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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Oct 24, 2021
   
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Saturday, October 23, 2021 Eastern Michigan vs. Bowling Green (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -170 Eastern Michigan Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Earlybird Dependable (WIN) I still can't figure out how 2-5 SU Bowling Green went to Big Ten Minnesota (on their Homecoming) & shocked the Golden Gophers 14-10 as 31-point dogs. Well, those days are long gone for a Falcons' team that's gone 0-3 SU (all MAC games) since with no loss by less than a 7. HC Scot Loeffler (1st HC'ing job) is in his 3rd season @ BG & is just 5-18 SU since taking over. He's inherited just 11 returning starters (4-OFF, 7 DEF) from an 0-5 team last season. His opposition is the Eastern Michigan Eagles (the old Hurons) of HC Chris Creighton. Creighton's been a winner before coming here going 32-9 @ NAIA Ottawa, 63-15 @ Div-III Wabash & 44-22 @ FCS Drake. including 8 conference titles. Reality set in when he came to Ypsilanti, Michigan to take on this job in 2014 by going 3-21 SU his 1st 2 seasons. His next 4 seasons, he turned the program around by going 25-26 SU. Despite going 2-4 SU in 2020's COVID season, his Eagles come into this one with a 4-3 SU record. My bottom line says Creighton has a strong nucleus that's returned (21 out of 22 starters) & has done well in the road favorite role going 6-2 SU their last 8. Analytics ALSO show the road is the place to be for EMU as they've RULED there the past 6 seasons going a take-me-to-the-window 27-9 ATS. Let's go to Doyt Perry Stadium in Bee Gee Country, Ohio to play the EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES for 9 Stars on the ML as my CFB Earlybird Dependable! Syracuse vs. Virginia Tech (NCAAF) - 12:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -3.5/-105 Virginia Tech Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS) I feel Blacksburg will not be an easy place to win for 3-4 SU Syracuse. North Carolina came here to open the season on a Friday night & lost 17-10. Notre Dame (5-1 SU-ranked 13th in the AP Poll) came here 2 weeks ago & left with a 32-29 nail-biter win over these Gobblers. Syracuse HC Dino "Under The Hot Seat" Babers has made strides @ 3-4 SU coming in. However, he's also 0-3 SU in the ACC with 3 consecutive losses by exactly 3 points to Florida State, Wake Forest & Clemson. The key here is Clemson. I feel the Orange left too much on their home turf battle with the Tigers last week to sustain any offensive consistency versus these 3-3 SU Hokies. The Hokies were flat versus Pitt last week so I don't think HC Justin Fuentes (10th season & also on the hot seat) fails to get his troops ready 2 weeks in a row. My bottom line points to a strong system that's been in place the last 41 seasons. It zeroes in on a road team playing Game 8 off 3 consecutive SU losses who take on an opponent off a SU loss. Teams fitting this scenario have failed miserably going 48-151 SU & have covered about 40.5% of the time. In the end, I'm not sure if we can trust Babers' game management skills after having lost the past 3 weeks in gut-wrenching fashion. Let's roll on the natural grass of Lane Stadium to play the VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (buying to - 2 1/2) as my 9* CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State (NCAAF) - 3:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7/-110 Oklahoma State Rating: 8* Mike's Big 12 Late Steamer (WIN) I thought this Iowa State squad would be much better than their 4-2 SU record after 6 games. Who have they beaten? They survived a scare with FCS Northern Iowa 16-10. They've beaten offensively-challenged UNLV 48-3. In their last 2, they've taken care of perennial Big 12 doormat Kansas & mediocre Kansas State. The facts in this series say Oklahoma State has beaten these Cyclones SU 8 out of their last 9 times. I'm not falling for the great running game (Breece Hall), seasoned QB (Brock Purdy) & a good defense = a strong ATS team. This line reflects a close game. My gut instincts say HC Mike Gundy (17th season) has been a very strong play in the dog role the past 5 seasons going a convincing 14-4 versus the number. This situation has also produced 70% ATS winners while away from Stillwater. OSU is MORE than capable having road wins @ Boise State & @ Texas on their card. However, I want double-digits! Let's jet out to Ames for Homecoming @ Jack Trice Stadium to play the OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (buying to + 10 1/2) as my 8* Big 12 Late Steamer! Clemson vs. Pittsburgh (NCAAF) - 3:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-115 Clemson Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) There's no mistake that Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett (21/1 TD/INT ratio) is a Heisman Trophy candidate leading his Panthers to their current 5-1 SU record (lost to Western Michigan 44-41 @ home). However, HC Dabo Swinney (14th season) & his Clemson Tigers are still quite alive in the ACC Atlantic Division @ 3-1 SU (loss to NC St 27-21 in 2OT) & trailing 4-0 Wake Forest by 1 game. Clemson has the Demon Deacons @ home on November 20th. It's very easy to say HC Pat Narduzzi's (7th season) Pittsburgh squad should walk away with this one based on statistics, eye test & home field advantage. However, that's not how it works. I know Jon Q. Public & most mushes have only scratched the surface here. For those who've dug in very much deeper, the pre-season number posted for this game @ the Westgate had this game pegged @ Clemson - 17 1/2! Now you're saying this line should be adjusted by about 3 TD's? Sorry, I'm not buying it! The Purple & Orange have a lot to play for even though they're out of the national title. The Tigers still have a tough defense that's held top-ranked Georgia to 10 points & can still make it to the ACC title which ironically COULD be against Pittsburgh who can win the weaker Coastal Division since their strongest competitors (Georgia Tech & Virginia Tech) they've just taken care of in their past 2 ACC games. I'm looking for a tooth & nail contest as we go Art Rooney Avenue to the Kentucky Blue Grass of Heinz Field to play the CLEMSON TIGERS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 8* CFB Public Missed Perception Play! San Diego State vs. Air Force (NCAAF) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-110 San Diego State Rating: 9* Mike's Mountain West Showdown (WIN) These 2 are definitely the class of the Mountain West with San Diego State looking like the best of the West Division & Air Force the best of the Mountain Division. This game pits an excellent rushing attack of the Falcons (336 YPG) versus the stingy rushing defense of the Aztecs (61 YPG). Even though HC Brady Hoke of SDST was challenged (31-20) @ Michigan, his 6-0 SU record this season have been paid dividends with a team who has 17 returning starters. They take on a very familiar Air Force triple-option team who they've beaten the past 8 SU. My bottom line says the Falcons (who have Army next) aren't built for coming from behind. They pass for 79 YPG & are too committed to their running game. San Diego State has hung around when pegged as 8-pt. underdogs or less. In that role, they've covered their past 9 of 11. Let's look @ some key numbers in a 5-part system that has been GOLD the past 41 years. If you've sided with a 1) no bye-week yet 2) 6-0 SU underdog in their 3) Week 7 if 4) their "D" allows 17.5 PPG or less & 5) they now face a team giving up 16+ PPG, THAT team has beaten the spread @ a 94% clip (15-1-1). SDST fits that system. They've beaten Utah 33-31 in 3 OT's & are equipped to take this to then wire. Let's go to Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs to play the SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 9* Mountain West Showdown! NC State vs. Miami Florida (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -170 NC State Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Saturday Night Bailout Play (LOSS) HC Dave Doeren's Wolfpack has just 1 blemish this season which was a 24-10 loss @ SEC Mississippi State (also lost to them in the 15' Belk Bowl 51-28). He's getting the most out of a senior-veteran team (19 starters back-9 OFF-10 DEF) that's gone 13-5 SU since the beginning of last season. On the flip side, we have a Manny Diaz-coached 2-4 SU Miami (Florida) squad that's down 4 offensive starters including their starting QB in D'Eriq King (transfer from Houston) & RB's Cam'Ron Harris & Donald Chaney Jr.. My bottom line says the advantage of the NC State offense going up against the 92nd-ranked scoring defense is a distinct advantage. This team plays well with conference revenge (5-1 ATS) & get the equalizer here after losing a 44-41 verdict in Raleigh last season. We'll hop all over the NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK to get it done as my CFB Saturday Night Bailout Play @ Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens! USC vs. Notre Dame (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -260 Notre Dame Rating: 10* Mike's CFB Headliner Moneyliner (WIN) I'm sorry if you think this is a little bit chalky. However, I feel there's a BIG, I mean BIG coaching mismatch with Notre Dame's Brian Kelly (107-40 SU here in his 12th season) holding the edge over interim HC Donte Williams (is 2-2 after taking over for the fired Clay Helton). Williams knows he has NO shot @ the job with names like PSU's James Franklin, Cincy's Luke Fickell & MSU Mel Tucker waiting in the wings @ the conclusion of their seasons. The main focus I'm concentrating on here is how the Fighting Irish do off their bye week under Kelly. The 12 games following the bye under his direction have produced 11 wins & just 1 loss. Ironically, that loss just happened to be a 31-17 setback to these same U.S.C. Trojans in 2011 (Matt Barkley out-dueled Tommy Rees). However, this year's team isn't close to resembling that 10-2 team coached by Lane Kiffen. This season's rendition has lost 3 home games by double-digits in the iffy-PAC 12 to teams like Stanford, Oregon State & Utah. Their QB Kedon Slovis (recruited out of Desert Mountain HS in Scottsdale, AZ) has decent numbers (9/5 TD/INT ratio) has compiled most of his numbers playing from behind against softer defenses. It's crazy that Slovis took over after then Trojans' QB J.T. Daniels left (& now is slinging it) for current AP #1 Georgia. Look for Kelly to make key adjustments against a pass-heavy team like Southern Cal whose gone just 21-16 SU since 18' & ALSO stand a ticket-ripping 1-7 ATS when playing on the non-conference road. That lack of success is a big gap compared to the Leprechauns who've been on a 15-2 SU run since the start of last season. Let's go to Notre Dame Stadium Stadium in South Bend, Indiana to play the NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH as my 10 Star Headliner Moneyliner! Utah vs. Oregon State (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-110 Oregon State Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Barking Dog Game Of The Week (WIN) I'm not ready to call these same Utes the winner (3-0 thus far) in the PAC-12 South just yet. They may carry a 4-2 SU overall record & come off wins over U.S.C. & Arizona State, but they're just 1-2 SU away from Salt Lake City. They now take on a 4-2 SU Jonathan Smith-coached Beavers' squad (tied for 1st 7 2-1 in the PAC-12 North with Oregon) that are no slouches @ home in PAC-12 play going 3-1 SU their last 4. They've beaten Washington 27-24 just 3 weeks ago @ this venue & have beaten up on intra-state rival Oregon 41-38 when the Ducks were ranked 9th last season. My bottom line says OSU (3-0 SU @ home this season) has a BIG advantage having 2 weeks to prepare & face a Utah squad off a physical win over ASU. Let's fly up north to Reser Stadium in Corvallis to play the OREGON STATE BEAVERS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 9* CFB Barking Dog Game Of The Week! NOTES: I really thought we had a 7-1 this week including Notre Dame which was my BIG 10 Star winner! However, NC State doesn't get it done by getting nipped 31-30 by Miami (Hurricanes' Freshman QB Tyler Van Dyke played a flawless game with a 4/0 TD/INT ratio) & Virginia Tech blows a 9-point, 4th-quarter lead with less than 3 minutes to go versus Syracuse. Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 8 Record: a still profitable 5-3 for 62.5% Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 CFB Overall Record: 21-21 for a sub-par & teetering 50%
 


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