Football Picks: December 5 and 6

Stanford (-4.5) over USC: A lot has changed since these two teams met on September 19 in Week 3. Stanford entered the game 1-1 and beat USC straight up as a 10-point underdog. Since then Stanford flirted with a spot in the College Football Playoff but a loss to Oregon gives the Cardinal a slim chance to get a top four spot. USC has fired a coach and just permanently hired one since the Week 3 contest against Stanford. After beating UCLA, the Trojans took the interim label off Clay Helton’s title and he signed a five-year deal to be the school’s head coach. With Stanford having more to play for, I think they cover this number. Helton and USC will have one eye looking towards recruiting and might not be well prepared for this game.

Saints (+7) over Panthers: I made the point spread for this game Panthers -4. So I think there is some value in this line. New Orleans is a much better team at home and their defense has to be slightly better since Rob Ryan got fired. The Saints played the Panthers tough when the two teams met earlier this season and I think this will be another close one.

Rams (+6) over Cardinals: This is the classic take the Jeff Fisher team as an underdog in a division game. The Cardinals might be looking ahead to a Thursday night game at home against the Vikings. I think the Rams will be able to have success on the ground with Todd Gurley and cover this spread at home.

Giants (+2.5) over Jets: The Giants are technically the home team but you can throw out home field advantage here since the Jets play in the same stadium. I still don’t think the Jets are a better team than the Giants and not sure why they are favorites especially without Darrelle Revis.  I think the Giants win straight up and put themselves in a strong position to win the NFC East.

Chiefs (-3) over Raiders: I usually don’t like taking away favorites but I think the red-hot Chiefs aren’t getting the respect they deserve in this line. Oakland has won five game but I don’t spot an impressive win on their schedule. The Chiefs are on a great winning and covering streak, and I’m going to take a shot at them doing it again.

College Football: Week 8 Picks

Indiana (+16.5) over Michigan State: Michigan State is coming off a huge win over Michigan. Traditional letdown spot here and Indiana has an above average offense with Nate Sudfeld under center. Michigan State is 1-6 against the spread with their only cover coming last week as underdogs.

USC (-3.5) over Utah: The 3-3 unranked team is favorite over the undefeated No. 3 team in the country. There’s usually a reason for that and I’ll side with the more talented USC team.

Arkansas (-6.5) over Auburn: Arkansas is coming off a bye and Auburn isn’t very good on either side of the ball. I think the Razorbacks will be prepared and have a big day running the ball.

Sticking with those three picks for now. I will tweet out added picks between now and Saturday.

College Football: Week 3 Picks

Here are my five best bets for Week 3 in college football. Click each linked for a short writeup of the game:

Louisville (+6) over Clemson

Notre Dame (+2.5) over Georgia Tech

Texas (+6.5) over California

Stanford (+10) over USC

Alabama (-6.5) over Ole Miss

 

 

Pac-12 Games to Watch

The Pac-12 looks like it will be a very entertaining conference in 2015 and one where I will look to pick a lot of games against the spread. Here are five games I will look to be involved in this season:

September 25- Stanford at Oregon state: Stanford has an early season conference test at USC on national TV. Six days later they go up to Oregon State. Not a game you have to bet because Oregon State is going through a rebuilding process but something to keep an eye on early in the season.

October 22- California at UCLA: In a odd scheduling situation, UCLA play on Thursday nights in back-to-back weeks. They play at Stanford before hosting California. Stanford is a physical team that could wear down UCLA at the line of scrimmage. This could setup well for a California team that will look to play in a high tempo offense. I’m also high on California this season and think they will finish third in the Pac-12 North. The Golden Bears are off a bye week and I think they will keep it close in Pasadena.

Continue reading

Basketball Picks: January 7

Don’t have time for analysis but here are the five games I like today:

North Carolina State (+14.5) over Virginia

Grizzlies (+3.5) over Hawks

Pistons (+9) over Mavericks

Maryland (-2.5) over Illinois

California (-1) over USC

Holiday Bowl Preview

USC and Nebraska play Saturday night in the Holiday Bowl. It’s a short trip for the Trojans to San Diego, while the Cornhuskers have to do some traveling. Nebraska will be without head coach Bo Pelini who was fired after his per usual nine-win season in Lincoln. Apparently that doesn’t cut it at Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers surprisingly hired Oregon State coach Mike Riley to take over the program. Riley won’t be on the sideline yet and I don’t see Nebraska having any motivation in this game.

USC has been to better bowl games before but this program has been quickly rebuilt after facing sanctions and scholarship losses. This bowl game is important for the Trojans to gain momentum into 2015. The USC offense led by quarterback Cody Kessler might be able to score at will against a Nebraska defense that really fell off towards the end of the season.

Another reason to pick USC is to pick against a Big Ten school. Nebraska’s best win was probably out of conference against Miami. They did beat Iowa but it took an epic Hawkeyes collapse for the Cornhuskers to win the game. USC had the better schedule and should have a slight home field advantage.

Pick: USC (-7) over Nebraska

*Note my Week 17 NFL picks will be posted on the website after 11 pm central time on Saturday night.

College Football: Week 7 Picks

Here are my Week 7 college football picks and the rest of the pool plays:

Minnesota (-4) over Northwestern

UL Monroe (+21.5) over Kentucky

Oregon (-3) over UCLA

Washington (+3.5) over California

Texas A&M (-2) over Ole Miss

Arizona (+3) over USC

Pool Plays 

Washington State (+17) over Stanford- Friday Night

Louisville (+9.5) over Clemson

Kansas (+20.5) over Oklahoma State

Penn State (+1) over Michigan

Continue reading