I haven’t had a big winner yet with my free NCAA picks, so it’s bound to happen this week. I’ve had a tough time with big dogs so far this year, so I’m taking at least a one-week hiatus from those options. I’ve eliminated all my super-fades until I get a better hold on what the state of Washington is up to, but am hoping to find some great value headed in to Wednesday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, Friday Night Football, and of course the fantastic weekend to come. I know it looks like road-team galore… but here’s a dozen big ones for you… Enjoy!
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Lousiana Tech Bulldogs (-3.5): On the road for the Warriors isn’t that bad this week as they haven’t played since the 19th. However, I’m still on Tech here. They’ve played pretty well against equal competition, which I think the Rainbows are. Giving up a little over a field goal at home on Wednesday Night seems like a good value pick to me. The favored team has won this battle in all but one occasion in 7 meetings since 2000. The home team has covered in 6 of the last 7.
Colorado Buffaloes (+17) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: I know I said I was big with BIG DOGS, but I promised a reader I’d pick this game, and after looking into it I have to take the Buffaloes and all those Thursday Night points. The Buffs have had nearly 2 weeks to prepare for the Mounties spread offense, and the same goes for WV against Colorado’s rushing attack.This game won’t be as high scoring as expected, and the points look like a hot brunette with light eyes… Sexy. I’ll take ’em!
Pittsburgh Panthers (-6.5) @ Louisville Cardinals: The Panthers finally got over the Louisville hump last season when they rocked the Cardinals 41-7. That marked the first time in the last 20 years (8 total meetings) that Pitt won this match-up. I think they make it a steak against a Louisville team that just doesn’t do the program much justice. Pittsburgh can really run the ball, and they’re making fewer mistakes than in recent years. That helps in a short week.
Michigan Wolverines (pk) @ Michigan State Spartans: I’ll be the first one to tell you that I don’t think Michigan is as good as people give them credit for being. But the Spartans are worse. And if Forcier is playing, and it’s said that he’ll be just fine for this one, I have to give a pick-em nod to the Wolverines. A team that is better on the ground and defensively. They have better athletes and a better coach (though he’s kind of a donkey), and they just win this game.
Florida State Seminoles (-4.5) @ Boston College Eagles: Smoke BYU, then come out like you own the world only to lose to South Florida – but then walk right on out in an ACC match-up and ice the 3-1 Boston College Eagles… Yeah, I’m predicting that last one. BC isn’t a 3-1 team, they don’t really do anything exceptionally well despite being 3-1 thus far. I like them to get closer to the .500 team they are destined to be by losing to the Seminoles this Saturday.
Alabama Crimson Tide (-17) @ Kentucky Wildcats: The Tide have really beat up on everyone thus far. Their closest game was a 10 point Week 1 win over Virginia Tech where the Hokies needed lots of fluke happenings to keep it close. They’ve dominated thus far, and it’s because they have bigger badder players than most other schools in the country. What was the last game Kentucky played like that? Last week’s 41-7 blitzing at the hands of the Gators. I don’t think it will be that bad, but ‘Bama runs the ball too well, and makes too few mistakes not to hand it to the Wildcats.
LSU Tigers (-2.5) @ Georgia Bulldogs: The Tigers aren’t the 4th best team in the country, I’ll tell you that is one sure thing I know: and you might think that might make them an upset candidate heading into Week 5, but I don’t think Georgia has it in them. They aren’t a Top 15 team in my opinion. I know both these teams play in SEC land where every team is better than every team in other conferences (please) but there’s something about really close wins over Arizona State, Arkansas, and South Carolina that just don’t say 14th in the Nation to me. The Bulldogs won’t be able to put up the points they’ll need to win this one. I’ll take the road favorite in this SEC showdown.
Washington Huskies (+17) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish:(Again, a pretty big dog, what can I say they just attract me) I don’t see the Irish covering against the big Husky dog in this one. WA had a tough match-up last week, a dominant running team that doesn’t make mistakes. That’s not Notre Dame. This one should be tough, and I don’t think the Huskies will come out in a lull like they did last week. Something about going to Notre Dame with a chance to upset the Irish that has me taking the Dogs here. I think they have a good chance to not only cover, but pull the upset, so I’ll take all those points.
Oklahoma Sooners @ Miami Hurricanes (+7): I think Miami has the kids to play with a team like Oklahoma. They are playing at home, in front of a crowd that will be nuts, getting hyped for a huge chance to prove themselves once again after they really tumbled in last week’s game against Virginia Tech. A little slap in the face to show you that you may not be everything you think you are usually does a team good, and I think last week’s loss will have that effect on the Hurricanes. Since their loss to BYU, the Sooners haven’t had a tough game to show me what they are really made of, as Idaho State and Tulsa don’t really do it for me. I’ll take the home dog here, even if Bradford gets cleared.
Ohio State Buckeyes (-17) @ Indiana Hoosiers: The Hoosiers played a real tough game last week, many think they should have won, but they fought really hard only to get their hearts broken by Tate Forcier and company. This week the Buckeyes come to town, and I don’t think they’ll be feeling bad for the Hoosiers. Ohio State can beat up on some mediocre Big 10 teams in a hurry. I think they do exactly that in Indy this weekend.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-4.5) @ Mississippi State Bulldogs: They Yellow Jackets may have figured it out last week. However, I don’t think I’d be taking them here anyway if it wasn’t for the great match-up they have against a team that struggles to stop the run. That being said, I think the Jackets are a lot like Auburn, and I see 350+ rushing yards getting fed to the Bulldogs defense this weekend. Gotta take the road favorites here.
USC Trojans @ California Golden Bears (+6): Apparently it’s hard to win against a physical team when you’re looking forward to next week’s huge battle. Fortunately for the Bears, the battle this weekend had some pressure relieved when they got trounced by the Ducks. They are no longer an undefeated top ranked powerhouse heading into a huge game against a Trojans team that always beats them. Nope, they are now in the same boat as USC, 3-1 on the season, one loss to a team that isn’t as good as they are, and looking for redemption against the toughest opponent they’ll have all season. USC’s offense doesn’t impress me, and they aren’t as tough defensively as they’ve been. Jahvid Best has a stigma where he just can’t get yards against top ranked foes, I’m willing to be he pops that bubble in Week 5. This one could go either way, that’s why I’ll be taking the Bears and the point at home.
Washington State Cougars @ Oregon Ducks (-31): Fade the Cougars… even after two big wins. I stayed away from WSU last week, as they stayed close to the Trojans, so good for me. But they are terrible, and Oregon has figured out what they’re doing. If they don’t put up 50 on the Cougars I will be surprised.