NCAA DirecTV ESPN GamePlan: Week 13

Here are my picks from DirecTV’s college football schedule on Saturday, November 22, 2008. 

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Louisville Cardinals (+7): The Cardinals have lost 3 straight games, including a disturbing loss to the Syracuse Orange. But the played well most recently against Cincinnati, and this game is at home where they have played solid football historically. But really, why I’m taking the Cardinals, is because this is the Big East and I don’t think the Cards have a chance. That’s right. Since this is the Big East, you always go exactly opposite of what you expect to happen. Nothing would surprise me in this game. 

Army (+19) @ Rugters: Army has played better of late and though Rutgers has reeled off 4 straight wins against respectable competition (except Syracuse), I expect this game to be close. Army has played solid defense down the stretch, and come close to some solid teams, losing by just 3 at Buffalo and losing by 9 to Air Force. I’ll take the Knights. 

North Carolina State @ North Carolina (-10.5): The Tar Heels are very good at home, and the Wolfpack isn’t good on the road. I know this is an instate game, but I don’t see it being close. I’ll take the Heels. 

Clemson @ Virginia (+3): Clemson is still getting their preseason Top 10 lines and Virginia isn’t getting any respect for their turnaround. I know they’ve lost each of their last two games, but I have a feeling the Cavs come back and beat a Clemson team that has disappointed all season long. 

Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (-3): It’s true, the Commodores usually lose at home to good conference teams, but Tennessee isn’t that anymore. With the Vols having gained Bowl eligibility last week, I think they’ll play with a renewed sense of confidence. They got over the hump and don’t have that one thing to worry about anymore. Vandy should stomp the Vols. 

Florida Atlantic @ Arkansas State (-4): Arkansas State runs an efficient offense without many mistakes. For that, I like them over Florida Atlantic. The Indians have lost three straight while FAU has won 4 straight, but this is the game that turns the streak around. 

Stanford @ California (-9): Cal usually isn’t good toward the end of the season, but I can’t imagine them playing poorly at home against the Cardinal. They’ve lost two straight, but @ USC and @ Oregon State aren’t really games they should have won anyway, and both were closer than the final score. I expect the Bears to continue their undefeated home play, while the Cardinal continue to struggle on the road. 

Boston College @ Wake Forest (-2): I have to follow my rule here, take any unranked team favored over a ranked opponent. This is borderline because BC is ranked 25th, but the Demon Deacons have played really well at home (aside from a loss to Navy) and should right the Boston College ship. Ha. That’s right, the Eagles have been playing above themselves the last few weeks – that won’t continue at Wake. 

Louisiana Tech (-6) @ New Mexico State: Louisiana Tech is just that much better than New Mexico State… The Aggies haven’t been good at home, and L-Tech hasn’t been terrible on the road. This is the only play here. 

Idaho (+23.5) @ Hawaii: I hate betting on Idaho, but they are the play that makes sense here. This isn’t June Jones’ Hawaii team here, these Rainbow Warriors haven’t won a single game by 20 points or more. That’s an auto play on the Vandals in this one – as bad as they are.

DirecTV ESPN GamePlan Free Picks: Week 12

DirecTV has some games on their agenda these days, or at least on their plethora of channels – here they are. I’ve picked everyone, leaning one way or another and maybe even giving a reason or two why. Let the Week 12 begin!

Rutgers (+8) @ South Florida: What has Rutgers done for me lately? A lot more than what the South Florida Bulls have done, that’s for sure. as a touchdown underdog, I see the Scarlet Knights playing good enough football against a tough opponent to cover this game. The Knights had a disappointing start to the season, but things can change, and they certainly have with 3 straight wins including a win over Connecticut and a win over Pittsburgh.

Duke (+11.5) @ Clemson: Duke has been the better team all year long. I know that’s surprising, especially for me, a guy who can’t stand Duke doing anything good – but it’s true. They make far fewer mistakes, they play decent defense, and despite a 1-4 stretch of late, they will give Clemson trouble. The Tigers definitely have the talent over the Devils, but Duke is turning the corner and it will be those lack of mistakes that keeps them close.

Georgia (-8.5) @ Auburn: This may seem like a gimmie, but it’s not necessarily that way. The Bulldogs barely slipped by the Wildcats last week, and they were outscored by 39 at home against Florida two weeks ago. Close wins over LSU, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee are starting to lose a lot of their luster, no doubt about that. HOwever, Auburn’s inability to play well against anybody doesn’t excite me, and despite their knack for close games, I have a feeling this one will be a beatdown of Knowshon proportions.

Middle Tennessee State (-2) @ Western Kentucky: MTSU has played tougher against better teams – they can score points, have a solid passing attack, and good leadership. Neither of these teams are good, don’t get it twisted, and between the two there is only one road win on the season. But the better team is MTSU, they are good enough to be favored on the road as a 3 win team, and that tells me a lot about Western Kentucky. I’m taking the Blue Raiders (that’s MTSU for those that don’t know their Mascot).

Toledo (+16) @ Western Michigan: Toledo has one good game against a decent team, and no I’m not talking about their win over Michigan – the Wolverines suck. I’m talking about a close loss at home against Central Michigan. Other than that, they’ve played terribly – especially on the road. Take away their win at Michgan and they’ve lost two straight on the road, to Norther Illinois and Akron, but 31 and 17 respectively. Western Michigan is better than that. But there’s this little thing called a let down game, and that’s what has me riding the Toledo Rockets in this one. Western Michigan sure can score the pigskin, but they allow a good amount of points as well. After upsetting Illinois (though it wasn’t much of an upset, but still a big win over a big name school) this game should be one in which they come out a little flat. I still like them to win, but Toledo at +16 will be my pick here.

California @ Oregon State (-3): I really want to go with the Bears here, because they have played decent teams lately where Oregon State has been subject to a four game stretch that started with the Washington schools (which are basically like playing your incoming freshmen in a scrimmage) and then Arizona State and UCLA (neither are worth much, though ASU gave the Beavers fits). They are 4-0 in their last 4, but haven’t played a good team since they lost to Utah on the 2nd of October. Cal beat Oregon two weeks ago, lost to USC last week – so they should be ready. Except that they haven’t beaten anybody on the road besides Washington State on September 9th. So, like I said, they haven’t beaten anybody on the road yet this season. The Beavers are undefeated at home, and that includes a game in which they dominated USC and barely won – and dominated Hawaii and destroyed them by 38. The Beave is a tough place to play and that’s what has me rocking the rude orange and black colors in this one.

North Carolina @ Maryland (+3): The Tar Heels have taken 5 of their last 6, and played well doing so. They stomped Georgia Tech last week, and basically doubled up Boston College three weeks ago. In their 5 recent wins, they took out Miami, Connecticut, and Notre Dame as well. But this should be a bit of a let down week for the Heels, a win gets them a tie for first place in their division, but they are walking into Maryland. The Terps are undefeated at home and as good as NC is, they aren’t far and above better than Maryland. The Terps have crushed some dreams this season, and are trying to find the way to the top of their own half of the ACC. In College football, the home field advantage can be the answer to your betting questions – this is one of those times.

New Mexico State (+17) @ Fresno State: This seems like a good bet. Despite Fresno killing their bettors, the public still seems to love them, just waiting for them to finally win their second game against the spread. Interesting. The Aggies have played close to teams all year long, sans a couple games against Nebraska and Boise State. The Aggies have played well on the road (despite losing to horrible Idaho) – they did beat Nevada – and UTEP. They’ve played tight with Hawaii, San Jose State, and New Mexico – and they have a short history of playing tight with better Fresno State clubs, winning 3 of their last 4 Bulldog games against the spread. What has Fresno done to be a 17 point favorite this season? Nothing is the answer. Take the Aggies.

Boise State @ Idaho (+36.5): Tough game for me, I don’t like it. This is on the road for Boise, but not really – you’d think most of that little forgotten state is rooting for the Broncos to go undefeated, and they definitely have all the firepower needed to beat the Vandals by 7 touchdowns or more. But they are undefeated, and Idaho would like nothing more than to crush their in-state rivals hearts. That won’t happen, don’t worry Bronco fans, and the fact that Boise State has covered 3 times in the last 4 years against the Vandals has me steering the way of the Bronco. Those spreads were all big, 34, 31, and 30 – all covers. But there there’s Idaho covering each of the last two games at Idaho – and never has the spread been as high as it is for this weekend’s tilt. That alone has me finding value with the stinking Vandals, a team I really can’t stand but have to pick here. There it is.

Oklahoma Stae @ Colorado (+18): Texas was only a 12 point favorite at Colorado this season. So can you see the inflation of this spread? I know the Buffs haven’t played well of late, losing to basicaly all the solid teams they’ve played – but they are at home, their only loss at home came to Texas, and while it was a 26 point loss, I have a feeling this one will be closer. The Buffaloes are always good at home, and this spread is about a touchdown bigger than it should be. Value has me taking Colorado.

Troy State (+16.5) @ LSU: I feel like punching myself for going this route – but that’s what my value chart has me picking. I would say DON’T BET ON THIS GAME!!! SO there you go. Troy has played solid football on the road, and LSU has too many close games against mediocre teams. On the other hand, you have to see that LSU’s 3 losses haven’t come to donkeys – Alabama, Florida, and Georgia are pretty legit folks – so they could come out and really run this score up. I have to pick this, so Troy is my pick, but I don’t recommend much of a play here.

Boston College @ Florida State (-6): The Eagles shut out Notre Dame last week, but that doesn’t tell me much. What tells me more is their road games this year, and how they haven’t looked that good. Throw out a 21-0 win over Kent State – thanks. They barely snuck by the Wolfpack of NC State and got hammered by the Tar Heels in Carolina. I’d say FSU is close to North Carolina’s level of talent, so I expect a two touchdown win by the Seminoles in this one.

NCAA DirecTV ESPN GamePlan Free Picks: Week 10

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Connecticut Huskies (+4): Tough call, I want to go with the Mountaineers, here hoping that they caught their stride and are ready to ride Pat White to numerous victories down the stretch, taking the Big East title as they go. The Public seems to think this, at least against UCONN this week anyway. I know the Huskies have quarterback questions heading into this game, but at home as a 4 point dog against a mediocre WV team that can definitely play up and down based on their opponent, I’ll take the Huskies. 

Miami Hurricanes @ Virginia Cavaliers (-2): This game is another tough one for me. I’d like to think that Miami’s athletes alone would give Virginia trouble, not in the same boat but maybe in the same ocean as USC earlier this season. But my gut has me going with the Cavs here. They do lots of things well and most importantly have been finding ways to win in the ACC. Aside from USC, the Cavaliers haven’t lost at home. Miami can play really well and really poor, you never quite know what you’re going to get with them. I know the Cavs will come to play here. 

Auburn Tigers @ Mississippi Rebels (-6): The Rebels have only lost to good teams. The Tigers aren’t good. I’ll take them by a touchdown over a lost Auburn team. 

Kentucky Wildcats @ Mississippi State Bulldogs (-2):  I like the Kentucky team that played close with Alabama, losing by three, and played another tight game with South Carolina the week after Bama. Since then the Wildcats have key players out for the year, some more out for this game, and numerous other’s that are questionable and or and playing hurt. I’ll take the Bulldogs against half of Kentucky’s squad. 

Florida State Seminoles (+2.5) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: I took the Seminoles, but I seem to be the only one doing so – there’s my warning. 8 “Covers Experts” are siding with the Yellow Jackets in this one, but I see a Seminole team, that despite the injuries has found a way to win over the last few weeks. I guess I rate that will higher than others do – we’ll see. 

Iowa State Cyclones (+30.5) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys: I don’t know. I see that Oklahoma State is nearly unbeatable, and if it weren’t for a Heismann front runner from Texas they’d probably be undefeated headed into this game with a pretty bad Iowa State group. But the Cyclones are known for playing good teams tough, and 30+ underdogs here look good to me. 

North Texas Mean Green (+17) @ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: North Texas has yet to win and has lost only one game by less than 20 points. But I like the Mean Green to cover here. Despite losses and points and all that business, North Texas and Western Kentucky are pretty similar in talent and ability. This game should be closer than 17. 

Tulane @ Louisiana State (-26.5): LSU put up 38 on Georgia. Tulane has been beat by 27+ in two of the last three weeks, Rice and Army. Tulane has been battling injuries the last few weeks. On the other hand, most “experts” are taking Tulane in this one. I like a 31-0 shutout or something of that sort. On the other hand, LSU has only two wins by more than 26.5 all season long, North Texas and sub division stud App. State. Interesting. I’ll still take LSU.

NCAA DirecTV ESPN GamePlan Free Picks: Week 9

It looks like I’m favoring the road teams in these ones – see if we cant’ do work with this group of covers. 

Boston College @ North Carolina (-3): Analysis in my Free Picks section. 

Cincinnati Bearcats @ Connecticut Huskies (+2.5): I think this is the game that Cincinnati’s quarterbacking injuries comes back to haunt them. The Huskies are solid, they are playing at home, and while they are hurting at quarterback as well, I think they will win the rushing battle and this game. 

Central Michigan Chippewas (-4) @ Toledo: CMU QB Dan LeFevour is my hero and I will give him the nod in this one. He played a heck of a game last week against Western Michigan and I like the Chipps to build on that momentum. Toledo beat Michigan but I’ll say it just one more time – so what?

Fresno State Bulldogs (-14) @ Utah State Aggies: I’ll warn you that somewhere over 70% of the public is on the Bulldogs here and the lines are still moving up and away. Maybe it’s not as easy as I see, but even with the Bulldogs’ troubles, Utah State is this bad. 

Oklahoma State Cowboys (+12.5) @ Texas Longhorns: I would and am staying away from this game – but if you must have my slight leaning opinion, I’ll take the underdogs +12.5. Oklahoma State looks like they have the make-up to at least stay close to Texas, and a touchdown and a field goal behind still wins them this one. Texas has played amazing football and I hate to bet against them again (they’ve taken it to me a couple weeks in a row now), but I’ll take the dog – Plus, I’m a man, so I have something in common with the Cowboys head coach – yhatzee!

UCLA Bruins (+18) @ California Golden Bears: In conference against non-Washington Pac 10 teams I just can’t take the Cal Bears as huge favorites. Everyone in this conference (sans WA Schools and USC) are pretty even – UCLA stays close in this one. 

South Florida (-4) @ Louisville: Analysis in my Free Picks section.

Virginia Tech Hokies (+5.5) @ Florida State Seminoles: The Seminoles are talented, sure, but the Hokies are too, and they’re coached better. I like the Hokies to keep the upset happy ACC conference fully intact this week. 

Bowling Green Falcons @ Northern Illinois Huskies (-7.5): The Huskies have three losses, all to very solid teams. They recently beat the Miami of Ohio team that Bowling Green just lost to. I know that doesn’t mean much, but I like NIU – they are solid. Freshman quarterback Chandler Harnish has played mistake free football, if he keeps that up his Huskies should win by a couple scores. 

New Mexico State Aggies (-12.5) @ Idaho Vandals: Yes sir, the Vandals are even this bad. Since they are very close, I’m going to go ahead and link them into my “always bet against Washington sports” philosophy. We’ll see how that works out. 

Mississippi Bulldogs @ Arkansas Razorbacks (+6.5): Both of these teams make a gaggle of mistakes just about every time they step foot on the field. They are both 3-4 and the loser of this one likely sits out the bowl season (or so that’s how I see it). One thing I like about the home team here, their 4 losses this season come at the hands of Alabama, Florida, Texas, and a 1 point loss to Kentucky. Maybe they aren’t as bad as I thought they were. I’ll take them here. 

Florida Atlantic @ Louisiana Monroe (+2.5): In conference home dog – I’ll take it. I like UL’s signal caller, that’s enough for me to lean on the home dogs here. 

Kentucky (+26) @ Florida: Analysis in my Free Picks section.

Nevada Wolfpacks @ Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (+3.5): Hawaii is at home against a Nevada team that has 4 unimpressive wins over unimpressive opponents. I’ll take Hawaii. They look to be getting it together a little behind their new coach.

DIRECTV – ESPN GamePlan Free NCAA Picks: Week 6

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at West Virginia Mountaineers (-14) 12:00 pm: Fresno State handled them easily, North Carolina trounced them on National Television, and Navy ran the ball all over them for a close victory. The fact that they beat Morgan State last week doesn’t make me feel better about Rutgers. West Virginia has some tough losses, but I think they play good in this one and oust the Knights by 3 or 4 scores.

Akron Zips (-3.5) at Kent State Golden Flashes 12:00 pm: (already picked this game in my NCAA Free Picks: Week 6) This Zips team is legit. They’ve played well against quality opponents. They almost took down Cincinnati last week, and that wasn’t because the Bearcats played bad. Akron forces the issue, and they should easily handle Kent State.

Boston College Eagles (-8) at North Carolina State Wolfpack 12:00 pm: I picked this game earlier, but the more I look at it the closer it is. Boston College’s quarterback situation is almost as bad as NC State’s, but I think BC is still the favorite to cover here but it’s not the greatest bet around, not as good as I thought it was yesterday.

Florida (-24) at Arkansas 12:30 pm (already picked this game in my NCAA Free Picks: Week 6)

South Carolina Gamecocks at Mississippi Rebels (-2.5) 2:00 pm: I like going against Spurrier, especially when his team is getting a “Spurrier line” – he’s tough to go against because he’s bound to make anything happen, but the better team is Mississippi – they are at home, and I don’t think they let down this week – nobody has let down games against Steve Spurrier’s teams, everyone hates them right?

Florida State Seminoles (+3) at Miami Hurricanes 3:30 pm: Talk about two up and down teams, you never seem to know what to expect from these two teams absolutely chalked full of talent. I’m just going to go ahead and chalk FSU’s 3 point output against Wake Forest up as a flukey bad loss and go with them headed into “The U” – Miami has talent, no doubt, but FSU has shown some strength against decent teams, Miami has only played well against nothing good. Rivalry game, but I’ll take the road team.

Arizona State (+10) at California 3:30 pm (already picked this game in my NCAA Free Picks: Week 6)

Temple Owls (+8) at Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 3:30 pm: I just like what Temple brings to the table with 11 returning starters, 20 seniors, and 26 juniors – this is a good football team that has had some tough losses against some good programs to start the season. I think they fight back with a nice win in this one.

Texas Tech (-7) at Kansas State 3:30 pm (already picked this game in my NCAA Free Picks: Week 6)

Nevada (-24) at Idaho 5:00 pm (already picked this game in my NCAA Free Picks: Week 6)

Florida International (-6) at North Texas 7:00 pm: Florida International is pretty decent – they stick close to good teams, and given a shot against a relatively equal opponent I think they will win easy. North Texas isn’t good – against anyone. Unless I’m sleeping on something, I like the FLINT to win by 3 touchdowns – lots of rushing yards from them in this one.

Northern Illinois at Tennessee Volunteers (-15.5) 7:00 pm: Alright – Week 1 was a fluke loss to a bad UCLA team. Week 2 was about right, killing UAB 35-3. Week 3 was about right, losing by a little more than I expected, but still getting handled by a real good Florida team. Week 4 might have been even better than I expect from Tennesse, going on the road and finishing two back of a good Auburn team. This week they play Northern Illinois. The best teams they’ve beat are Indiana State and Eastern Michigan. Yeah. They lost to Western Michigan (close game) and Minnesota (close game). I think Tennessee comes out with a little to prove in this one and wins by 3 touchdowns.

Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans (-16) 8:00 pm: I’m not crazy about this game, but I’ll take USC at home to come back and get a nice Pac 10 win. They are still one of the best teams in the nation, one down game where they were outplayed doesn’t change that for me. If they would have won last week I’m guessing this would have been a 22-24 point line. I’ll take the value coming after that loss, especially with all those quarterbacking questions at Oregon.

Ohio State (-1) at Wisconsin 8:00 pm (already picked this game in my NCAA Free Picks: Week 6)

Hawaii at Fresno State Bulldogs (-21): It’s that loss to San Jose State that does it for me here. I know this is a bit of a rivalry, but Hawaii just isn’t the same team without the coach that built their program. I’ll take Fresno State here and expect it to be 5 or 6 touchdowns by the end of this thing. The Bulldogs won’t let up.

DIRECTV – ESPN GamePlan Free NCAA Picks: Week 5

I have a full bill of DirecTV games this week (15!!!), so don’t feel hurt if I just say a few words about a couple of these. Ha. Well, no more precursors, I’m off to the meats and cheeses…

Pittsburgh Panthers (-15) at Syracuse Orange (12:00pm): Like I said in my NCAA Picks for Week 5, there is no easier place to play than Syracuse, and Pittsburgh will easily run on the Orange. Seems like a three touchdown win from my point of view.

Kent State Golden Flashes at Ball State Cardinals (-17.5) (12:00pm): The Cardinals are legit. I’ll be making a small play on them at home this weekend, and if the value stays right, probably for the duration of the college football season. When normally mediocre programs have solid teams, their value stays high for most of the season.

Maryland Terrapins (+12) at Clemson Tigers (12:00pm): The Terps play close games and the Tigers have disappointed me. Clemson hasn’t been able to throw the ball, and while Maryland has struggled as well, this game just looks like a close one to me. Close games call for bets on dogs larger than a touchdown. This one is at 12 right now, so it seems like good value.

Northern Illinois Huskies at Eastern Michigan Eagles (+7) (12:00pm): My knowledge isn’t extensive about either of these teams, but let me tell you what I like. I like that the Eagles are getting 7 points at home against an NIU team that isn’t very good at all. I also like that Eastern can, unlike NIU, pass the ball if they need to. With a little passing game to go with their running attack, the Eagles look like a nice 7 point dog at home. NIU has won 6 of the last 7 contests against the Eagles, but Eastern won the last one.

Mississippi Rebels (+22.5) at Florida Gators (12:30pm): I definitely like the Gators to pull this one out, but something about this game has me walking the dog. Mississippi is just 2-2, but with tough losses to Wake Forrest (28-30) and a good Vanderbilt team (17-23), and the fact that Florida is 3-0 without any close games on their schedule thus far, I just like what a 22.5 point dog brings to the table this week against the Gators.

Fresno State Bulldogs (-7) at UCLA Bruins (3:30pm): If nothing else, because the Bulldogs have more talent, with more experience, and a sense of toughness that UCLA just doesn’t have yet. After a tough loss to Wisconsin, the Bulldogs barely snuck past Toledo. This game will be easier, 28-7 wouldn’t surprise me in this one.

Colorado Buffaloes (+6) at Florida State Seminoles (3:30pm): There’s no question who has more talent in this game, the Noles are loaded with speed and athleticism. But this Buffaloes team can put their head down and get a yard when they need it most. I won’t be surprised at all when Colorado comes all the way into Florida to upset the 25th ranked Seminoles. Everybody is claiming Colorado’s win over West Virginia was because the Mounties are falling, I disagree, that win was because Colorado is good.

Marshall Thundering Herd at West Virginia Mountaineers (-14) (3:30pm): Marshall walks into this game with just one tough loss, playing in Wisconsin against a solid Badger team. That being said, I’m betting that Pat White finally takes a game over this week. The Mountaineers have been thrown around pretty good of late, losing bad to East Carolina (3-24) and getting ousted by Colorado (14-17) – but this game is in West Virginia, and I like the Mounties chances to get an easy win.

Cincinnati Bearcats (-10.5) at Akron Zips (3:30pm): This is a very tough one for me. Both teams look like solid value, and while starting quarterback Dustin Grutza is out for Cincinnati, Tony Pike was very accurate and productive in his first start against Miami of Ohio. Both teams are solid, but I’m betting on the Bearcats defense being a little much for the Zips, even on Akron’s home turf.

Arkansas Razorbacks (+28) at Texas Longhorns (3:30pm): I don’t think Texas is this good. Arkansas was made to look like a fool last week against a very tough Alabama team, I just think they come out with a little fire this week in Texas. I still like the Longhorns to win, but Texas hasn’t played anybody to start the season, (Rice, UTEP, Florida International), so I’m betting on this conference game taking them a little longer to get going. 4 touchdowns is an awful lot for a team that hasn’t played anyone yet.

UAB Blazers at South Carolina Gamecocks (-24.5) (7:00pm): Honestly, I would stay away from this game if I didn’t have to bet every single DirecTV contest. Counting the NC State game to start the season, South Carolina hasn’t showed me that they should be favored against anyone by 3+ touchdowns. UAB is close, but boy, this is a tough one. I cap this game right around 21-24, but I must say, if the Gamecocks come to play they should barely irk out this spread. Still, if you don’t feel inclined to take every single game I picked, then leave this one alone.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+21) at Kentucky Wildcats (7:00pm): Stand back! Because this is my train of thought. The Hilltoppers aren’t better than the Wildcats, but given a 21-0 head start I believe they have great value here. This is why – I generally trust the oddsmakers to put up a spread that is pretty close to what the final should be (not always, surely they miss from time to time, but usually). That being said, a couple weeks ago, a very good Alabama team got just 26 points, at home, against the Hilltoppers. This is why I’m taking WKU here – the Crimson Tide are at least two touchdowns better than the Wildcats. See that? That’s value hunting son! This line should be around 12-14, so 7 extra points to play with is nice.

Illinois Fighting Illini at Penn State Nittany Lions (-14.5) (8:00pm): Since opening weekend, Juice Williams has been very mediocre at best. He put up 5 touchdowns with just two interceptions against a very good Missouri team, but has followed up with just two touchdowns and 3 interceptions against the likes of Louisiana Lafayette and Eastern Illinois in games where the Illini didn’t dominate. I think Penn State is a couple touchdowns better than Illinois, as they have proven to be one of, if not the best team in the Big 10. They do a lot of things very well, and nothing is left out with them. I like Penn State as a two touchdown favorite at home.

Virginia Tech Hokies (+7) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (8:00pm): Nebraska’s opponents thus far; New Mexico State, San Jose State, Western Michigan… Va Tech’s opponents: East Carolina, Furman, Georgia Tech, North Carolina… Here it is, Va Tech is ready, Nebraska isn’t. This is where that marshmallow schedule to start the season hurts. Well, it doesn’t hurt me, Va Tech plus a touchdown against an overrated Cornhusker team, I like that, but it hurts the Cornhuskers.

New Mexico Lobos (-3) at New Mexico State Aggies (8:00pm): Make this six in a row for the Lobos. After beating Arizona they stumbled last week, but after such a high that kind of business is expected. Don’t sleep on them this week, though, against their instate rival they will be ready to play, even on the road. The Lobos are 5-0 against the Aggies since 2003, I like their shot at six straight.

DIRECTV – ESPN GamePlan Free NCAA Picks: Week 2

One of my readers asked me to cap all of DirecTV’s GamePlan picks during the season. I looked into it a little bit and figured I could give my insight on these games every week during the year without too many tears being shed. This will be in addition to my normal college picks every single week, because those picks are the one’s I find the most value in. Again, these are all the games that DirecTV has in their college football package for Week 2’s games. Enjoy and good luck! A couple games didn’t have lines, but these are the ones that did – 6 DTV package games for your viewing (and betting) pleasure.

All games take place on Saturday the 6th!

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+7) @ Boston College Eagles (12:00PM EST):

I’m not crazy about this game. I’m taking the points because both teams are led by their defense and pose a lot of questions on offense. Georgia Tech runs the ball very effectively, but the Eagles have a stout defense to combat that upside. The Eagles have won ATS in 4 of the 5 contests between these schools, and have won last season 24-10. I still like Tech’s ability to keep this game within reach, and turn the Eagles young offense over a couple times. I’m taking Tech.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (+18) @ Auburn Tigers (12:30PM EST):

It won’t be too easy for the Tigers. Southern Miss has a few great athletes that could give the TIgers some trouble. Austin Davis (QB) will be good enough to put the ball in the air at Auburn, but it will be the Southern Miss rushing attack that does their share of damage. I understand last week’s game was against UL Lafayette, but still, the Golden Eagles had two backs rush for over 100 yards including Damion Fletcher’s 222 yard 2 touchdown performance. Any team with a running game is a good (+17) bet against a mediocre offense. Take the Golden Eagles.

Cincinnati Bearcats (+21.5) @ Oklahoma Sooners (3:30PM EST):

This game looks a little scary for the Sooners, except for the fact that they are one of the Nation’s best teams. The Bearcats have a very good defense that will kick and scratch all night long if it means they have a chance. Offensively, the Bearcats will struggle to score at Oklahoma, but I still like their chances of keeping this game within that huge 3 touchdown margin. The Sooners are good, but not good enough to beat everyone in the 57-2 range like they did last week. I’ll take the Sooners to win by 10, but the Bearcats will make it a battle.

Mississippi @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-8) (3:30PM EST):

The Demon Deacons did Baylor dirty last week on the road. The Bears looked lost as Wake marched through their defense to win 41-13. Riley Skinner is for real, and so are the Deacons. Being lost in the mess of ACC peers, Wake should continue to get favorable lines. Eight points to cover against a decent but not great Mississippi team seems easily manageable. Wake isn’t a team that’s going to win a lot of games by 20 points, but this could be one of the few times they do.

Buffalo Bulls @ Pittsburgh Panthers (-13) (6:00PM EST):

Buffalo mangled UTEP in week 1, as quarterback Drew Willy completed 10 passes for 221 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Bulls also managed two 100 yard rushers, as RB James Starks took 31 carries for 179 yards. But that was UTEP, can they really do the same thing against a team like Pittsburgh? I don’t think so. But they don’t have to do the same thing against Pitt to win against the spread. But I’ll have to go with Pitt here. Sure, they lost to Bowling Green last week, but the Falcons are much better than advertised, and their offensive attack is a bad match-up for the Panthers. This week, Pittsburgh has to shut down the run to win, and I like their chances at that a lot more. LeSean McCoy will have his way with the Bulls, and I like the Panthers come back from last week’s opening day loss to win by at least two touchdowns.

Tulane Green Wave (+30.5) @ Alabama Crimson Tide (7:00PM EST):

After being moved around a lot because of Hurricane Gustav, and being thoroughly outmatched by the Tide athletically, the Tulane Green Wave are in for more tough times this weekend. Alabama may have played perfect football last week against a good Clemson team, but even so, they have definitely show that they are better than advertised. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be taking the Tide in this one. A 30 point favorite is too much for me to buy. The Tide come in hot on bettor’s minds, and that’s never a good thing for the favorite. Tulane plays teams pretty tough. They lost a lot in Matt Forte, but in their season opener I expect enough excitement to keep this game closer than 4 touchdowns. Alabama is a tough match-up for Tulane, as their run defense is stellar, but that won’t stop the Green Wave from handing the ball off, and their schemes are good enough to get some first downs. John Parker Wilson will come back to earth in this one. We’ll see, but I’m not buying the Tide beating many more teams by four scores…