SEC Games to Circle

It’s a slow time in the sports calendar, which makes it a perfect time to start preparing for football season. I looked through the conference schedules for the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 to look for favorable situations to support teams and bad situations to fade teams. Games are at least two months away, and I wouldn’t automatically pick these games but it’s something that could be helpful down the road. I will post the other four conferences next week. For now, here are games you should keep an eye on in the SEC:

September 26- Missouri at Kentucky: Missouri has three favorable non-conference games before their first SEC game at Kentucky. The Tigers will likely be a favorite against an up-and-coming Wildcats team that needs to win these games if they want to make a bowl. Missouri plays South Carolina the week after. Last year the Tigers shockingly lost to Indiana the week before playing the Gamecocks in a classic “look ahead” situation. Missouri may be looking past Kentucky with bigger games on deck so possibly take Kentucky if they are an underdog in this game.

October 10- Georgia at Tennessee: Georgia is coming off a home game against Alabama. A trip to Knoxville is less than ideal the week after such a big contest for the Bulldogs. The Volunteers host Arkansas the week before and a have a bye the week after. Tennessee might end up being a favorite in this game and I would likely take them if the spread is a south of a field goal.

October 17- Alabama at Texas A&M: Alabama has had favorable conference schedules the last few seasons. However, things change in 2015 as they draw Georgia and Tennessee from the SEC East. They play the two SEC East foes in part of a four-week stretch that also includes games against Arkansas and Texas A&M. The game against Texas A&M is on the road and I can see the Crimson Tide slipping up here. The Aggies will have revenge on their mind after being trounced 59-0 against Alabama last season. Texas A&M also has a favorable early season schedule, and they don’t leave the state of Texas until the eighth week of the season. I don’t know if Alabama will lose this game but I can see them failing to cover the spread.

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College Football: Week 10 Picks

Here are my Week 10 college football picks and the rest of the pool plays:

North Carolina (+14.5) over Miami: North Carolina started 1-5 in 2013 before finishing the season 7-6. This season’s team started 2-4 but have won their last two games. I think North Carolina continues their strong play and are getting way too many points against Miami.

Kentucky (+7) over Missouri: I’m a Missouri grad and fan but don’t like where the Tigers are headed this season. They are 6-2 but the offense has struggled greatly in the four conference games. Kentucky has talent and might finish second in the SEC East.

Auburn (+2) over Ole Miss: Ole Miss returns home after suffering their first loss of the season against another one-loss team in Auburn. I think Auburn is the better team and their offense will test the stout Rebels defense.

Arizona State (-6) over Utah: Utah had their biggest win since they joined the Pac-12 last week against USC. Fans stormed the field and the Utes put themselves in prime position to win the Pac-12 South. However, they first have to travel to Arizona State for a late night game. I think there’s value on the home team who has their starting quarterback back from injury.

Pool Plays

Wisconsin (-11) over Rutgers

Duke (+3.5) over Pittsburgh

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College Football: September 6 Picks

Thursday and Friday picks

I have three picks this week all on Saturday. The explanation for each game is hyperlinked

Missouri (-4) over Toledo

Arkansas State (+17.5) over Tennessee

Northwestern (-7.5) over Northern Illinois

Pool Plays

USC (+3) over Stanford

Florida (-37.5) over Central Michigan

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Missouri vs Toledo Pick

Missouri travels to Toledo as a four-point favorite and this line seems too low. Both teams are coming off victories over FCS schools. Toledo’s victory was more convincing but it’s hard to react to the Week 1 results. Rocket quarterback Phillip Ely had an impressive first collegiate start throwing four touchdowns. The Tigers will need to get him in check.

Last season, Missouri was just as good at home as on the road. They scored over 41 points in four true road games. Quarterback Maty Mauk only started one of those games but Mauk has a higher ceiling than previous quarterback James Franklin. Mauk will need to avoid mistakes this game, and rely on running backs Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy to keep the offense balanced. I think the Tigers will do that and they will win by over a touchdown.

Pick: Missouri (-4) over Toledo