buying to a key + 7 1/2) as my 9* CFB Mushes Analytic Nightmare! NC State vs. Boston College (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-110 Boston College Rating: 8* Mike's Saturday Night Bailout Play (LOSS) Don't get caught comparing scores. Yes, (4-1 SU) NC State beat Clemson in OT 27-21 @ home AND BC lost to the Tigers on the road 19-13. Coming into this, the (4-1 SU) Eagles are the more desperate squad with 1 ACC loss under their belts. HC Jeff Hafley (2nd season after being Ohio State's co-DC in 19') is a respectable 10-6 SU after taking over for Steve Addazio (who was 13-12 his last 2 seasons & now HC @ Colorado State). The numbers don't lie as the Wolfpack is a perfect 0-4 ATS as road chalk under HC Dave Duerson (9th season after coming over from being HC @ Northern Illinois). In addition, they're also no-shows off a non-conference home win. They've come back the following week to go an Antarctic 1-5 versus the number. Traveling has been bad for NC State of late as they've lost 11 of their last 14 ATS on the road My bottom line looks @ the Eagles performance as ACC home underdogs. The last 10 games in this situation has resulted in a near-perfect 9-0-1 ATS! With the Burgundy & Gold coming off a bye week, they've come back the next week to go 6-1 versus the number against the ACC. NC State has had their troubles of late going 0-4 ATS on field turf. They take a hot Boston College squad that rules in the month of October. The last 32 has seen the "Boys From Chestnut Hill" go a take-me-to-the-window 24-8 ATS as well as being under-valued in ACC games where they've gone 24-9-1 spread wise their last 34. No matter how you slice or dice it, we'll go Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill to play the BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES (buying to + 4 1/2) for 8 Stars as my Saturday Night Bailout Play! Michigan State vs. Indiana (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 4.5/-115 Indiana Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Earlybird Special (WIN off the buy) The mushes have clustered together to spill their green all over the green & white of Michigan State (ranked 9th in the AP poll). Yes, they're 6-0 SU. But the collective record of their opponents faced come out to 12-19 SU. They've beaten 2 very weak squads in the Youngstown State Penguins & the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The toughest team they beat thus far is the 3-3 SU Rutgers Scarlet Knights (they rank 60th of 130). On the flip side of the coin, HC Tom Allen (in his 5th season) has radically changed the culture @ Indiana (whose gone 16-10 SU since the 19' season & was named 2020 Big Ten COY) since Kevin Wilson's last 6 seasons could only accumulate a 26-48 SU record. The Hoosiers may be just 2-3 SU. However, their 3 losses were against #2 Iowa, #3 Cincinnati & #7 Penn State who have an accumulative 16-1 SU record. My bottom line says even though QB Michael Penix (injured @ Penn State) is a no-go, he has a capable back-up in Jack Tuttle (a transfer from Utah). What stands out is we're catching Indiana off their bye week. Under HC Allen, they've gone a perfect 4-0 ATS in this situation. The Spartans have been habitually sensationalized in conference play where they currently sit 6-15-1 ATS their last 22. Off an ATS cover, they've come back in their next game to go a dismal 1-6-2 versus the number. How do the Spartans handle traveling as road chalk with an undefeated record? The last 4 times they fit into this category has seen them come out going 1-3 versus the number. Since the MSU defense has given up 420 yards per game versus a very soft schedule, it raises the red flag when you put them on the road as chalk. Let's see how Redshirt Freshman Payton Thorne & RB Kenneth Walker can do versus stiffer competition in their homecoming day game. Here's where we're going. We'll travel to Memorial Stadium in Bloomington to play the INDIANA HOOSIERS (buying to + 7 1/2) as my CFB Earlybird Special! Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina (NCAAF) - 4:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 18.5/-110 Vanderbilt Rating: 8* Mike's Usually Overlooked Dogger Play (WIN) Sorry, but this South Carolina team is definitely become lower-tier since Steve "The Ole Football Coach" Spurrier resigned after 6 games into the 2015 season. Will Muschamp came in to try & revive the program before leaving a 5-year stint where he went 28-33 SU. New HC Shane Beamer (no HC'ing experience) comes over from being Asst. HC/TE Coach from 18' thru 20' under Lincoln Riley @ Oklahoma. It's tough to lay around 3 TD's to ANYONE when you're 0-3 SU in the SEC & have a combined 5-11 SU record the past 1 1/2 seasons. These Gamecocks failed all 3 times @ home SU & ATS versus the SEC East last season. Enter 2-4 SU Vanderbilt (4-26 SU all-time versus SC) under the direction of brand-spanking new HC Clark Lea. For those who are un-familiar with Lea, he spent the last 3 years as DC @ Notre Dame. He returns to his alma mater where he was a walk-on Fullback from 02' thru 04'. My bottom line points out to how Vandy has done @ this venue the past 6 tries. Even though they've lost all 6 SU (12 in a row in this series overall), those losses come out to an average of just 10.8 PPG. The last time SC covered this big of a number was in 18' when they beat the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 49-15 as 29 1/2-point chalk. While the Commodores usually get crushed against the SEC elite (lost by the combined score of 104-0 versus Georgia & Florida this season), they seem to habitually play competitive ball versus lower-tier SEC squads. The number to remember here is 20. The last 41 seasons have seen the Gamecocks go just 9-14 versus the number as favorites of more than 20. That's where we'll play this one. Let's trek to the natural grass of Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia to play the VANDERBILT COMMODORES (buying to a key + 21 1/2) as my 8* Usually Overlooked Dogger Play! TCU vs. Oklahoma (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 13.5/-105 TCU Rating: 9* Mike's Big 12 Late Steamer (LOSS) Why have all the media reports put out on T.C.U. come out negative? I feel that was a very physical game Oklahoma played last week in their dramatic come-from-behind 55-48 win versus Texas in the Red River Rivalry game. How much do they have left in the tank after coming back from a 3 TD deficit? So in comes the Horned Frogs of HC Gary Patterson (has 11 double-digit win seasons in 20 years there). Even though they dropped down a bit in success thus far (3-2) with close losses to SMU & Texas, they still remain a super-dependable 8-0 ATS as avenging dogs of more than 8. The last time these 2 met @ this venue in 19', the Sooners left with a hard-fought 28-24 victory. Oklahoma had 2 weeks to prepare last season & they took full advantage in a 33-14 win in Fort Worth. Boomer Schooners have had very close games this season with the exception of a Week 2 lopsided 76-0 pasting of the Western Carolina Catamounts. Those other 5 wins came by 5,7,3,6 & finally 7 last week. I don't like the carousel of QB's Lincoln Riley has created by the insertion of another Freshman QB Caleb Williams. Was he inserted because of pressure from administration or boosters or did HE lose total confidence in Spencer Rattler? On the flip side, you have to love what OC Doug Meacham got from his offense that put up 52 on the road in a 3 TD win @ Texas Tech. He inherited 10 starters back on that side of the ball (defensively 8) & won't have trouble motivating his troops for this against an undefeated & #4 team in the country. My bottom line says while Williams has promise & speed, he is young & will make mistakes. I believe pushing this number past a key one is the way we'll play it. Let's make tracks to Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium in Norman to play the T.C.U. HORNED FROGS (buying to + 14 1/2) as my 9* Big 12 Late Steamer! Auburn vs. Arkansas (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -190 Arkansas Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Tooth N' Nailer Play (LOSS) Yeah, Arkansas lost a tough one 52-51 @ Mississippi last week but put up 676 yards of offense. No, I don't think they'll be gassed for this. Why? Because the Tigers came into Fayetteville 2 years ago & embarrassed the Hogs' 51-10. Last season under new HC Sam Pittman seriously changed the culture @ Arky & has closed the gap by going to a tough venue @ Jordan-Hare Stadium & went to the wire before losing 30-28. The team should have extra motivation since they got hosed after a controversial call aided Auburn's 39-yard winning FG. This season, OC Kendall Briles (2nd season here after taking over for Feleipe Franks & came over from Florida State) has his offense humming (9 starters back) @ 32 PPG (41 PPG @ home) despite getting shutout 37-0 @ Georgia. He's got a wiry QB in Redshirt Freshman K.J. Jefferson whose passed for 1,235 yards thus far, has a 62.7% completion rate, has a 9/3 TD/INT ratio & has rushed for 320 yards for 5 more TD's. He's got talented playmakers like WR Treylon Burks who has 519 receiving yards for 3 TD's & RB Trelon Smith who has 387 rushing yards for 4 TD's. What's impressed me about this team is how convincing their wins were against the Texas Longhorns (a 40-21 home win) & against the Texas A&M Aggies (a 20-10 win) @ Kyle Field in College Station. Yep, the same team who just upset Alabama 41-38 @ that same venue. My bottom line says the Razorbacks' "D" return a solid nucleus (10) for DC Barry Odom (came over after being HC of Missouri) who runs a pressure 3-4 scheme. They should be able to make things more than un-comfortable for Auburn QB Bo Nix (1,196 passing yards, 57.8% completions, a 6/1 TD/INT ratio, 107 rushing yards & 1 more TD) has thrown just 1 TD pass his last 4 starts. His road record sends up red flags since he's 5-8 SU with a TD/INT ratio of 13/12. That won't cut it here! Their new HC Bryan Harsin (came over after 7 years @ Boise State) had 2 true tests on the road where he lost to Penn State 28-20 & won a nail-biter @ LSU 24-19. I don't see the Hogs' losing 3 games in a row. Arkansas will be JUICED for their homecoming game here so we're willing to put up 9 Stars on the ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS as my CFB Tooth N' Nailer Play! Friday, October 15, 2021 Clemson vs. Syracuse (NCAAF) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -14/-110 Clemson Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) In this prime-time Friday night ESPN game, everyone is over-eager to take the points with Clemson's injuries & habitually close-scoring games this season. These Tigers have jumped out slow @ 3-2 SU but HC Dabo Swinney is a winner. You'd have to go back 10 years to find them with 4 losses (10-4) under Swinney. The Purple & Orange have the nation's longest current streak of 132 games without losing consecutive games. And yes, Alabama lost 2 straight to Auburn & Oklahoma @ the end of the 2013 season under Nick Saban. Remember, the best defense Syracuse has faced was Rutgers (ranks 58th out of 130) @ this venue & the Scarlet Knights won 17-7. Despite a few injuries, Clemson is still ranked 2nd in the nation in scoring defense, held #1 Georgia to 10 points (10-3 final) & is still #1 in the power ratings for ACC teams. DC Brent Venables (9th year) will make tweaks to his 4-3 defensive scheme as they know stopping RB Sean Tucker (leads the nation in all-purpose yards with (165.8 YPG) will put a lot of pressure on new sophomore QB Garrett Shrader by forcing him into throwing into tight areas. Yes, Syracuse has put up numbers but has faced 2 soft defenses in Florida State & Wake Forest (89th & 88th in total "D") in putting up 67 total points the last 2 weeks. However, I feel they left a lot on the field in a 3-point away loss to FSU then a 3-point OT loss to WF right here @ the Carrier Dome last week. My bottom line says even though there will be that early adrenalin rush by the Orange to start, I don't see them sustaining it after halftime adjustments are made by Swinney's "D". Then there's a matter of bulletin board material with a score from 4 seasons ago. Clemson won't be looking ahead since they lost 27-24 on a Friday night in the Carrier Dome 2 visits ago. No, they have nobody like Trevor Lawrence & Travis Etienne in their lineup this season. But they have the defense & the fresher squad (more intangibles) to get the job done by double-digits in the end. I figure the key numbers are 10 & 17 for this game. It's tough being a Cuse' fan but we have to jaunt up Irving Avenue to the Carrier Dome to play the CLEMSON TIGERS (buying to a - 9 1/2) as my CFB Public Missed Perception Play! NOTES: What a debacle for CFB! BC looked clueless versus NC State off 2 weeks to prepare. Even though the buy points made a big difference in 2 games, the Wyoming & TCU losses were more bad luck than bad beats. The 21 starters back-Cowboys out-gained Fresno State & held them to 96 passing yards. However, this senior-laden team played like frosh babies & threw away every scoring opportunity committing 5 TO's & has 1 missed FG. TCU did not play leading rusher Zach Evans which highly impacted their scoring chances throughout against a suspect defense. The Horned Frogs still out-gained them but lost ATS. We had the Clemson game late but lost on a backdoor cover/late Syracuse TD. We're close to 1/2-way through til' the end of the bowl season so much better days are coming. We'll keep the faith & move on. Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 7 record: 3-5 for 38% Mike Handzelek 2021-22 CFB Overall Record: 16-18 for a shabby 47%

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