Friday, September 21, 2007

NFL Week 3/College Week 4 Predictions

"Listen, let me tell you something with absolute honesty and concern for your well-being...Tom Brady would kick your ass."

I'm not going to lie, I just picked up "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" on DVD, and it's basically been running my life for the past couple of days. So, the updates have been slow to come. So, why beat around the bush. Let's get right into it:


South Carolina vs. LSU:
Gamecock fans, we have been waiting for something like this to come around for a long, long time, and now, it's actually here. With USC on the cusp of a top-10 ranking, they face easily their biggest challenge of the year, on the road, against the second-ranked Bayou Bengals at Baton Rouge. Vegas doesn't like our chances (+17.5), and I guess they have fairly good reason not to. The Tigers have trounced everyone they've played so far, winning their opening three, and not winning by less than 41 in those contests. Their defense is ungodly, and definitely the best in the country right now. Now my head says one thing, and my heart says another, and it's extremely tough to really have an unbiased opinion on this game. So, I'm going to chicken out and take the under (46).


And now, games I will actually predict:

North Carolina vs. South Florida: Ok, the Bulls have convinced me that their run last year has definitely carried over to this season, and after a win at Auburn two weeks ago, the Bulls find themselves in the top 25 for the first time this year. As far as UNC goes...well...they're horrible. They lost to East Carolina on the road and lost to UVA last week at home on a last second field goal. Now, they go to South Florida, and I have to give less than 2 TD's...I like it. I'll take USF (W, -13.5).

Clemson vs. North Carolina St.: I hate to pick on my state of residency too much, but the 'Pack are pretty terrible too, basically because of the lack of talent they could keep healthy. Seemingly, everyone kept going down on the offensive side of the ball, and that has led the way to State getting blind-sided by Central Florida at home the first week of the season. After somehow surviving Wofford last week, they now host Clemson. While I hate...hate...hate the Tigers, there's no way I can pass up on this spread. N.C. State is giving up 216 yards a game on the ground, and despite the early troubles of C.J. Spiller, it's just a matter of time before he gets it going. Plus, with James Davis back there as well, I see the Tigers (W, -7) beating up on N.C. State.

GO COCKS!!!...

Northwestern vs. Ohio St.: Ok, so after I picked the Wildcats to beat Duke at home...and they failed, there stands a chance that I will never pick Northwestern ever, ever...ever again. The Buckeyes, who I picked against last week...and also lost, look like they are coming around to form after their halftime scare against Akron. Given the events of last week, I have to say the Buckeyes (W, -23.5) will cover at the Horseshoe.

Michigan St. vs. Notre Dame: Am I really going to be alive to see Notre Dame go 0-4? Is this not the biggest dose of reality ever delivered to a program (wait, that school in Ann Arbor got a bit of a wake-up call this year)? Ok, I'm going to run some numbers...I hope you're sitting down because you may laugh so hard that you'll throw your back out. The Irish are averaging -4.7 yards a game rushing...-4.7!...Seriously, that is a minus sign on the front...In three games, they are averaging negative rushing yards. Also, I think Charlie Weis is signed until I'm like 40, so have fun with all that. In addition to the horrendousness of Notre Dame, Michigan St. comes into this game in search of a little revenge after last year's devastating loss at home to the Irish. The Spartans are looking to get into the top 25 for the first time this year, as well as getting off to a 4-0 start (are they playing Big 10 opponents anytime this year by the way?). Go Green (W, -10.5)

Iowa vs. Wisconsin: So why is it that Vegas overlooks the Badgers like every single year? This is a perfect example. The Badgers have been running pretty well this year, getting through a land-mine game against UNLV two weeks ago, and beat Washington St. in their home opener by 21. Iowa went on the road last week against Iowa St. and lost by 2. So why is Wisconsin only favored by a TD at home? Maybe I'm missing something, but to me, this is about the easiest line you will ever see on a board. Badgers (W, -7).

Penn St. vs. Michigan: Is it just me, or is there a lot of Big 10 in the predictions this week? Anyway, Michigan apparently isn't playing on the road this year, as they play their fourth consecutive home game in a row. Again, maybe it's something I'm overlooking here, but Penn St. is favored by less than a field goal. The one thing Michigan does well, run, is what Penn St. does exceptionally well, and that's stopping the run. As evident by last week's GA Tech/BC game, a really good run defense will break down a really good running game, which is why I like the Nittany Lions (W, -2.5).

Florida vs. Mississippi: I'm picking a lot of favorites this week, and I realize that this is not exactly the strongest bunch of moves I've ever made...and with that being said, I think Florida will win this game by about 40. Ole Miss is giving up 466 yards of offense a game, which puts them a solid 220th in the country. The Rebs are Gator bait (W, -23), but don't expect all those road games to be this easy, especially the one on November 10th (oh like you even have to look that up to know who they're playing)...

GO COCKS!!!...

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma St.: Considering what happened last week against Troy, I don't have a considerable amount of faith in the Cowboys right now. The Red Raiders come into this game with the second ranked passing attack in the country, while Okla St. is 201st against it. Also, I'm sick of picking favorites, so let's switch it up and go for a road 'dog. I'll take the Red Raiders (+6).

Kentucky vs. Arkansas: Here's why this a TD spread for Arkansas. First, it's likely that Kentucky will be unable to win two monumental games in a row, and second, Arkansas, after losing a heart-breaker to 'Bama, will come out with a ton to play for. Arkansas was down twice last week by 21 to the Tide, rallied back, and then lost anyway. Kentucky won arguably the biggest game in school history last week against Louisville. Still, I'm siding with Vegas in saying that, in what is likely going to be a scoring-palooza, the Wildcats will not be able to contain Arkansas' offense, and while the 'Cats bring a lot of offense to the table as well, the Razorbacks are a little more two-dimensional than Kentucky, which is why I see Arkansas (W, -7) bouncing back at home.

Last Week: SU: 6-4, ATS: 3-5-2
Season: SU: 11-6, ATS: 6-8-3

Onto the pros:

Buffalo vs. New England:
Hey, it's a big spread...and it totally deserves to be. Why even explain it? Pats (W, -16.5)

And now, games I will put more than three seconds of thought into:

Miami vs. New York: Despite the whole Oregon QB syndrome hanging over Kellen Clemens, I think he will be able to snap that curse, much like Vince Young will likely do with the Madden curse this year. The 'Fins will be without Zach Thomas, and, oh by the way, they suck to begin with. Jets (W, -3) in a big division win.

Detroit vs. Philadelphia: The Eagles totally burned me last week at the Linc. I don't know what team is showing up here. Also, quite simply put, Detroit finally has a terrific offense under Mike Martz, and their defense isn't all that bad either. Philly is 0-2, and Detroit is 2-0...what a weird, twisted world we live in. I'll take the Lions (W, +6)

San Francisco vs. Pittsburgh: The Steelers have had two blowout wins against two really bad teams. This week, they have an actual test against the Niners, who have miraculously won two close divisional games. The Steelers have cut through their first two teams like a hot knife, and frankly, I don't expect them to stop, even though the Niners will put up a bit of a fight. I'll take the Steelers (W, -9)

St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay: This is hard to believe, but the Bucs have a better average offensive ranking (18.5) than the Rams (19.3). This was not quite the offensive juggernaut that I had envisioned. Yet, I will once again pick the Rams simply because one, I am sinking with this ship, and two, the Rams actually play against the pass well, and the Bucs have had a little bit of a problem covering wide receivers, which is not the best problem when you play the Rams. Plus, no way Steven Jackson has another terrible game. Once again, I'll take the Rams (W, +4).

Arizona vs. Baltimore: I like the Cardinals...I do, but so far, their passing attack, which is supposedly their strength, has been just ehhh. With news that Steve McNair will play this week for the Ravens, and at home, they have been almost unbeatable since '05 (14-3) and as a favorite at the BB&T (12-1). I like the Ravens (W, -7.5).

Indianapolis vs. Houston: The Texans went on the road against the Panthers and beat the crap out of them last week. Now, they face Indy in a battle of 2-0 AFC South teams. For whatever reason, this spread hasn't really moved despite the fact that Andre Johnson will not play for Houston. Johnson is the biggest component of this offense, and without him, I'm not so sure the Texans will be able to match the Colts' onslaught. Again, I love Houston, but I'm taking the Colts (W, -6).

San Diego vs. Green Bay: All the trends, and common sense, have the Chargers having absolutely no chance of not winning this game. Personally, I really don't care. I love the Packers, and after the beatdown they put on the Giants last week (despite the G-Men having Eli The Great at QB), I think that the combination of a slowed Charger offense, mediocre defense, and bad coach, coupled with the Pack's dynamic offense, and their breakout ability, I'll take the Pack (W, +6).

Minnesota vs. Kansas City: The Vikings D' has been tough all year, but Tavaris Jackson is listed as doubtful, meaning Kelly Holcomb or Brooks Bollinger will likely be taking over at QB. The Vikings are also both bad as an underdog and bad on the road, so for whatever reason, I'll take the Chiefs (W, -2.5).

Cleveland vs. Oakland: The Browns have dominated the recent head-to-head matchups against the Raiders, and after last week, there stands to reason that the Browns have a fairly good offense. Given what happened against the Lions in Week 1, the Raiders' D is not exactly what everyone had pictured before the season. I'll take the point guard and the points (W, +3).

Jacksonville vs. Denver: The Jags couldn't even cover against Atlanta, and considering the Broncos have been winning really tight games, and also going 0-2 ATS, this could be a tough one to call. However, here's what I'm thinking: Jacksonville has been amazing as a 'dog since '05 (9-2) and the Broncos, while looking good at home SU (13-4) have been bad ATS (6-10). I'll try my luck with the Jags (W, +3.5), and hope Jones-Drew will make some kind of impact on this game.

Cincinnati vs. Seattle: The Seahawks are 14-1 SU when they are favored between 3.5 and 9.5 since '05, and are 14-3 at home. The Bengals allowed 51 points on the road last week to the Browns, and I don't expect the defense to show up this week either. Despite having a really good offense, I think Seattle will take this game (W, -3).

New York vs. Washington: Frankly, I owe it to Washington to pick them this week. I didn't have faith in them last week, and they proved me wrong, putting themselves atop the NFC East with Dallas. The G-Men have looked horrendous this year, and on my never-ending crusade to get Tom Coughlin fired, let's go 'Skins (W, -3.5).

Carolina vs. Atlanta: Wow, this is actually tough. The Panthers showed who they really are last week, and Atlanta is still in the Joey Harrington era. Fear not though Falcons fans, as Byron Leftwich is going to takeover as soon as next week. The Panthers are great on the fast track, and despite the monumental matchup between Steve Smith and Deangelo Hall, I like the Panthers (W, -4).

Dallas vs. Chicago: The Cowboys have put up over 35 points in both of their first two games. However, this is the Bears...not the Giants or the Dolphins. Given how well the Bears play at home, and their outstanding track record in close games (4-0 ATS when favored by three or less) and their ability to win as a favorite at home (12-2 SU), I'll take the Bears (W, -3).

Tennessee vs. New Orleans: interest has been peaked. The Titans lost a tough one against the Colts last week, and beat the Jags in Week 1. The Saints have looked like they did in the Archie Manning-era, losing their first two games, including a near-blowout at Tampa last week. The Titans actually can stop the run, and because of VY's unpredictability, I'm going with the Titans (W, +4).

Last Week: SU: 10-6, ATS: 6-9-1
Season: SU: 22-10, ATS: 15-14-3

Good luck everyone, and of course...

GO COCKS!!!...



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