Clemson Tigers vs NC State Wolf Pack Free NCAA Pick

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Clemson Tigers (-7) @ NC State Wolf Pack Free NCAA Pick: As I expected, the spread value has moved away from Clemson, not surprising considering the Tigers’ talent and their success of late. It’s now at 8, but I got the Tigers at 7. Thus far, 65% of the public likes Clemson, and I imagine even more of them liked the Tigers as just a touchdown favorites. And get ready, because there’s more than a few methods to my Tiger-on-the-road pick where they are a paltry 1-3 so far this season.

Clemson has lost one pathetic game, getting beat by the Terps in Maryland 21-24. Aside from that, they’ve played pretty solid football against everyone. They’ve beaten Boston College, FSU, Miami, and Wake, those last 3 during their current 4 game winning streak. The Tigers had trouble against the heavy rushing teams they’ve faced this year, TCU, Georgia Tech, and Nebraska – all out-rushed the Tigers and did a solid job stopping the run.

That is not NC State’s offense. They give the ball to their talented QB, Russell Wilson, and they throw the rock. They’ve done so for over 2,500 yards this season, and Wilson has 24 touchdowns through the first 9 games. Clemson has turned to C.J. Spiller and the Tiger rushing attack, and they’ve reaped the benefits of one of the best runners in all the land. Defensively, they do a good job limiting opposing rushing attacks, and put pressure on opposing passers without having to blitz too often.

Lastly, and possibly most important, the Wolf Pack’s injury report has more patients than a high priced Hollywood rehab clinic. Already 10 players have been listed as “out for the season” – they have one more guy that is questionable, and another WR out indefinitely. If they can piece together a roster to stop C.J. Spiller and produce consistent touchdowns against the Tigers’ defense, they deserve to beat my pick.

Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Free Football Pick

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Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-16) Free Football Pick: The last time these two played the line was (-10) in Detroit, and it was actually pretty close to a Lions cover. This time it’s (-16) and it’s not like people think of either of these teams any differently. They still think the Vikings are legit and they know the Lions smell like… Sour beans. So, I would say this line is inflated a couple points – it should probably be 13.5, maybe, at the very most 14 – but it’s on the move and already up to 17 at a couple books. But I’m not scared.

Okay, I’m a little scared – I don’t like taking anybody at -16. This is pro football and if you’re ever a 16 point dog you are probably a good value bet. But even good value bets lose. And the way Matthew Stafford has been playing, and the way Minnesota just got two weeks to heal up and prepare for a Lions team that just pissed away a 17 point lead against the Seahawks a week ago, I just have to go against value and stick with Adrian Peterson and company.

Only 3 of the Lions 7 losses are by 16 points or more. They lost by 18 to New Orelans in Week 1. They were tied at 21 with the Bears in Chicago at half time, but they were outscored 27-3 in the second half and lost by 24. And they got shut out by the Packers 26-0. Last time around, Minnesota fought back after being down 10-7 at half time to win by two touchdowns and cover the 10 point spread.

The Lions have been double digit underdogs five times this year (which is amazing all by itself) and in those five games, they’ve lost against the spread four times (which is even more amazing. As double digit favorites this year, the Vikings are 2-0 ATS.

So, all things considered, all values ignored, I’ll put a little on the Vikings expecting more problems from Detroit.

L.A. Clippers vs L.A. Lakers NBA Free Pick

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Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers (-9.5) NBA Free Pick: The Lakers haven’t lost to the Clippers since April of 2007. Yep. Seriously. The Lakers have beaten the Clippers by double digits in 7 of the last 8 contests, beating them by 20 or more four times. Yep. Seriously. I know the Clippers are a popular pick to improve this season. I know it’s opening night and anything can happen, hopes are up, and the Clippers are excited to prove themselves. I also know that Pau Gasol is out, and he’s been a huge part of the Lakers success since Memphis gave him up for a pack of smokes, a guitar with just three strings, and Kwame Brown’s expiring contract. I know. But I also know the Lakers will win. Why? Because these are the Clippers, folks. And they know how to help other teams win, they’ve been doing it for a long time. I also know that with Blake Griffin and Marcus Camby out, that potent exciting front court becomes less potent and less exciting, and with Chris Kaman playing more minutes, infinitely more disturbing in appearance. I like Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to cover here, as I don’t think Gasol being out hurts that much with Odom taking his place.

Papas Picks NFL Week 7: Only Underdogs! Bears, Chiefs, Falcons

So, I went 2-1 last week, and look to, at the very least, keep that 66.6% rocking hard as the season moves forward. I’m taking dogs here, nothing but dogs from here on out, and going to show you that if you pick right, the dogs can make you money. I have another trio of games this week, expecting three outright wins but I’ll take the points. Here goes!!!

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Chicago Bears (+1) @ Cincinnati Bengals: A lot is being said about Cedric Benson’s 1st game against the Bears since they cut him, blasted his work ethic, and basically told anybody that would listen how Ced was never going to amount to anything despite them spending a Top 5 pick on the guy. So at least one Bengal is going to be motivated come Sunday. But that’s not enough for me, and I think Jay Cutler has one of his “accurate games”, you know, 1 interception or less, carving up the opposing defense (though Cinci has been good this year on that side of the ball). I like the Bears to win on the road, I think their running game finally gets going a little bit, but not enough to make those owners that picked Matt Forte happy. Not that much.

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5): The Chiefs are better than people give them credit for, the Chargers are much, much worse. Seems like enough for me, but wait, I have more. The Chargers defense hasn’t show the ability to stop anyone (even last week, they stopped Denver a bit, but Kyle Orton still came back to slice them up just enough to give the Broncos an easy win). If your defense can’t get off the field, then you can’t consistently cover road games where you are favored by 4.5 points. It could happen, sure, but the good money is on KC, and I’m a good money bettor.

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Atlanta Falcons (+4) @ Dallas Cowboys: This is hardly a true underdog, as a majority of the public likes Atlanta at most sports books, but they are still 4 point dogs, and in Dallas where the Cowboys have a lame-duck coach, their offensive coordinator seems to be slipping, their huge investment “best” receiver is probably still out with ouchy tummy, and their defense hasn’t been able to put pressure on anyone, it’s just hard to like the Cowboys. Tony Romo should turn it around a bit this week, but Dallas can’t lock down on opposing offense’s #1 threats, and thus Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez should find wide open spaces in the friendly confines of Cowboys Stadium. If that big ass TV screen doesn’t get in the way, and if they can keep their focus on the game and off the hundreds of cheerleaders acting as cage dancers, I think the Falcons pull away from Dallas late. There it is.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Redskins Week 7 Pick

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Philadelphia Eagles (-7) @ Washington Redskins Free Pick: I know 80% of the public likes Philly in Washington, but I still have to lean on the Eagles. I wouldn’t bet the world on this game, it’s probably not nearly as lopsided as everyone thinks – but the things going on in Washington just can’t be ignored. I know the Redskins rate out really well against the pass, but who have they played? What frightening offensive assault have they faced since Week 1 when Eli did them dirty? Stop me when I get to one, St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Kansas City – exactly. Ratings shmatings. I like the Eagles to come out with a little bit of piss and vinegar in their cleats, and after losing to the freaking Raiders I think they’ll fix some things, both on the field and in their minds. Me and 80%, yikes, yeah, I have to take the Eagles anyway. Something about switching your play calling duties to a guy that not only didn’t have a job two weeks ago, but one who had just started watching the Redskin’s games in the last two weeks. Sure, I always say I could do a better job calling plays, but I’m really just kidding when I say stuff like that, the clowns in Washington actually believe that garbage.

Arizona Cardinals vs New York Giants Free NFL Pick

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Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants (-7) Free NFL Pick: I think one of the best teams in football will rebound against a one-dimensional Arizona team. I think the Giants pass rushers will pin their ears back and get to Warner a handful of times – everybody knows, if you can get to Kurt you can take down the Cardinals. People look at last week’s game against the Hawks and have to see a 27-3 game that Arizona dominated, but in reality the Hawks just sucked offensively. It was pressure, sure, but the Cardinals will have to bring more guys if they want to penetrate that offensive line in New York. That will open up big plays for Eli, and as much as I’ve been on the guy over the past few seasons, calling him overrated among other things, he looks like a Top 10 QB in the league these days, and his confidence and will to win has me appreciating him a lot more, even though he has a gooey saddest boy face on the sidelines. No running game against the Giants spells trouble, Justin Tuck and company spell’s sack city.

New York Jets V Oakland Raiders Free Football Pick

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New York Jets (-5.5) @ Oakland Raiders Football Pick: The Oakland Raiders threw a wrench into everybody’s well laid out plans boasting them as one of the NFL’s worst teams when they upset the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles last week. Now it was nearly as much the Eagles’ fault as it was the Raiders, but when a team wins they need to get some credit. The Eagles decision to forget the run and rely almost exclusively on the pass got in their way of victory last Sunday, and needless to say, that wasn’t the first time. But who benefitted? The Raiders. They brought lots of pressure defensively, and despite good yard per carry averages from Brian Westbrook, the limited number of carries limited the damage. But now Oakland comes off that huge high to play a Jets team coming off their 3rd straight loss. Yeah, I like the Jets chances. Unlike the Eagles, the Jets won’t forget the run, in fact, I think they’ll rely more heavily on it than any game this season. The pressure won’t be on Mark Sanchez’s arm, but the offensive line and a talented running back group. That should spell certain doom for a Raiders team looking to make it two wins in a row. The line coming down from 7.5 to 5.5 has me going with the Jets with some good confidence.

Atlanta Falcons vs Dallas Cowboys Free Football Pick

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Atlanta Falcons (+4) @ Dallas Cowboys Free Pick: The Cowboys have allowed #1 receiving options to run free most of the season, that doesn’t bode well for their chances at beating up on the Falcons. With Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White getting open and picking apart the Cowboys secondary, I don’t think the Cowboys’ ability to stop the run will have much to say about the outcome of this game. Plus, I get the feeling that the Falcons can run the ball on anyone if they really set their minds to it. But Matt Ryan should find open spaces, despite big names in Dallas’s secondary, and a couple great defensive line players, the pressure hasn’t been there this season, and thus opposing quarterbacks have had lots of time to throw the ball. If Matt gets time, his receivers will get open. Thinking that will happen, I like their chances to cover against the Boys.

Chicago Bears vs Cincinnati Bengals Free Sports Pick

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Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals (-1): The Bengals, favored at home, against a mediocre NFC team – yeah, I like my chances. Now, the Bears shot themselves in the foot all week long against the Broncos, and the game was still very close – but that doesn’t mean it’s going to carry over here. The Bengals also have a very good defense, a secondary that preys on mistakes by opposing quarterbacks, often baiting them into poor throws. It’s also a defense that rarely breaks completely. The Bengals have given up 21 points or more just twice this season, making offenses work for their touchdowns is a big reason they are 4-2. I know Jay Cutler has a rocket cannon arm, but the Bears will once again be limited to their passing game as the Bengals have the ability to shut down a Bears run game that has been weak all season long. Cedric Benson will have something to prove in this game, and I think he’ll get his teammates to climb on his back for this victory. He’s been running angry so far this season, and I think he’s been looking forward to this match-up for a long time. The Bengals are good, they’ve had some late comebacks, but they aren’t flukey, they are a good value bet at home against the Bears.

New Orleans Saints V Miami Dolphins Free NFL Pick

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New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins Free Pick: I really want to take the Dolphins here. I know the public is going to be jocking the Saints like nobody’s business, and Vegas is on pace to hit a few like that coming up. But I can’t buy enough into the Dolphins in the match-up. Why? The Saints have been too good against the run, and more importantly, too good running the ball. That’s right, you heard me. Lost in Drew Brees’s amazing season thus far is the glue that’s truly making this team great, the running back by committee approach. While Drew has been on fire, people forget to realize that this rushing attack has out-rushed every single opponent they’ve gone up against this season. That means two things, the offensive line has been dominant, and also, the defensive front has been stellar. You don’t out-rush every single opponent unless you can stop the run when you’re not on the field. That single aspect of this Saints defense makes me think the Wildcat might have met their match. I’d love to see the upset here, I just don’t think it will happen.