Picks Trying Not to Suck: Week 7

Vegas-skyline
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Homerism brothers are coming back to the pack. Each struggled through a weak 2-4 showing a week ago.

Can these two get back on track? If history is your guide…

WEEK SEVEN–The Skinny
(Last Week: 2-4; Overall: 20-14-2)

Let’s get down to it.

Stanford (-21) at Washington State

I battle the Stanford line every week. Not only are the Cardinal 5-0 against the spread this season, but they have done it comfortable fashion. I thought the Cardinal were a good early season bet as they were slightly underrated in the preseason.

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In a manner very atypical of Vegas (see Wisconsin), the lines on Stanford have seemed very slow to adjust. Last week, I thought the pendulum had finally swung too far the other direction with Stanford coming in as a 30-point favorite against Colorado. As with most things last week, I was dead wrong. I have the same concern this week giving 21 at Washington St. At some point, Stanford is bound to have a letdown playing this level of competition, and Wazzu has a decent offense.

The Skin says: Until proven otherwise, I am going to stick with Stanford.

Lee Greenwood Special: Navy at Rutgers (-4)

I’m sure if I really wanted to, I could generate some kind of idea as to why I am picking Rutgers in this game. But, honestly, this is a total guess. I figure this method improves my chances of winning – dramatically.

Skinny says: Um, Rutgers. I guess.

Madea Goes to JailMichigan at Michigan State (-2.5)

The Big Ten is awful! I know I am generally tough on the Big Ten, but even the staunchest B1G supporter can’t deny it this year.

I can live with the conference having a down year, which it is. I think Toledo could make a serious run at second place in the B1G, and Minnesota would make a serious run for last place in the MAC. But it’s these boring matchups that I find unforgivable – Penn State 13, Iowa 3; Michigan St. 10, Ohio St. 7. How would you like to be the guys at the Big Ten Network trying to build up these games?

Jim Delany is the college football equivalent of Tyler Perry. Everyone knows Madea Goes to Jail is going to blow, but someone must be watching, because they keep making more movies.

Skinny says: Michigan gets exposed this weekend at Sparty!

Boise St. (-32) at Colorado State

I hate 30-plus point spreads, but I think all three (Boise, Wisconsin, Oklahoma) hit this weekend.

Betting on Boise is similar to what I described with Stanford. At some point, Boise either has an off night or the lines get too big. The Broncos are a well-oiled machine. Barring injury to Kellen Moore, I’ll take my chances Boise will be on its game and cover the big number. Plus, Boise is always in need of style points, so I don’t see the Broncos taking their foot off the pedal.

The Skin says: BSU.

Virginia Tech at Wake Forest (+7)

In my opinion, college football fans are asking the wrong question this week as it relates to Wake’s victory over Florida State last weekend. It’s not what is wrong with FSU, but rather how good is Wake?

The Seminoles have been disappointing this season, but FSU is a young team with a freshman QB taking the majority of the snaps for injured EJ Manuel. Plus, their losses, which include OU and Clemson, have all been close.

Labeling Wake a fringe top 25 team is probably generous, but Jim Grobe has proven he can win in the ACC with this kind of team. The Hokies are coming off tough contests against back-to-back ranked opponents, and, frankly, I am no longer willing to give Tech the benefit of doubt until they show us otherwise.

The Skinny says: I think the Hokies win by a field goal.

Baylor (+9.5) at Texas A&M

A&M pulled out the victory last weekend in Lubbock in what will likely be the final contest in the Tech-Aggie rivalry. But it was Tech that left a lasting impression on the Aggies as they exit the Big 12.

Personally, I don’t think this story is getting the credit it deserves as quite possibly the greatest prank in the history of college athletics. I would love to have seen the look on A&M athletic director Bill Byrne’s face as he was greeted by a bus full of cow turds, fish guts or whatever. Harvey Updyke could learn a thing or two from the guys at Tech.

As for the game, I think Baylor will be able to put up the points it needs to keep this game close. Unfortunately, I do not see the Baylor defense stopping the A&M offense either.

The Skin says: A&M wins 53-50. I think the over at 76 is a great bet as well.

WEEK SEVEN–Blatant Homerism
(Last Week: 2-4; Overall: 20-15-1)

It’s weeks like this that I’m happy that I dabble in handicapping. This slate of games bites the big one, man. On top of that, I have to wait until 9:15 for the OU game to kick off. On top of that, OU is going to win by like 80, so it should be interesting for about 25 minutes.

Life is hard.

Stanford at Washington State (+21)

Yeah, yeah, I know. No one can stop Stanford right now. The Cardinal moved to 5-0 ATS last week by crushing Colorado.

At some point, however, Stanford’s lines will grow over-inflated. In fact, I suspect it will happen this weekend.

Don’t look now, but this may be the best team Wazzu has had since Mike Price was “rolling” around the Paloose. (I realize I’m probably selling one of the teams from the Bill Doba era short, but I’m too lazy to look it up.) The Cougars have a surprisingly potent offense that is throwing for 350 yards per game. The air attack features an under-the-radar receiving threat in sophomore Marquess Wilson, who’s averaging nearly 20 yards per reception this season.

Stanford doesn’t have many flaws, but its ability to defend against the pass does constitute a weak point. The Cougs won’t be able to match the Cardinal score for score, but they probably have enough firepower to pick on Stanford’s secondary and keep the game under three touchdowns.

BH says: Stanford by 17.

Georgia Tech at Virginia (+7)

This one looks pretty simple to me. The book on Georgia Tech since Paul Johnson got there is that if an opponent has extra time to prepare, it can generally have some success slowing down that ground game.

Oh, look who was off last week: UVa. The ‘Hoos probably shouldn’t count on their Tom Collins-sipping fan base to provide much of a raucous atmosphere. On the other hand, Virginia does have the advantage of an early kickoff. I can only see that as a plus for UVa.

BH says: Break out your critter pants, ’cause Ga. Tech is going down. Let’s hope Charlottesville survives the aftermath.

Utah at Pittsburgh (-6.5)

Never in a million years would I have any interest in watching this game. Betting it? Absolutely.

I have no idea who will be playing quarterback for Utah, but I know it won’t be Jordan Wynn. Big check in the Pitt column.

Utah is traveling to the East Coast for a noon kickoff. Big check in the Pitt column.

After getting drilled at Rutgers last week, Pitt is looking to bounce back. Not quite so big of a check in the Pitt column.

So that’s two big checks and a smaller check for the Panthers. Simple addition.

BH says: The immutable laws of checks say Pitt easily covers the 6.5.

LGS: Navy (+4) at Rutgers

Shouldn’t this line be higher? Navy has lost three straight games and just got drilled by Southern Miss last week. The Scarlet Knights, on the other hand, are 4-0 ATS this year.

Honestly, I’m not sold on Rutgers. The Knights did smoke Pitt last week, but none of their other performances have been particularly impressive, ATS record be damned.

Navy is smarting. The Midshipmen damn near upset Southern Carolina, lost to Air Force on a fluke penalty and got smoked last week. Can’t imagine that’s sitting too well there in Annapolis.

I foresee a bounce-back game for a Navy team that needs to get back on the right track.

BH says: Middies outright.

Georgia (-10.5) at Vanderbilt

Time to give Georgia a little respect. The ‘Dawgs lost two tough games to start the season, and everyone immediately jumped off the bandwagon. Since then, Mark Richt seems to have righted the ship and is starting to get his team in position to potentially steal the SEC East. The public perception of Georgia, though, is still “Mark Richt is on the hot seat” and UGa is struggling.

I also think it pays to go against teams the week after they’ve played Alabama, and Vandy just got worked over by the Crimson Tide.

BH says: Not so dandy, Vandy. Georgia, 24-10. 

Baylor at Texas A&M (-9.5)

Playing the Aggies burned me last week. I’m sure if I search my Twitter log, I’ll find somewhere where I swore up and down that I’d never bet on A&M ever again.

Well, that was last week.

I still subscribe to the theory that General Sherman’s Army is now underrated in the public eye. The Aggies lost to two of the best teams in the country, Oklahoma State and Arkansas, and they were beating both soundly before blowing it.

Yeah, I’m skittish on A&M, but my head still tells me A&M is a good bet.

BH says: This is your last chance with me, Aggies. Screw this up and we really are finished.

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