College Football: Week 11 Picks

Memphis (+7) over Houston: The line for this game would be much tighter if Memphis didn’t lose their first game of the season to Navy last week. I think the Tigers can keep it close behind quarterback Paxton Lynch. Houston will win but by a field goal.

Miami (+13) over North Carolina: This is a lot of points to give a Miami team that is 2-0 since Al Golden was fired. North Carolina is coming off a huge win over Duke but I don’t think their offense will put up the numbers needed to cover this large spread.

Baylor (-2.5) over Oklahoma: This is my strongest pick of the week in college football. I feel like we are getting a bargain with Baylor because freshman Jarrett Stidham is playing for the Bears. I think this line would be close to a touchdown if Seth Russell was playing so I’ll take the discounted price on a Baylor team with one of the best offenses in the country.

Arizona (+6) over Utah: Arizona has been very disappointing this season at 5-5 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Despite a poor season they can become bowl eligible with a win, which is important to a lot of programs. Utah is probably a little overvalued here especially on the road. The Utes have a lookahead game against UCLA next week, which will likely decide who wins the Pac-12 South.

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.

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.

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Las Vegas Bowl Pick

Utah and Colorado State meet in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon in a battle between two former Mountain West rivals. Now Utah is in the Pac-12 and back in a bowl game after a two-year absence. The Utes finished 8-4 overall and 5-4 in a challenging conference slate. Colorado finished 10-2 but only played five teams that reached a bowl game.

The Utah offense is led by quarterback Travis Wilson and running back Devontae Booker. I think Booker will able to run on the Colorado State defense. Rams head coach Jim McElwain won’t be on the sideline because he took the Florida job. I don’t think McElwain’s absence will make much of a difference but I’m going to pick Utah in this game.

Utah played a tougher schedule and I like to pick teams from a power conferences when they are playing a “mid-major”. The talent level might not be much of a difference here but I think the Utes are a more motivated team in this spot after being left out of postseason play for two seasons.

Pick: Utah (-2.5) over Colorado State

College Football: Week 12 Picks

I have seven picks in Week 12 of college football. I previewed the important games earlier in this week before the lines were released. I ended up picking six of those games so you can read my analysis there. Here are my picks and pool plays for Week 12:

South Carolina (+7) over Florida: This is the one game I didn’t preview earlier in the week because it has no impact on the College Football Playoff. South Carolina has blown three fourth quarter leads this year but I think they make sure to play 60 minutes in Gainesville. Florida doesn’t have the offense to be a touchdown favorite here and I think the Gamecocks win straight up.

Georgia (-2) over Auburn

Stanford (-7.5) over Utah

Alabama (-8) over Mississippi State

Arkansas (-2) over LSU

Florida State (-3) over Miami

Maryland (+12) over Michigan State

Pool Plays

Penn State (-11) over Temple

Ohio State (-14) over Minnesota

Iowa (-3.5) over Illinois

Nebraska (+6.5) over Wisconsin

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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: Week 6 Picks

Here are my picks and pool plays for Friday and Saturday in college football:

Mississippi State (-2) over Texas A&M: Texas A&M is overvalued and were lucky to beat Arkansas on Saturday. I think the Aggies defense will have trouble with Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs offense. Mississippi State had a bye last week to refocus after an emotional win at LSU.

Stanford (-1) over Notre Dame: Two years ago Stanford pushed Notre Dame to the brink before falling just short in South Bend. I think revenge can be a factor in this game. Everett Golson has had a great start to the season but the Cardinal have a history of slowing down mobile quarterbacks. Stanford’s only loss was against USC where they statistically dominated the game. Notre Dame has taken care of business but this year’s Michigan team, Purdue and Syracuse aren’t very good this season.

LSU (+7.5) over Auburn: I’ve been picking against Auburn a lot this season and will do it at least one more time. They failed to cover the spread in the last two games despite winning outright. Les Miles’ teams are always better with less expectations and when no one believes in them. I think that is the case in this game and I can see LSU upsetting Auburn.

Utah (+13) over UCLA: UCLA started the season slowly and then bursted out for 62 points and 580 yards last Thursday against Arizona State. The Bruins scored twice on interceptions and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. The Bruins have a tough scheduling situation with Oregon at home next week. Utah may have been looking ahead to this game when they blew a fourth quarter lead to Washington State at home. I think the Utes offense gets back on track and they cover in Pasadena.

Pool Plays

Syracuse (+3) over Louisville- Friday Night

Purdue (+8.5) over Illinois

Ohio State (-8.5) over Maryland

Florida (+3) over Tennessee

Iowa State (+17) over Oklahoma State

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Pac-12 Win Total and Standings Preview

Best Bets

Stanford under 8.5 wins (+105): Stanford returns quarterback Kevin Hogan and wide receiver Ty Montgomery. However, there were some significant losses to David’s Shaw team. Running back Tyler Gaffney, who rushed for 1,750 yards last season, is gone. The Cardinal have to replace most of their offensive line. Defensive coordinator Derek Mason took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Stanford’s schedule is brutal. They host USC in week 2 and have trips to Arizona State and UCLA. They also play at Washington, Notre Dame and Oregon. Stanford will have a down year for their standards under Shaw.  Continue reading