DIRECTV – ESPN GamePlan Free NCAA Picks: Week 8

Wake Forest Demon Decons @ Maryland Terrapins (+2.5): I like Wake, but they are bound to lose one of these close games. Every single one of their games (except one) has been tight. Maryland likes to lose games their supposed to win, but an underdog at home in this one, I like the Terps.

Western Michigan (-1.5) @ Central Michigan: I like CMU QB Dan Lefevour, but I thin Western Michigan’s defense is a little better. Defense wins rivalry games, and it’s not like Western Michigan’s offensive production is a joke QB Tim Hiller already has 2046 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. But defensively I like the road team in this one.

Miami (OHIO) Redhawks (+10) @ Bowling Green Falcons: The Falcons have allowed as many points per game as they’ve scored, and that’s never a good thing. These two teams have a nice history, and that usually ends up with Miami taking the game against the Falcons. I know Bowling Green is the better team, but in games like this things usually stay close.

Syracuse Orange (+24.5) @ South Florida Bulls: Syracuse has received my ire more than a few times, and early in the season they were a pretty safe bet against – but they have played better of late, and they are relatively healthy. They don’t score much, but their group of young defenders have proven to be resilient at least. South Florida isn’t a point machine, and they’ve played a lot of close games. I’ll take 3 touchdowns and a field goal plus a half point in this one.

Vanderbilt Vandals (+15) @ Georgia Bulldogs: This game was close in ’06 and close in ’07 and this Vanderbilt team is better than they’ve had in a long time. Georgia is a very good football team, but they aren’t a “blow you out” group by any means. They’ve had trouble playing close with their opponents, and a complete upset here wouldn’t surprise me. They only beat Tennessee by 12, Arizona State by 17 and South Carolina by 7 – Vandy is better than all three of those schools. Close game here, that’s my bet.

Army Black Knights @ Buffalo Bulls (-10.5): After barely losing to Central Michigan (2 points) and then getting ousted in overtime to Western Michigan last week, I think the Bulls are ready to come out and win an easy one. Buffalo is a solid team, that’s what has me taking them. I know Army has played some tough games, but Buffalo’s offense is more well rounded and Army has been played with the bounces in each of their last two contests. They’ll stumble a bit here and a good Bulls home team will win easily.

North Carolina Tar Heels (-4.5) @ Virginia Cavaliers: Talk about an up and down Cavs team, goodness. They lost by 45 at home to USC starting the season, and after a joke week they lost back to back games to Connecticut and Duke by a combined 13-76 score. Yikes. But, they fought back lately, beating Maryland 31-0 and East Carolina 35-20. Here’s the problem here, North Carolina plays too tough and though they lost something with Brandon Tate going down for the season, they still have enough talent to take the Cavs out on the road. North Carolina has played well on the road, handling Rutgers then beating Miami four weeks ago. This is a tough call, and not one of my favorite plays, but I like the Heels here.

Middle Tennessee State (+14.5) @ Louisville Cardinals: This one seems easy. Middle Tennessee State has played a lot of close games with a lot of good teams and Louisville just isn’t that solid right now. They’ve been playing better of late, but I’d say these teams are closer to even than two touchdowns apart – I like the Blue Raiders here.

Toledo Rockets @ Northern Illinois Huskies (-8.5): Toledo beat Michigan at the Big House last week… So what? Michigan is terrible, I’d take Northern Illinois over the Wolverines any day of the week and this game is at home. The Huskies have been good all year. I don’t see it, but most “experts” on a pretty prolific site have Toledo in this one. I’ll take the Huskies and be a renegade… Follow who you please.

Mississippi State @ Tennessee Volunteers (-7.5): I would stay right away from this game, but I’ll go with Tennessee to win their 6th straight against Mississippi State. They 7.5 isn’t too scary and while neither of these teams excite me, the Vols might have found a little better play from their quarterback position last week, and that’s what gives me the slight lean, oh, and the home field here.

Idaho Vandals @ Lousiana Tech (-20): Idaho played one relatively not so terrible game this year, and they still gave up gobs of points and lost. That was last game and thus people aren’t quite so against them right now, but they are terrible. You can do whatever you want to their defense, and I think the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will.

DIRECTV – ESPN GamePlan Free NCAA Picks: Week 3

These are week 3’s televised games from DirecTV and ESPN’s GamePlan. The College football season is off and running, and if you want, you could watch and bet every single one of these games. I’m picking each one on their 10-game slate – I see some nice bets here, and some games to be careful with – here’s my analysis.

Temple Owls (+6.5) @ Buffalo Bulls (12:00pm EST): It’s amazing really, both the Temple freaking Owls and the Buffalo “not Bills” Bulls are good college football teams. However, Temple is the better of the two. They fought hard against a very solid Connecticut team only to watch the Huskies score a game winning overtime touchdown. Temple can really play defense, ask either of the teams they’ve plaid against – they gave up one score to Army, and just two field goals in regulation to Connecticut. Offensively, they can get it done from a lot of different places. I like the upset here, so Temple +6.5 seems as solid as it gets.

North Carolina State Wolfpack @ Clemson Tigers (-17.5) (12:00pm EST): The Tigers have really struggled to start the season. First they lost bad to an underrated Alabama team on opening night, and then they mess around with Citadel before blowing them out in the 2nd half. The ACC sure hasn’t looked very good. The Tigers were supposed to be the class of the conference, and already they’ve accrued a loss. But that’s alright here. NC State is bad. And, get ready for this, they are in the ACC too. Clemson gets back on track as James Davis and CJ Spiller go nuts on the Wolfpack.

UAB Blazers (+30.5) @ Tennessee Volunteers (12:30pm EST): The Blazers have a pretty darn good offense, and Tennessee doesn’t have the type of O to put up 50 points – not without a lot of help and a lot of quick scores from their opponent anyway – the first I don’t see them getting and the 2nd, well, that’d be good for UAB as well. The way I see it, Tennessee has a very low chance of outscoring the Blazers by more than 4 touchdowns. At 0-2, UAB has still put up 56 points over two games. Lesser competition? You bet – but don’t pretend they can’t put up points on the Vols. UCLA did, and do you really think the Bruins are that much better just because of a coaching change? Take the underdog.

Penn State Nittany Lions (-27) @ Syracuse Orange (3:30pm EST): This isn’t just a “see what the Lions did to Oregon State last week” kind of pick, this is a “even if the Lions would have lost to Oregon State I still would be taking them -4 touchdowns against the Orange” type of pick. Believe that. Penn State is too tough and Syracuse can’t play a 2-3 zone in this one, so they are SOL. Take the road favorites to score at will. The Lions are better in every aspect of the game, they are probably better in class, with women, and at softball – this shouldn’t be close.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+7) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (3:30pm EST): I know that everyone’s expecting VaTech to just “come around” here in a few minutes, but I’m not buying their 24-7 win over Furman as a turn of the proverbial corner. Georgia Tech can run the ball and play defense. They did up Boston College late in the game last week and came away with a win, and the Hokies haven’t shown me anything to make me believe that the Jackets can’t do the same in Hokieville. I’m taking the points in this ACC match-up.

Arkansas Razorbacks @ Texas Longhorns (-24) (3:30pm EST): I can’t see the Razorbacks staying close against the Longhorns. Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were super-talents and basically the entire Razorback offense last season. D-Mac is starting for the Raiders and Felix is being electric with the ball when he gets a chance for the Cowboys. That won’t help the Sas hang in this contests. Texas has too many things going right for them right now, and Arkansas just doesn’t have the talent to stick with the Horns.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+28) @ Alabama Crimson Tide (7:00pm EST): I said last week that I don’t like the Crimson Tide as a favorite anywhere near four touchdowns – that holds true, even against lowly Western Kentucky. Right now 72% of the public is riding the Tide, and that’s just going to make a lot of pissed off people. The Tide can really beat some good teams, but they beat the good teams and the mediocre teams by the same margin, just about two scores. Why? They have a good coach that knows when to hold-em, that’s why. Don’t take the chances you don’t have to, don’t show the entire offense if you don’t need it. I like ‘Bama by 17 here, but WK covers.

Middle Tennessee State (+17) @ Kentucky Wildcats (7:00pm EST):  I want the underdogs all the way in this one. Kentucky isn’t a bad club, but Middle Tennessee is much better than advertised. They have a solid quarterback in Joe Craddock, and defensively they can play ball. They lost to a tough Troy team in wek 1 – yes, a tough Troy team, then upset Maryland 24-14 in Week 2. I like their chances at an upset here, but I like their chances at covering a lot better. Take the dogs!

Bowling Green Falcons (+17) @ Boise State Broncos (8:00pm EST): The Falcons got their behinds handed to them last week against Minnesota, but I think they’ll be back against Boise State. I like when a team gets a little reality check before a big game. This is big for the Falcons – and Boise is no pushover. They are tough at home – but I think this will be a close game. Closer than 17. I’ll take the dog again.

Utah Utes (-24) @ Utah State Aggies (8:00pm EST): Utah is more like Oregon than UNLV – and the Aggies lost to them both. I know it doesn’t work like this, but Utah beat UNLV by 21, and the Aggies lost to UNLV by 10 – that’s 31 – ha. Utah is a very good team that could make a run at undefeated. It’s time for them to rub that in their instate rival’s face. I’ll take the Utes here.