Kentucky Wildcats VS Florida Gators: NCAA Basketball Preview & Prediction

The #2 ranked Kentucky Wildcats might seem like a tough team to bet against, but the books have been even with them this year, as the Cats are 7-7 ATS in during their 16 game winning streak to start the season. Don’t get it twisted, the Wildcats will lose one of these days, they play too many good teams and too many close games, but the question is, will that happen in Florida?

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Working for the Gators is the fact that the Wildcats have only played one true road game this season, a win over an out-matched Indiana ball club. The Wildcats have beat up on some teams over the last 10 games, but they barely skipped by the Heels with a 2 point win and a 3 point win over UConn was also a nail-biter. Most recently, over the last two games, they’ve gotten all they can handle from unranked Louisville and Georgia, but came out victorious in both. They didn’t win the rebound battle in either game. When they out-rebound their opponent, the score reflects it.

But the Gators don’t rebound the ball really great either. They’ve been out-boarded in 6 of their last 10 games, and I have a feeling the Wildcats will get them again on the glass. Now, 76% f the public bet likes the Wildcats to cover, and that makes sense as a small spread and an undefeated team. But the Cats should find a way to out-score the Gators, with toughness if not skill. I’ll take them, going with the public.

Kentucky Wildcats (-2) @ Florida Gators

Sugar Bowl Predictions: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Florida Gators

One of these teams was supposed to go undefeated. One of these teams had a quarterback that was supposed to find himself at the top of the Heisman list, and one of these two programs were heavy favorites to win a National Championship – but the other team actually went undefeated, and the other team should have had a quarterback on the Heisman list (and would have had he not been out for a handful of games), and the other team got robbed a chance at the National Championship despite being undefeated, because they don’t play in a conference with “big” money. There it is. So Cincinnati comes to the Sugar Bowl trying to prove themselves a legit title contender, and Florida, well, they come to show that their game against Alabama was a fluke, and to send one of the best college players of all time out on a win.

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Both of these teams will be without the head coach that got them to where they are. Cincinnati’s head man Brian Kelly bolted for a chance to rebuild and their interim coach, Jeff Quinn headed out promptly, taking the Buffalo head job. Then you have Florida, and Urban Meyer’s health problems have him out of this game, and almost retiring from the position altogether, but that’s all up in the air, or changed, or – well, we’ll see how that goes in due time.

The bottom line is Florida is an elite team in the country. Their defense has heaps of NFL talent and their offense has one of the greatest leaders of college football history – not to mention speed that Cincinnati hasn’t seen. And I think Cincinnati’s luck has run it’s course – this is a team that had their fair share of close games, and should have lost their last one. Having something to prove is a little overrated, especially when you’re going up against one of the best teams in college football after they got kicked around and embarrassed in front of the sporting world. Something tells me they’ll be plenty motivated.

Cincinnati Bearcats @ Florida Gators (-10.5)

BCS National Championship Preview: Wronging a Right

Before I get started on my frustrated rant that ends up with me crushing my own soul by suggesting these idiots actually got it right, here’s a list of the 10 schools that will be enjoying BCS Bowl money this coming New Year, and the match-ups in their selected Bowls. I’ll be doing free picks, write-ups for each game later in the month:

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BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas Longhorns

Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Fiesta Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Boise State Broncos

Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Florida Gators

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

First and foremost, lets get the obvious out of the way: there is now way in hell anything without a playoff could ever really be called a “Championship”. If the Yankees never had to play the Red Sox, or if they didn’t have to play the National League, it would be pretty damn hard to call them the National Champions or even better yet, the “World Champions”, now wouldn’t it? Pitting the two “top rated” teams against each other,  based on an absurd ranking system that relies almost completely on coaches that don’t even vote, and that are supposed to vote a certain way based on their conference loyalties, in a system that brings into account “PRE-SEASON Rankings”, seems like an interesting way to crown a champ to me.

But like I said, that is obvious, and since this fine country is almost completely money driven, it makes sense that colleges would keep selling the souls of their athletes for as much cash as possible, and keep this “clever” bowl system going for as long as possible. Here’s to you Mr. Obama – it may not be high on your list, but I’ll be impatiently hoping for your mark on the college game. So we’ll just agree to agree here, it is impossible to do teams’ justice in this format, especially when their are multiple undefeated teams. IMPOSSIBLE.

Now lets get into these match-ups and how they are absolutely right in the worst way. I personally would have matched up TCU and Florida, Cincinnati and Boise State – and lets be honest, I could careless about the other match-ups right now, because matching TCU, Cincinnati, or Boise State up with Georgia Tech or Iowa wouldn’t show anybody anything. And the Rose Bowl is the Rose Bowl and it’s looking like it always will be despite how despicable the Big 10 becomes. I’m willing to accept that, and think Ohio State and Oregon will be a fun match-up. But I have good reason for changing the match-ups around a little.

My problem with the TCU vs. Boise State match-up is that it won’t prove anything except who is the best “small college” school in the country. But for arguments sake, instead of calling it “Small College”, lets go with “Can’t Possibly Win a National Championship College” – because that better describes the them and their situation. If you put Boise State or TCU up against Florida, and the other up against Cincinnati – then you would have two great “CPWaNCC’s” against two bigger and more distinguished schools (though the Big East has almost as little respect as the “small conferences”). That would give the small colleges a chance to prove themselves against top competition, and it would, maybe in the future, give them more respect with voters. The problem with a match-up like this is that it would have a chance of doing exactly what I suggested, making the “other” colleges gain some respect, and thus giving them a chance at the National Championship. Oh, you don’t think that’s a problem? Too bad for us, because “the Man” does.

Unfortunately for me, they probably got the match-ups right on the dot, based solely on the quality of teams. BYU and TCU have proven to me that they are 2 of the top 4 teams in the Nation, and if they can’t play for the National Championship, that means that, in my book, they are the next two best teams and thus should play each other. Cincinnati is very good, but I believe they are 2nd to both of the colleges that can’t possibly win a national championship. Florida might be the best team in the Nation, but laid an egg last week, getting absolutely handled by Alabama, thus losing their chances for a Top spot. I don’t think Texas is as good people give them credit for, but being a “Big Conference” school, and undefeated, will put them in the Big game, and it’s hard to argue with that.

The biggest problem with this is the match-ups are right. Football-wise, talent-wise, they are probably all right. It’s terrible that BYU and TCU are proving their worth against each other, an impossible task considering the only thing they could possibly do to prove their ability would be to oust a top ranked “Big College” team. But it’s probably right. I would rank them 2 and 3, (ahead of Texas), based on what I’ve seen from all three teams this year – so they are the next best teams, and that’s what a Bowl should be looking for. But give them a chance to fight for the small schools, come on. It may be the right match-up (Kudos to “them” for getting something right), but it’s wrong on every other level, and gives two of the best teams in the country almost nothing to gain with a win in January.

Florida Gators vs Alabama Crimson Tide Football Pick

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Florida Gators vs Alabama Crimson Tide Football Pick: The Alabama Crimson Tide have lost two straight to the Florida Gators, but that’s where the gambling numbers stop favoring Florida. Alabama is 6-1-1 ATS against the Gators in the last 8 games. Alabama has won 3 of their last 5 over Florida, and in all 3 of those games they were underdogs. This is the smallest spread either team have dealt with all year long. Neither has been an underdog yet this year. Alabama was actually up late in the Florida Game last year, but the Gators scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to walk away with the SEC Title.

But this is a different year and these are different teams. The Gators don’t have Percy Harvin anymore, and the Crimson Tide don’t have their senior quarterback anymore. Both teams have been great all year, and this should be a very tough-nosed game. But in the end I just think the Gators are too explosive.

I think Mark Ingram is a very good runner, but the Gators have been so dominant defensively this year, I just don’t see the Tide making much of their offensive snaps. Florida has yet to give up more than 20 points, and allow less than 10 on average. Alabama is just a point behind them, giving up only 11 per game. Both of these teams are good, I just think the Gators are better, and that’s what it comes right down to. Alabama is the slight public favorite, 52% like them.

Florida Gators (-5.5) @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Florida State Seminoles vs Florida Gators Free Football Pick

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Florida State Seminoles (+23) @ Florida Gators Free Football Pick: Listen, I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t hear about Christian Ponder’s absense until much to late, and now it all makes sense. I go through a lot of college football (and pro football) games, among other sports, and every once in a while I’ll miss a big huge thing like Christian Ponder is out for the season, and was out last game as well, a game where back-up QB E.J. Manuel threw 3 interceptions to the Maryland Terrapins. Yeah, tough deal. But that being said, I still think the Seminoles have a chance. I wouldn’t put much on this line, without their leader at Q, times could go south quick for the Seminoles – but the Gators haven’t been the blow-out type this season, and 23 points is a lot.

Florida State has given up a ton of points, no doubt, but without their offense slanging the ball all over the field, I think this thing slows down a little bit (plus Florida likes to control the ball) and a few less points get scored because of it. I also know that the Gators have three wins by 24 points or more this season, Kentucky, Troy, and Florida International – big whoop.

FSU hasn’t had a great year, and even with great numbers for their QB, they’ve just barely gotten over .500 – but they have the athletes to compete with anyone, and even without Ponder, I think they are a decent bet at the +24.5 they are at most books right now.

Georgia Bulldogs vs Florida Gators Free College Pick

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Georgia Bulldogs @ Florida Gators (-15) Pick & Preview: The Bulldogs have played some decent football at times this year, but overall I think they’re overrated. The Gators haven’t really moved the ball well or played mistake free football over the last three weeks, their defense has been winning them football games – so yeah, needless to say, a team that talented is due for a breakout offensive performance. I know the Gators have had a lot of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and a lot of those guys are still questionable headed into Saturday’s SEC showdown with the 5-2 Bulldogs, I know that. But I also know that the back-ups on defense have been solid, that Georgia’s offense will have one hell of a hard time doing anything against the Gators back-ups, and that Tim Tebow and company shouldn’t find the same frustrations in moving the ball against that very giving Georgia defense. In 8 of the last 10 match-ups between these two, the home team has walked away with the W – however, the road team has won the last two meetings. Florida beat the Bulldogs by 39 points last season. These teams are not equal, don’t get it twisted. Ignore the Gators recent struggles, this is a team that will turn it around soon, better to be ahead of that curve!

Arkansas Razorbacks vs Florida Gators Free NCAA Pick

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Arkansas Razorbacks @ Florida Gators (-24): I like the Gators to put up around 45 points against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Unlike LSU and Tennessee, the Razorbacks will drop back to pass in hopes of doing what they do best to win the game. That will play into what Florida does best, shut down opposing passing attacks, prey on mistakes, and turn all those short field opportunities to scores. The Gators haven’t played a game where they’ve given up two touchdowns yet this season. I think Arkansas is the best passing attack they’ve faced so far, but I still don’t think that transfers to more scoring chances for the Razorbacks. Florida should continue their defensive dominance, they have too many good players with too much speed. 42-10 sounds about right to me. I’ll take the number one team in the land!

NCAA Free Picks: Week 15

These are the games I like for Week 15 – talk about a huge week with a lot on the line for some big time programs – especially for the schools that are at home watching and rooting like all hell. Yes, Texas, I’m talking about you. Great games with a lot on the line this weekend, lets see if I can’t have a big winner in the old NCAA one-five (that’s Chad Johnson for Week 15). Eight big games for you college football fans!

Pittsburgh Panthers @ Connecticut Huskies (-2.5): Now Pittsburgh has beaten some teams that Connecticut has lost too, and Pitt has played pretty well down the stretch – but the one key here is that these two teams are pretty equal, and Connecticut has the better offensive line, plays much better at home, and something else too. Yeah, Pitt falls under my bet against list because they won last week when they should have lost. The played poor enough to lose, definitely, but 12 4th quarter points got them w pretty lucky win. That doesn’t bode well for the Panthers this time around.

East Carolina Pirates (+13) @ Tulsa Golden Hurricane: I honestly kind of like East Carolina to win this one outright, so that makes the spread that much nicer I guess. Here’s the deal, Tulsa hasn’t won a game where they’ve scored less than 38 points. East Carolina has given up more than 38 points just once this season. THey won’t do that again. They are a good defense and Tulsa has proven that they don’t do well against good defenses. Undefeated at home? Yeah, I know – I’ve looked at all those stats – but they struggle when they don’t score points at will. They won’t on Saturday.

Boston College Eagles @ Virginia Tech Hokies (pk): The Hokies play really tough at home, and while BC plays good football on the road as well, I think the Hokies split this season series and get the Eagles back here. VaTech’s defense will cause lots of problems for Dominic Davis, just like with Chris Crane last time out, and Tyrod Taylor won’t be asked to do too much for the Hokies. Davis played well last week, but VaTech’s defensive schemes are a different beast than Maryland’s. Hokies win at home.

Washington Huskies @ California Golden Bears (-35): This is a huge spread. It should be. I need to do this now because I might not have too many more chance. See, if Mike Leach gets hired on in Seattle, I’m turning the page on this “always bet against the Huskies” thing, and as sad as that will be, I’ll just have to do it. The Bears ousted WSU 66-3 and while I don’t quite expect that big of a lashing, I wouldn’t be surprised about 45-6.

Alabama Crimson Tide (+10) @ Florida Gators: For a #1 ranked team, the Tide sure get very little respect. They are the only “big school” with an undefeated record. If one thing has been consistent it’s that they know how to win. I hate betting against the Gators, and thus I’m only going to do it for a small amount of coin, but Alabama can really run the ball. I now Florida is super fast, but Bama is powerful. They might not win pretty, but they win. Florida has annihilated everyone all year long, sans one single blemish. That may continue, but I’ll never feel bad about taking a 10 point dog that plowed through the regular season without a single loss. Besides each other, I think the SEC is a little overrated, so the work each school did (all those points put up by Florida and those games Bama had giving up a touchdown or less), I’m not so sure about. But both teams can win, and both can really play the game. Hard to go against a Florida team that, last week, has their closest game of the year since their loss to Mississippi, and they still won by 30. But I will. I’m wild.

USC Trojans (-32.5) @ UCLA Bruins: Maybe the recent brotherhood moment of “timeout for timeout” between Carroll and Neuheisel is a sign that Pete will take it easy on the first year coach of UCLA. I’m guessing not. The Bruins haven’t scored double digit offensive touchdowns total this season. That’s right, they average less than an offensive TD per game. What makes anyone think they’ll put up a single one against the Trojans? Pure craziness I’m sure. USC has plans on a big win, and even taking it easy would probably get them a 42-6 win. That’s enough for me. No TDs for the Bruins, that’s my bet.

Arizona State Sun Devils @ Arizona Wildcats (-10.5): The Sun Devils are just as bad as the rest of the Pac 10 while Arizona is really just a step under USC. That’s right, I think the Wildcats are just as good as the Ducks and Beavers despite losing to both teams late in the year. The Wildcats can put up lots of points if they need to and they can play defense too. ASU has been bad all year, I expect that to continue.

Missouri Tigers (+17) @ Oklahoma Sooners: I think that Chase Daniel and his Missouri Tigers saw how Oklahoma piled it on at the end of the Oklahoma State game and said, “F that Stuff – we won’t let them be in the position to do that to us.” We’ll see how it works out, but with Oklahoma already writing themselves in to the National Championship, I’m willing to bet that Missouri gives them a bigger scare than the books are suggesting with this big spread. I like Oklahoma to pull this one out, but around a touchdown is what I expect to see in this one.

Week 4 College Football Picks Review: 2007

Can I post yet another winning handful of picks in Week 4? Another week, another winner. Sure, I was only 3-2, but 60% isn’t bad, now is it? Yes, that’s a winning number, and if you put up the cash, you might just find that 60% makes you money. This is the path on took to 3 wins and two losses.

LUCKY LESTER’S Free NCAA Football Picks

Florida Gators (-23) @ Mississippi Rebels: (loss)
Florida barely pulled this one out, and a 23 point cover was completely out of the question by the time this one got through the first few minutes. Overall, Ole Miss played well, but even in their bad days, the Gators look unbeatable. I get a loss.

Duke Blue Devils @ Navy Midshipmen (-12): (loss)
Duke covered again, making me rethink my use of my old gimmie pick. Duke always use to be a crappy loser that I could rely on to give me a much needed win. Not this week, that’s for sure.

Kentucky Wildcats (+7) @ Arkansas Razorbacks: (win)
“The truth of the matter is, I think Andre’ Woodson is special, like Darren McFadden special, except the difference here is, Woodson is a quarterback, and in College Football, I’ll take a talented team with a special QB over a talented squad with a top notch RB. I think Kentucky has more balance, and therefore will win this game. You’ve got to like the points, too.” (me) Arkansas looked good, but in the end, their run-heavy attack just wasn’t enough. When Dick needed to come out and get his offense going, the Razorbacks struggled. On the other hand, when the Wildcats needed a big play, Woodson did his damage.

Michigan State Spartans (-12) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: (win)
This one didn’t start off good for me, and I was thinking, DAMN! But then the real Fighting Irish stood right up and the Michigan State Spartans of all teams just straight took it to the Irish. Notre Dame is bad, folks, and I don’t know if its getting much better any time soon.

Arizona Wildcats @ California Golden Bears (-16): (win)
Once again, the Bears just barely pulled out a cover in this one. I’m tired of watching Cal come out and stomp teams and think, “Ha, I’ve got this one in the bag,” before allowing lesser teams right back in the game to where I think “Ha, freaking Cal, at it again,” and then either barely covering to give me some heart relief, or just blowing the spread all together and making me want to write bad things about them all week long.

Free College Football Picks Week 4 – 2007

Can I post yet another winning handful of picks in Week 4? Ah, that is the question. I will go in with these 5 squads, and go headfirst, with the confidence paralleling the brave 300. Hopefully I don’t hit the skids in the end like those guys in the movie – on the other hand, if I can get some abs like that, I’ll give up the last few years of my life and spend the next 20 years lifting up my shirt instead of using dumb pickup lines. Either way, here’s my Free Picks for Week 4.

LUCKY LESTER’S Free NCAA Football Picks

Florida Gators (-23) @ Mississippi Rebels: 9/22/07 12:30pm EST
I’d be hard pressed to find a team in the Nation as good as the Gators. Florida can do it defensively and with the ball, making opposing teams look foolish every time out. The Rebels are solid, but they don’t have the players to match up with the Gators. I understand that this is a tough game for Florida, as they just knocked of Tennessee last week, but I have a feeling that Tim Tebow leads too much by example for the Gators to struggle in this one. That kid loves to compete, and beat the piss out of you he will.

Duke Blue Devils @ Navy Midshipmen (-12): 9/22/07 1:00pm EST
Duke ended their 22 game losing streak last week. It made me sad. What better way to celebrate one of the Nation’s longest losing streaks than by losing to a military team? That’s what I’m saying. I’m also saying that Navy isn’t as bad as a 1-2 record would insist. They’ve played solid football this season, and I expect them to route the Blue Devils in this one.

Kentucky Wildcats (+7) @ Arkansas Razorbacks: 9/22/07 6:00pm EST
Believe it or not, Kentucky has won 2 of the last 3 games between these two clubs. Last time these teams played, in 2003, the Razorbacks won 71-63. To be honest, I really think the world of both these clubs, and both will get their character tested because each squad played a huge game last week. Kentucky beat Louisville and Arkansas lost to Alabama by a field goal. The truth of the matter is, I think Andre’ Woodson is special, like Darren McFadden special, except the difference here is, Woodson is a quarterback, and in College Football, I’ll take a talented team with a special QB over a talented squad with a top notch RB. I think Kentucky has more balance, and therefore will win this game. You’ve got to like the points, too.

Michigan State Spartans (+12) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 9/22/07 3:30pm EST
I don’t like either of these teams, but what has Notre Dame showed to be anything more than a 25 point dog? Sure, they are Notre Dame, but this week they lost their opening day starting quarterback to a transfer. How did he break the news to Charlie Weis and the staff? He didn’t make the bus trip to Michigan. C’mon. The Irish are falling hard, to the point where a couple wins seems unlikely. Anyone… Is Temple or Duke scheduled? I didn’t like the Spartans to start the season, but the new coaching staff has proven to be impressive, so I’ll easily take them here.

Arizona Wildcats @ California Golden Bears (-16): 9/22/07 6:00pm EST
I am one of the guys that believes the Bears are WAY better than they’ve been playing. However, that shouldn’t matter too much this week, as even at their steady pace, they are 3 scores better than the Wildcats. I understand that Arizona has been known to surprise from time to time, but a 1-2 Wildcat team that lost to BYU by 13 and New Mexico, shouldn’t come even close the Bears. This could be the breakout game the Bears offense has been waiting for.