Mark Franco Mark Franco

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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Sep 14, 2019
Florida vs Kentucky
Florida
-8½ -110 at Mirage
Lost
$110.0
Play Type: Top Premium

#175 Florida

Kentucky stunned Florida in Gainesville last September, halting a 31-game series losing streak with an impressive 27-16 victory. But the Wildcats may be hard pressed to make it two in a row over the eighth-ranked Gators, who come in off a 45-0 blanking of UT Martin, as they open their SEC campaign at home Saturday without their starting quarterback after Terry Wilson suffered a season-ending knee injury in last week's 38-17 win over Eastern Michigan.

The Gators will feature a quarterback quite familiar with this SEC rivalry - and one with something to prove - as Feleipe Franks did not have a performance to remember in last year's meeting.

ABOUT FLORIDA (2-0, 0-0 SEC): Franks was razor sharp in the win over UT Martin, connecting on 25-of-27 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns as he broke Tim Tebow's single-game school record for completion percentage. The offense rolled up 543 yards in the win, giving the Gators at least 500 yards of total offense in four of the last six games. The defense has been getting to quarterbacks with 15 sacks in the first two games, including 10 in the opener versus Miami.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (2-0, 0-0): Smith is no stranger to collegiate action, hitting 144-of-229 passes for 1,669 yards and 14 TDs while leading Troy to the Dollar General Bowl last year, but the Gators defense will no doubt provide a far more formidable challenge.

Take Florida on the road.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Sep 14, 2019
Iowa vs Iowa State
Iowa
-117 at pinnacle
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

#153 Iowa

Iowa State struggled in its season opener against Northern Iowa but got an extra week to prepare for its biggest nonconference rival while sitting out Week 2. The Cyclones will try to notch a signature win of the first month when they host No. 18 Iowa on Saturday. Iowa State needed three overtimes to earn a 29-26 victory over Northern Iowa and was happy for the extra week off to make necessary adjustments after the lackluster debut.

ABOUT IOWA (2-0): Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley came into the season with high expectations and is living up to the hype with 488 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions through the first two games. Stanley, a senior, is trying to go out 4-0 against the Cyclones after coming in as a backup his freshman year and starting the rivalry game the last two campaigns.

ABOUT IOWA STATE (1-0): The Cyclones managed to survive Northern Iowa in Week 1 thanks in large part to the connection between quarterback Brock Purdy and wide receiver Deshaunte Jones, who finished with career highs of 14 catches for 126 yards. Iowa will slow them down.

Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. Cyclones are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.

Back Iowa.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Sep 14, 2019
Alabama vs South Carolina
Alabama
-25 -110 at betonline
Lost
$110.0
Play Type: Top Premium

#137 Alabama

Alabama and South Carolina haven't played since 2010, and the last meeting wasn't the least bit fun for the Crimson Tide. The Gamecocks defeated then-No. 1 Alabama 35-21 nine years ago, and they look to post another upset when the No. 2 Crimson Tide visit town on Saturday.

ABOUT ALABAMA (2-0, 1-0 SEC): Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has completed 76.4 percent of his passes for 563 yards and seven touchdowns and hasn't been intercepted in 55 attempts. Junior wideout Jerry Jeudy is off to a ferocious start with 18 receptions for 240 yards and four touchdowns, and he moved into second place on the school's all-time list with 20 scoring receptions, trailing only Amari Cooper (31 from 2012-14). Junior safety Xavier McKinney has a team-best 14 tackles for a unit allowing averages of 6.5 points and 233 yards per game.

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (1-1, 0-0): Senior quarterback Jake Bentley (foot) suffered a season-ending injury but freshman Ryan Hilinski looked sharp in his first career start by completing 24-of-30 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday's 72-10 drubbing of Charleston Southern. He will not look good vs. this Alabama defense.

Gamecocks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Crimson Tide are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.

Lay the large number with Alabama in a rout.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-F  |  Sep 14, 2019
Kansas State vs Mississippi State
Kansas State
+7½ -110 at 5Dimes
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

#111 Kansas State

A pair of impressive wins and a strong start from the new quarterback pushed Mississippi State into the Top 25 for the first time this season. The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs will try to prove they belong when they face their stiffest challenge of the nonconference slate when Kansas State visits on Saturday.

ABOUT KANSAS STATE (2-0): The Wildcats are in their first season under Klieman after the retirement of school icon Bill Snyder but are not taking any steps back on the field after beating Nicholls and Bowling Green by a combined score of 101-14. Kansas State piled up a total of 694 rushing yards in those two contests with senior running back James Gilbert (218 yards and three touchdowns) and quarterback Skylar Thompson helping to give the defense plenty of breathing room.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (2-0): Stevens threw a pair of touchdown passes in last week’s 38-15 triumph over Southern Miss before leaving with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Saturday. Running back Kylin Hill took over more responsibility on offense with Stevens out, pushing his totals to 320 yards and two TDs through two games, and is prepared for a bigger role if Stevens is limited.

Take the points in a game that Kansas State can win outright.

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Sep 15, 2019
Seahawks vs Steelers
Seahawks
+4 -110 at Mirage
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

Seahawks

Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger engaged in a high-octane shootout the last time they shared the field, so there is no telling what may happen when the Seattle Seahawks visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Wilson passed for 345 yards and five touchdowns in the 39-30 home win during the 2015 season while Roethlisberger passed for 456 yards but just one score.

Roethlisberger and his teammates got off to a poor start in Week 1 as they were shellacked 33-3 by New England in their first game.

Seattle posted a 21-20 victory over Cincinnati, but it wasn't pretty as the club was outgained 429-233.

ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (1-0): Wilson was 14-of-20 for 196 yards and two scores in the opener while defensive end Quinton Jefferson fueled the defense with a career-best two sacks. Star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney recorded two tackles and a sack during his team debut and is working on assimilating himself into the unit after recently being acquired from Houston.

ABOUT THE STEELERS (0-1): Pittsburgh never got untracked against the Patriots and running back James Conner was a non-factor with 21 yards on 10 carries. Wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster is the new primary target with Brown gone, and he had six receptions for 78 yards while newcomer Donte Moncrief was a big disappointment with three catches for seven yards while being targeted a team-high 10 times.

I have this game being close so I’ll back the Seahawks plus the points.

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Sep 15, 2019
Jaguars vs Texans
Texans
-8½ -105 at Bovada
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

Texans

The line between moral victory and demoralizing loss can be fine in the NFL, but the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars firmly were on opposite sides of it in Week 1. The AFC South rivals aim to rebound from season-opening losses when they square off Sunday in Houston.

The Texans squandered a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback on Monday as they lost 30-28 at New Orleans on a last-second field goal.

The Jaguars, on the other hand, were encouraged by their second-half surge in a 40-26 loss to Kansas City, especially considering rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew replaced injured starter Nick Foles and impressed in his NFL debut.

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (0-1): Foles is out until at least Week 11 with a broken collarbone, but Jacksonville has confidence in Minshew, but I’m not so sure.

ABOUT THE TEXANS (0-1): Houston has a dynamic duo in the passing game with quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but the newly constructed backfield tandem also got the job done last week. Carlos Hyde rushed for 83 yards just nine days after being acquired from Kansas City and Duke Johnson recorded 90 yards from scrimmage in his debut for the Texans.

Jaguars are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games in Week 2 and are 2-9-2 ATS in their last 13 games overall. Texans are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 2.

The Texans held down the Jags last season in both matchups and I see the same here so I’m willing to lay the big number.

Matchup Selection W/L
NFL  |  Sep 15, 2019
Chargers vs Lions
Chargers
-116 at pinnacle
Lost
$116.0
Play Type: Top Premium

Chargers

The Detroit Lions didn't lose their season opener, but they are in the position where they need to rebound from a highly disappointing result when they host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Detroit squandered an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead in its initial contest before kicking a field goal to salvage a 27-27 tie with Arizona.

Los Angeles blew a 15-point, third-quarter advantage in its season opener before eventually posting a 30-24 overtime victory over Indianapolis.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (1-0): No one within the franchise has been concerned about the holdout of running back Melvin Gordon, and that became more evident when Austin Ekeler recorded 154 scrimmage yards (58 rushing, 96 receiving) and scored three touchdowns (including the game-winning 7-yard run in OT) in the opener. Defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram both had sacks in the opener while veteran linebacker Thomas Davis racked up a team-best 14 sacks in his club debut.

ABOUT THE LIONS (0-0-1): Stafford passed for 385 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinals, with Danny Amendola (seven receptions, 124 yards, one touchdown) and rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson (six, 131, one) making huge contributions.

The Chargers have won seven of the last eight meetings.

Take the Chargers on the road as this week’s best bet.

SERVICE BIO

Mark Franco help start Vegas Insider in 1997 and worked under some of the most well respected handicappers in the Nation including Russ Culver, Mike Lee and Ken White. Mark said "I learned so much valuable information from those guys on how to do your research and how to have money management skills. Learning how to be selective and not play every game." Mark's career took him to the great city of Las Vegas back in 2000 and he has made a great name for himself ever since in the eyes of other handicappers and sportsbook directors. Mark Franco beat the books in the 2003 NFL season on his way to a fifth-place finish in the Hilton SuperContest the most respected and prestigious football contest in the country. For the year, Franco had a 76-57 record for a 57 percent clip, netting "dime players" with $13,500 of profit. Franco writes for several print and online gaming publications including the Las Vegas Review Journal, covering line moves and value in the lines. He views as many games as he can from his Las Vegas office and also relies on the Internet to break down every game. Mark makes his own lines for pro sports and has an eye for finding value in and between the lines. Franco is a regular participant in many of Las Vegas' handicapping contests. He was one of 16 ' handicappers who participated in the invitation only 2004 Stardust Invitational. He has hosted his own daily radio handicapping show and frequently appears on many local and national shows where his expertise is eagerly sought.