Friday, November 09, 2007

NFL Week 10/College Week 11 Predictions

"Hides that smile when she's wearing a frown."

A much deserved week off for the Pats means that I'll be writing a bit of a look back on what has gone on so far this year, and more importantly, what the Pats need to do to win out the rest of the way, a milestone that, while still far off in the distance, is getting closer with every passing week (if I say that certain "milestone," which starts with a "U," I'll definitely jinx it). With that said, I'm also going to try and do a Hot Stove report on the baseball offseason. Schill signed for eight mil and has some of the most bizarre incentive clauses ever. A mil for one singular vote in the Cy Young? Up to two mil if he passes six random weigh-ins? In any event, he's on the books...great move. Now, the focus should be placed entirely on getting Lowell back at the hot corner. The Sox reportedly have offered three years, which is what I expected. Sure, he's going to get four if he hits the open market, but will it be from a team that is going to contend every year until he retires? That seems like less of a possibility. The Yanks will make a push given that the entire world seems to be going against them right now, including their franchise catcher, who, unless he signs soon, is likely going to be headed to the cross-town rival Mets. So, with that being said, Tuesday is the deadline for the Sox' window of exclusive negotiating rights with Lowell...I still say they're the favorites, but I do not want to let Lowell see the light of day and the free agent market.

Ok, so once again, I was awful picking 4:00 games. I will say this: On that Sunday, I immediately regretted the Denver and Oakland picks, and usually when that happens, I'm right. Unfortunately, work calls, and my picks aren't making me any money (yet), so I didn't have any time to change it up. Now, it's time to focus...let's get right to it.


Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt:
Hey, if Vandy can pull another big upset off, God bless. Kentucky's lost two straight, including a shocker at home to Mississippi St. Still, given how Florida completely manhandled the Commodores last week, I'm convinced that Vandy has some holes in a defense that has carried them all year long. Kentucky (W, -3.5).

UConn vs. Cincinnati: To me, this is an easy spread...the winner is just really hard to predict. Cincy has won both the two previous matchups, and is coming off a win at South Florida last week (you're welcome). UConn is having its best season in their short history, and with a date with West Virginia looming in two weeks, could be in a BCS game...seriously. My foresight into thinking that the Big East would be a great conference this year way, way back this season is totally coming to fruition. Sure, the big boys are gone, but there are so many teams in this conference that could break some hearts come bowl season. After siding against UConn two weeks ago, then deciding to not pick them last week in an obvious game against Rutgers, I'm hoping they saved a little for me this week. UConn (W, +7).

Air Force vs. Notre Dame: Ok, so after last week when I never thought it could get worse for the got worse. Now, they're playing an Air Force team that is like Navy, but has a better defense. Ok, but seriously...they can't lose again can they? I mean I know that these are uncharted waters for Notre Dame, but at some point, they are going to show some heart...but...Air Force is Navy with a defense, and they've won five in a row ATS (sorry to keep flip-flopping). Air Force (W, -3).

Florida St. vs. Virginia Tech: No analysis really needed here. Sure, I picked against the 'Noles last week...that was before I learned about the hurricane rolling through the Bay State, and I immediately knew that the Eagles were screwed in a foul-weather game. If Florida State wins another game on the road against a top 10 team, then they are putting on one of the biggest hustles of all time. Virginia Tech (W, -6).

Kansas vs. Oklahoma St.: So I have been incredibly impressed by how well Kansas has played, and if things stay the way they are, you're looking at a Kansas/Oklahoma Big 12 Championship, a game I am dying to see. The Jayhawks are up in cloud nine, and given how it's gone for teams playing over their heads this year, it's a slippery slope from the top. Oklahoma St. (W, +6).

Arizona St. vs. UCLA: After last week's game against Oregon, it seems like the Devils have problems against a mobile QB, which is what they will be facing this week with the Bruins. Sure, Ben Olsen is done for the year, but Oscar Rasshan is starting to come into his own. The home team is great in this series. UCLA (W, +7).

Alabama vs. Mississippi St.: 'Bama played LSU incredibly close last week, but in the end, the Tigers proved to be just a bit better. However, this week, the Tide go into Starksville looking to bounce back. The Bulldogs are riding high after bouncing Kentucky two weeks ago. My feeling is that State needed to keep playing to ride that momentum, and that the week off may not be the best thing for them. Also, 'Bama has not allowed State to score the last two times the teams have played in Mississippi. Alabama (W, -4).

Auburn vs. Georgia: Auburn has played teams incredibly tough on the road this year, and have scored wins at both The Swamp and at Arkansas. UGA also beat Florida this year, and after three tough SEC games on the road, the Dawgs finally get an SEC team at home. UGA rocked Auburn on the road last year being 'dogged by 12. This is an early game, meaning that the Tigers are going to have a tough time countering the fans between the hedges. Georgia (W, -1).

Minnesota vs. Iowa: The Gophers are hideous on the road, and judging from what's happened in this series, they could be even worse in Iowa City. Also, I love Iowa at home for those early games. I don't see Minnesota getting anything going against the Hawkeyes. Iowa (W, -14).

BC vs. Maryland: I got last week's game wrong, but trust me, if I get this week's wrong, BC will be lucky to play a bowl game on New Year's Eve, let alone a BCS game. Maryland is used to playing quality opponents at home, and losing to them (West Virginia, Virginia, Clemson). I thought all along that this would be the game to foul up BC's perfect season, but now that the loss is out of the way and that they are out of the National Championship picture, I feel like there's a lot less pressure on them, and they can go out and do the things that had them making me look like an ass for basically the entire season (I was adamant that they would not play for a national title, and as the wins kept piling up, I quickly realized that with every team in America taking a swan dive, they had some hope...but in the end I was right...sometimes it works like that). Boston College (W, -6).

Last Week: SU: 8-2, ATS: 5-1-4
Season: SU: 53-33 (61.6%), ATS: 47-32-7 (58.8%)

NFL (aka A Bunch Of Teams I Really Could Care Less About)

Jacksonville vs. Tennessee:
So picking a Jags game is getting real tough nowadays. First, they pull an upset in Tampa, then they play like...well, let's just say "not too hot" against the Saints. Garrard is expected back, which makes it even tougher to figure out who will win this. Marcus Stroud being suspended is obviously having a negative impact on the Jags' defense. It seems like Nashville is a tough place to play, and again, the whole "never pick against Vince Young" theory is in full effect. Tennessee (W, -4).

Denver vs. Kansas City: I don't even care who Kansas City is putting out at running back. Cutler got hurt last week, and basically deep sixed any chance the Broncos had in staying in that game as they got the bejeezus knocked out of them. Travis Henry and John Lynch are questionable...I love Priest Holmes in his return to action, and KC has won four straight Bronco games at home. Kansas City (W, -3).

Buffalo vs. Miami: I'm still a little steamed about not picking the 'Fins ATS two weeks ago when they were not playing in this country, which could be the only shot they have to win a game this year. Losman was banging on all cylinders last week, and the Bills are finally figuring out that this Lee Evans guy is really, really good. Buffalo (W, -3).

Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh: The Steelers have been absolutely dynamite at home, and have covered every spread, including three that were above nine points. The Browns have been playing out of their minds, especially at home, beating the Seahawks in a thriller last week (at least the last two minutes and the OT were good...yeah, I'm gonna watch that over the Pats vs. Indy...please). However, that's at Cleveland...and this is Heinz Field, where even good teams can get stomped out (see Baltimore last week). Pittsburgh (W, -9.5).

St. Louis vs. New Orleans: Here's the thing: I know the Rams are going to win at some point. Their season has been sabotaged by a rash of injuries to all of their big names. Steven Jackson, Marc Bulger, Orlando Pace, and now Leonard Little. The Saints could be without Reggie Bush, who is a game-time decision. The Saints are going to be without three defensive starters, including the NFL's sack leader, Charles Grant. Still, I like the Saints, but not that much. New Orleans (W), St. Louis (+11.5).

Atlanta vs. Carolina: The NFL's "best road team" finally got beat last week...actually, they got shalacked by Tennessee. Jerious Norwood's status up in the air, but so isn't Testaverde's, which is why I will make two predictions, because I run the show:

Vinny in: Carolina (W, -4)

Vinny out: Atlanta (W, +4)

That's how I roll...

Washington vs. Philadelphia: Philly is getting all of their injured players back this week in a critical division game for both teams. The Eagles may have enough time to make a serious run now that they are healthy again. The 'Skins were able to overcome a big deficit last week in Jersey to beat the Jets in OT. Philly has won three of the last four played in DC (Landover to be precise), and with Santana Moss out, I'm banking on a turnaround game for the Eagles. Philadelphia (W, +3).

Minnesota vs. Green Bay: First of all, I have to say that I'm amazed that Chicago is now this division's punching bag. Did you ever expect it to come to this? In any event, this game is getting more and more interesting thanks to the spectacular play of Adrian Peterson, who was the first back to reach 1,000 yards this year after rushing for an NFL record 297 yards against the Chargers last week. However, Tavaris Jackson and Kelly Holcomb are out, meaning Brooks Bollinger will get the snaps. I'm not sure even Peterson can overcome that. I will say that the Vikings have been able to keep games close at Lambeau, so look for a low-scoring slugfest. Green Bay (W), Minnesota (+6.5).

And now, the 4:00 games...prepare to not listen to a word I say and bet the complete opposite...

Cincinnati vs. Baltimore: Chad Johnson got lit up lie a Christmas tree at the end of last week's game against the Bills, but will play on Sunday. This will simply be a very ugly game. In the end, I still think that the Ravens do not have the passing game to take advantage on Cincy's horrendous secondary. Also, the Ravens could be without their two starting cornerbacks (definitely one, Samari Rolle) and Ed Reed is questionable. The Bengals have dominated this series as well. Cincinnati (W, +4.5).

Chicago vs. Oakland: So people were saying that McCown starting was a "big upgrade" over Culpepper. "I'm not so sure about that." The Raider offense looked dismal last week, and the fact that they let Sage Rosenfels tool on them makes me think Brian Griese will be alright. Plus, how do you come out and say you're going to kick to Devin Hester?...Really? Also, here's something to note: Despite being 2-6, the Raiders have been favored for every game at home this year...and they've won one of them. That really has no bearing on this game because they're 'dogged, but it's amazing that a team this bad has not been underdogged at all until this game. Chicago (W, -3.5).

Dallas vs. New York Giants: Get ready for a barn-burner here. The G-Men took it on the chin in Dallas earlier this year, giving up 45 points in a loss. However, since Tom Coughlin decided to not be so much of a jackass, the G-Men have been rolling on a river. Dallas has proven to be the class of the NFC. Also, they have pounded out their NFC foes on the road (Chicago, Philly). Dallas (W, -1).

Detroit vs. Arizona: Call me crazy, but I'm still not convinced on Detroit. They have been great so far, don't get me wrong, but I feel like at 6-2, it's almost a "John Wasdin" season (this is a new theory...bare with me...back in '99, despite being one of the most notoriously non-clutch pitchers to ever come out of the Red Sox bullpen, John Wasdin was like 6-1 or 7-1 at one point, and ended the year, from now on, any time a player or a team is over-performing to the point where it's beyond fraudulent, they're pulling a John "Way Back" Wasdin). So, with all that said, I will once again go against my boy, Jon Kitna, and a guy who should have been fired on 37 different occasions, Matt Millen. Arizona (W, -1).

Indianapolis vs. San Diego: Apparently, no one is betting the Chargers. 92% are siding with the Colts and the spread, which is fascinating considering the Colts have not fared too well against the Chargers, losing their perfect season one year to them, and barely sneaking by in the meeting before that. San Diego's offense did look atrocious against the Vikes last week. The Chargers will be without their best CB, Quentin Jammer, while Indy may return its best receiver, Marvin Harrison. Still, I see the Charger defense raising hell on Manning. Merriman has had an absolute field day against this line. Also, I think it's about time for LT to step up and take this team over. It is painfully obvious that Phillip Rivers is not getting the job done, so it falls on Tomlinson's shoulders to get this team going. San Diego (W, +4).

San Francisco vs. Seattle: I bet ESPN is thrilled with this matchup on Monday night. Seriously, I've said it before and I'll say it again...NBC is getting all the good primetime games, and ESPN is stuck with some brutal matchups. The Seahawks blew out the Niners at Candlestick earlier this year. The last time these teams played in Seattle, the Niners were 'dogged by 10, and they won by 10. Seattle will likely be without Shaun Alexander, and I'm likely to not care because Norfolk, MA's own Matt Hasselbeck is going to throw all over the 'Frisco secondary, and Alex Smith is looking like another wacky WAC bust (see David Carr, he'll be the handsome fellow on the sidelines in Charlotte this week). Seattle (W), San Francisco (+10.5).

Last Week: SU: 9-5, ATS: 6-8
Season: SU: 86-44 (66.2%), ATS: 67-54-9 (55.4%)

Again, I'm going to try and get some posts up early next week, but my schedule is congested now, which is actually a good thing. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great weekend. The Revolution are in the MLS cup next Saturday, which is fueling the New England battle cry of "Screw it, let's win 'em all." (I would use other words, but this is a family show). Celts are 4-0. Hopefully the Bruins can bounce back. If they keep going to OT, I don't like my chances. Take it easy everyone. Peace.


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