LAST WEEK: 2-2 (7-5 overall)
A weekend that may seem long ago to some is still quite fresh in my mind, mainly due to Philip Rivers crushing our winning week. His inexcusable spike of the football in the waning minutes of their matchup against the Broncos not only cost his team the win but more importantly, wrecked our two-team teaser. My rant aside, the other picks were solid starting with a Pitt drubbing of Wake Forest as predicted. Syracuse fell short to the still-undefeated Irish, but I still believe we were on the right side of the line due to an unforeseen injury to the Orange’s senior starting quarterback. The NFL Pick was easier than HES 100 as Indy smacked around their divisional foes to the south with an easy 38-10 victory.
NCAAF PICK – OKLAHOMA -7 vs. Texas
Here we have a matchup between an Oklahoma team with all the motivation in the world and a Texas squad that feels left out. With a win, the Sooners have to think they will be in the playoff, but more importantly they will need style points to outgun Ohio State in the race for the fourth seed. Texas has to feel a little bit disappointed with two close losses and will come out flat in this spot against a team they already beat. Buy the half point and look for Oklahoma to jump all over the Longhorns as they march into the College Football Playoff.
NFL PICK – TAMPA BAY +4 vs. Carolina
The Bucks aren’t dead yet and more importantly they seem to always be in close games. This season they have played four games decided by three or fewer points so taking four points is a nice bonus. Carolina is a solid team that needs wins desperately to make the playoffs, but I simply do not trust Cam Newton to hold a lead against a Tampa team that has been able to backdoor cover on numerous occasions. With a chance of rain in the forecast, look for a back and forth game that will be decided by a field goal either way.
EXTRA PICK – DALLAS +7.5 vs. New Orleans (Thursday Night)
Betting against the best team in the league is usually a bit of a head-scratching strategy, but here the Saints are simply laying too many points in a tough road spot. The Cowboys have found some mojo and their risk of discarding a 1st round pick for Amari Cooper is starting to pay off. Although the Saints have the top-ranked rushing defense in the league, this is largely in part due to their potent offense and tendency to have a big lead. Dallas will try to control the tempo with Zeke Elliot and keep Brees and the boys off of the field. Although the Saints will ultimately win the game, look for Dallas to come out strong and keep it within one score.
RANDOM PICK – GREEN BAY, LA RAMS, SEATTLE, ALABAMA (Moneyline Parlay)
This pick is simple. Four vastly superior teams and all we need them to do is win outright. On Saturday, Alabama will take no chances with a Georgia team they struggled with in last year’s finale and will punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff. In the NFL, Green Bay will have no lack of motivation with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance against an inferior Arizona team. The Rams are off on a bye and will trot out another offensive masterpiece that will overwhelm the Lions in Detroit. On the west coast, Seattle finds themselves in a solid spot near the top of the NFC wild card standings and will soar over the banged-up 49ers.