Packers vs Lions Pick

The NFC North looks like it will be competitive this season so a game like this can go along way in deciding the division winner. The Lions are a small favorite at home but I think they should be the underdog.

The Packers opened the season in Seattle and lost at a stadium where it’s almost impossible to win especially in primetime. Then they found themselves down 21-3 at home to the Jets before Aaron Rodgers found his rhythm and the Packers won by seven. I think Rodgers picks up where he left off. He has a great record against division teams and playing indoors.

It’s hard to tell if the Lions are good or not. They beat a terrible Giants team by three touchdowns, but even then they kept New York hanging around in the game until the fourth quarter. Then they got overmatched by Carolina having a short week to prepare. I think both defenses will struggle on Sunday and Rodgers will make one more play than Stafford to lead Green Bay to victory.

Pick: Packers (+1) over Lions

Broncos vs Seahawks Pick

Super Bowl rematch early in the season. I picked Seattle as a three-point underdog in February, and I like them again this Sunday to beat the Broncos and cover the spread. The Seattle home field advantage is one of the two best in the NFL along with New Orleans. Getting them at home with a spread under a touchdown seems like a bargain at this point.

I think the loss for Seattle last week at San Diego will keep them focused for this game. An angry team and raucous crowd is a team I like to pick.

I haven’t been very impressed with Denver so far this season. They are 0-2 against the spread and don’t seem like they can score at will like the did in 2013. Some players are injured now so I think they will be fine going forward but don’t like them in this situation. Peyton Manning relies on audibles at the line and he might have trouble doing that in Seattle. There won’t be any revenge on Sunday. Take the Seahawks and the points.

Pick: Seahawks (-5) over Broncos

 

Chargers vs Bills Pick

The Chargers are the better team but I like the home favorite Buffalo Bills to win and cover the spread on Sunday. The scheduling situation is a big reason I like the Bills. The Chargers are traveling across the country for an early start time on Sunday. San Diego is also coming off a big win against the Super Bowl champions. Teams that play the Seahawks struggle the week after because Seattle is a physical team.

As I wrote about on my Thursday night preview, I’m reevaluating some of my preseason predictions. I was down on the Bills this season because of their quarterback play. I’m not sure E.J. Manuel is the solution in Buffalo but the rest of the roster has talent at almost every position especially running back and defensive line. It feels odd to think the Bills can be 3-0 by Sunday afternoon but I think that will happen.

Pick: Bills (-1) over Chargers

College Football: September 20 Picks

Thursday Pick

I picked Kanas State (+9.5) as part of a pool play on Thursday. I wasn’t confident enough to make it an official pick. I thought both teams played sloppy. Auburn could’ve won by a lot more and Kansas State could’ve won straight up if they made their field goals or didn’t throw a goal line interception. Moving on the this weekend, I had trouble with these games so I have one pick that I am very confident about. The teams I have the strongest leans towards against the spread are North Carolina, Mississippi State, Northern Illinois and Miami. Here’s my one pick this Saturday along with the other pool plays:

Under 51 in Florida vs Alabama

Pool Plays

Mississippi State (+9.5) over LSU

South Carolina (-21) over Vanderbilt

Oregon -23.5 over Washington State

Continue reading

Florida vs Alabama Pick

My only college football pick of the week will also be the first over/under pick I have made this season. I like the Florida-Alabama game to go under the total of 51. The SEC has seen a lot of high scoring games this season involving Texas A&M, South Carolina and Georgia. However, Florida and Alabama are two on the best defensive teams in the conference and both teams have question marks on offense.

Florida may have been looking ahead to this game when they came out flat against Kentucky and need triple overtime to beat the Wildcats. Florida ran and threw the ball well but Jeff Driskel will need to play much better against Alabama than he did against Kentucky. Teams that can run a spread offense have given trouble to Alabama and Florida doesn’t have a spread offense where they open up the playbook.

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims hasn’t had to be spectacular this season. The senior has relied on wide receiver Amari Cooper who already has 33 receptions in three games. If there is one team that can neutralize Cooper, it’s Florida with star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. That will be the matchup to watch on Saturday and I think Hargreaves III can contain Cooper.

Florida and coach Will Muschamp know they need this game so I think they will bring their best defensive effort. I also think Alabama will be the dominant Alabama from the past with their defense. Driskel and Sims aren’t quarterbacks I expect to lead their teams on many scoring drives. That’s why I like the under in this SEC game.

Pick: Under 51 in Florida vs Alabama

Buccaneers vs Falcons Preview

I mentioned in my Thursday night college football preview that I have struggled figuring out the games I want to pick this week. I picked a lot of games early last week and finished with a 4-1 record. There’s a few tricky lines this week and I want to wait until some lines move. I’ll likely make 3-5 picks but some picks might be posted as late as Saturday night.

I don’t have a feel for the Thursday night game. I liked Tampa Bay in the preseason and wasn’t a fan of Atlanta before the season. I’m still not sold on the Falcons but the Buccaneers cause for real concern and I have reevaluated my stance on Lovie Smith’s team. Tampa Bay lost to Derek Anderson and Austin Davis so I think Matt Ryan can cause even more trouble for the Tampa Bay defense. Offensively, Josh McCown has been below average and may have just been a product of a system for less than half a season in Chicago.

The argument for Tampa Bay is they are likely getting Doug Martin back, and maybe they will flourish in a more familiar underdog role away from home. I wouldn’t pick the Falcons giving a touchdown if I didn’t have too. For the sake of a contest pick I would lean towards the home team.

Pick: Pass (Contest: Falcons)

Auburn vs Kansas State Preview

I’ll start off by saying that I have had trouble this week researching college games to pick. I have tried to post picks as early as possible the last three weeks but there isn’t anything I love right now. I hope to post a few picks later in the week but I want to be very selective.

This is one game I was tempted to pick. Auburn makes a rare trip to Big 12 country to play Kansas State on a Thursday night. I would lean to the home team here who are a +9.5 underdog. I was high on Kansas State at the beginning of the season and didn’t expect Auburn to have another magical year. Bill Snyder is one of the best coaches in the country but so is Gus Malzahn and his offensive system that can seem unstoppable.

The Tigers have covered 12 straight games dating back to Week 3 of 2012. I’m going to pass picking against a team that is on that type of streak. I would pick Kansas State as a pool play, and also predict a high scoring game in Manhattan.