NFL Free Picks Review: Week 7 2009

9-3-1… That is a record I would love every single week of the year. We could all be rich off that type of pick production and I’m going to do my best to make that happen the rest of the way. Of course, I’m always doing my best, making my picks, assessing the sitch-e-ation, and get the right side against that dreaded line. This week I missed on the Cowboys/Falcons game, and I didn’t give the Cardinals enough credit and might have given Eli a little too much after a nice start to the season, so those two games I fully accept as losses. But the Vikings? Please. They cover that game 8 of 10, and if it wasn’t for two freakish defensive touchdowns in the last 6 minutes of that game, the Vikings cover anyway. That being said, I must say I probably shouldn’t have covered the Saints/Dolphins game. So I guess 9 is right after all. Regardless, I won 9 games in a 13 game week, that’s good stuff, here’s the business….

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Philadelphia Eagles (-7) @ Washington Redskins: (WINNER) The Eagles were playing awfully poorly to be up 20-7 in this game, then on 3rd and 24 Donovan threw a bomb to DeSean Jackson for a touchdown to go up 27-7. It was over at that point, basically, because everyone knew there was no way the Redskins were going to score 20 points from there forward. The Eagles tried to dissolve their easy cover, but Washington just couldn’t do enough – lucky me. The Skins D was solid, despite some big plays they allowed, if they only had an offense…

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants (-7): (LOSS) Eli looked more like Ellie in this one, missing on passes, getting them tipped, having that pouty face, getting some drops from a couple of those young receivers, just having an all around tough go of it. And of course they forgot to run the ball despite the success they had early. Oh the Giants, this is what they’ll do to you every once in a while, can’t dominate for all 16 games. Kurt Warner and company played solid football, definitley, but it was Arizona’s secondary that stole the show.

New York Jets (-5.5) @ Oakland Raiders: (WINNER) “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.” Well, the Jets lost one third of their talented running tree, but Shonn Greene came in and showed what he can do as the Jets had two runners bust well over the 100 yard mark. The Jets just flat out dominated, getting the Raiders to pull JaMarcus Russell, and think how bad he’s played this year while never getting the yank. Yeah, it was that bad.

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Atlanta Falcons (+4) @ Dallas Cowboys: (LOSS) Hey, I’ve always been here to take it when I lose, and I definitely underestimated the Cowboys in this one. That defensive front came to play, giving Matt Ryan trouble all day long, proving that you can still frazzle the young quarterback if you put the pressure on. With the Cowboys up big early, the Falcons pretty much abandoned the running game, taking away their strength on the ground with Turner and also Ryan’s most accurate part of his game, the play action. Kudos to the Boys. Great game for Mr. Romo as well.

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals (-1): (WINNER) “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. 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.” Well, the Bengals preyed on Jay Cutler, baiting him into bad Jay Cutler-ish throws, and Cedric Benson stomped all over Chicago’s couches. It was a fun one to watch.

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins: (WINNER) 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.

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Minnesota Vikings (+4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: (LOSS) This should have been a cover. If you watched the game, you feel me. If you didn’t, just believe me. The Vikings were the side in this one, but sometimes you lose games you should win, and other times you win games you should lose – this time I was un-LuckyLester…

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (WINNER) “Big spreads for road favorites can often backfire with a pass happy team struggling to complete passes. But I see the Packers running the ball more this Sunday, holding the ball longer, and covering by at least a touchdown in Cleveland. Vegas or the people? Who wins this Sunday? Damn the man!” Hooray us, damn the man is right! Like I predicted, the Packers finally gave a good number of chances to the guy that should be their work horse, Ryan Grant. It kept Rodgers off the turf, and the ball in Green Bay’s hands. With that kind of attack, the Browns never stood a chance.

New England Patriots (-14.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) When you have a great team against a crappy team, at least this season, the chances are really low that the crappy team is covering, even with a big bad spread like this one. The Patriots throw 5 touchdowns in a quarter, or anything like that, but this game was in hand very early. All these big favorites are covering, that goodness I had a bunch of them this week.

Buffalo Bills (+7) @ Carolina Panthers: (WINNER) “I don’t see what the Panthers have done to be a touchdown favorite against anybody in the NFL.” Regardless of what anybody thinks about these two teams, the bottom line was just as I wrote it, the Panthers shouldn’t be favored by 7 over anyone. The Bills didn’t do anything offensively, couldn’t really run it, and didn’t have great passing numbers, but they didn’t need to. The Panthers give points away weekly, and if you can just let them beat themselves, you’re in.

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San Francisco 49ers (+3) @ Houston Texans: (PUSH) The 49ers fell down early, 21-0, and the Texans were definitely in charge. A quarterback switch, an inspired defense, and some big plays from Vernon Davis got the Niners right back in it, but they fell short a field goal, getting me a push. I’ll tell you what, being down 21-0 at the half, without an explosive offense, and still getting a psu – if that’s what bad looks like, I’ll be alright.

San Diego Chargers (-4.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WINNER) I was right on here, loved the Chargers by a touchdown or more, and they followed through and made me look good. The bottom line was that SD’s defense played very well last week, despite what most people remember from that Broncos’ game, and they continued that inspired play against the Chiefs, giving away absolutely nothing all day long. They won easily. Me too.

Indianapolis Colts (-13) @ St. Louis Rams: (WINNER) Just a gimmie, a no doubter, the Rams facing two weeks of prepared Peyton Manning – it was 42-6, and I don’t think it was that close, I’ve got to be honest.

NCAA Football Free Picks Review: Week 8 2009

Well, 7-6 this week for my college football picks, not great but at least I finished up. I had a couple really tough games that I really feel should have covered, Cal against WSU, Army turning into a fumbling problem against Rutgers and falling just short of a cover, and Duke straight dukeing me with their 4 point win as a 4.5 point favorite. Ugh. But like I said, I had more wins than losses despite some tough games – can’t hate that too much. Here’s my review.

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Oklahoma Sooners (-7.5) @ Kansas Jayhawks: (WINNER) “This is one of those fantastic situations that shows you how much Top 25 rankings really mean. The Sooners are missing at least 2 First Round NFL Draft picks, one of which won the Heisman Trophy last season, Sam Bradford, and was pretty universally listed as the Top NFL Prospect in all the land heading into the season. They are heading into 6-1, 21st ranked Kansas to play the Jayhawks, and who’s favored? The Sooners, by a touchdown, and get ready for this, they are a good bet. Rankings are a joke, it’s too bad they mean anything at all. I’ll take the unranked road favorites here. Believe it.” And the Sooners killed Kansas, weird. Rankings… JOKE!

Washington State Cougars @ California Golden Bears (-35): (LOSS) This one should have been a cover, easily, but the Bears fell asleep, and lightening struck, all in the same 5 minute portion of this game. After WSU threw a 68 yard touchdown pass, Cal did absolutely nothing as promptly as possible on the next series, giving WSU just enough time to toss another TD before the half. In the 2nd half, the Bears had no reason to hurry, they scored just enough to not get a cover, I hate both these teams. There it is.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Army Black Knights (+10): (LOSS) A great thing about Army is that they rarely turn the ball over. They don’t make dumb throws, they run the ball hard and gain yardage the tough way. And they did that on Friday Night, they just couldn’t hold onto the ball. A couple tough fumbles stopped drives deep in Rutgers territory, and Army doesn’t have a chance if that happens. Playing from behind – not their strength. Still it was just 20-10 after three quarters, and Army definitely had their chances to cover. Rutgers did enough, and I got the loss.

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Oregon Ducks (-8.5) @ Washington Huskies: (WINNER) This one was just too easy. In fact, take this advice, if the Huskies are facing a prolific rushing attack, they are a great fade! Oregon mauled the Dogs, and I was pretty impressed with everything the Ducks did offensively in the second half. In the first half this one was close, but they took to running the ball and finding wide open places in play action, never looking back after an early 3rd quarter score.

Iowa Hawkeyes (+2) @ Michigan State Spartans: (WINNER)  “The Hawkeyes have gotten by in ugly fashion, sure, and they are probably due for a loss, but their fights have shown me how resilient they are, and that alone is worth a small bet to me, especially against a Spartan team that is also due to have a tough go of it after three straight wins. Against my normal system play (unrated favorite over ranked dog is almost always a bet on the favorite) but I like Iowa’s chances on the road.” Obviously the Hawkeyes probably have no place in the Top 5 in the Nation, but they do find a way to win, and while it is almost always ugly, there’s something to be said about getting a win despite all odds against you. This was what I expected it to be, to the last minute, the one where Iowa got the W.

Penn State Nittany Lions (-4) @ Michigan Wolverines: (WINNER)  “In two games against decent teams this season (Iowa and Michigan State) the Wolverines were out-gained in total yardage. They lost both of those games. Penn State has out-gained every single opponent they’ve played so far this season. I’m just saying.” It’s things like this, that when I find them, it makes me wish I could find that great statistic headed into every match-up. Some teams need that ball control to win games, the Wolverines need to keep their defense off the field. If you out-gain them, you have a great chance of winning. Easy victory here.

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Boston College Golden Eagles (+8) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Free Pick: (WINNER) The Eagles struggle when teams have the ability to run the ball with speed and power. That’s not the Irish. Sure, they have some talent, and some big boys up front, but when it comes right down to it, they are a foo-foo offense that likes to throw the ball when going gets tough, or right off the bat for that matter. That should allow the discipline Golden Eagles to stay in this game, and cover that 8 point spread against a Irish team with a defense that just can’t get stops. ND might win, with the luck of the Irish and all, but I like the Eagles to cover.

Florida State Seminoles (+3) @ North Carolina Tar Heels: (WINNER) Florida State made it tough, getting stymied early in this one, struggling offensively, and not stopping the Heels when they needed to. But all evened out in the second half, and that electric Seminole offense that I expected to play well got it together in just enough time to win outright in Carolina, giving me a much needed Thursday Night victory.

South Florida Bulls (+7) @ Pittsburgh Panthers: (LOSS) “The Panthers don’t blow good teams out, they aren’t that kid of squad.” One way or another, I was certainly wrong here, maybe every way possible, hell, I don’t know. Pittsburgh is either a lot better than I thought, the Bulls are not as good as I thought, the cards didn’t fall the way I expected, or all three of those things were infinitely true in this one. Either way, I lose, the Panthers jumped all over the Bulls early, and my quote haunts me…

Arkansas Razorbacks (+6.5) @ Mississippi Rebels: (LOSS) Arkansas had their chances to keep this game close, and even more chances to get back in it, but they never could make that stop, and Jevan Snead was on his game on Saturday. The Razorbacks couldn’t move the ball at all in the 4th quarter, and found it increasingly difficult to get off the field on defense. This is the Ole Miss team people expected to see through the first 7 weeks… Nice of them to show up here.

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UConn Huskies (+7.5) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: (WINNER) “The Connecticut Huskies are as good as any team West Virginia has played thus far, and the Mountaineers haven’t impressed me with their ability to step on the gas.” This was basically it. UConn is a pretty darn good team, and they played hard from start to finish. A lot of things West Virginia did went well, but they just don’t know how to step on it against a good team. Both teams played well, the Huskies came up a little bit short, but covered easily.

Maryland Terrapins @ Duke Blue Devils (-4.5): (LOSS) How about Duke covering easily in the 3rd quarter up 17-6, Maryland doing nothing offensively all day long – perfect. But wait, this is Duke, and I’m Lucky Lester, and Duke and Lucky Lester don’t go hand in hand. So then Dukes gives up a 67 yard touchdown pass on 3rd and 19. Seriously, they don’t write it better than this. So Duke’s up only, what, 4, yes a point not enough. But wait, Duke is driving in the 4th, in sure to score and cover zone at the 9, and what now? Oh, perfect, a Duke turnover, a 4 point win, no cover for me. Perfect freaking day, Duke wins, I bet on Duke, I lose. Ugh. By a point.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-7.5) @ UTEP Miners: (LOSS) Tulsa played one quarter in this game, the 3rd, and hell, maybe their single quarter of play leaked into the 4th, at which point they were up 11 and looking like they finally figured it out, and on the path to a big win and easy cover. But they forgot they had one more quarter. In that quarter, they allowed 15 points, they scored none, they not only failed to cover, but lost the game altogether. Serves them right!

NFL Free Picks Review: Week 4

Well, I’m eating in to my early winning ways, that’s for sure. Luckily I was up 9 games going into Week 3, because, 3 and 4 weren’t good to me at all. After 4 more losses than wins in Week 3 I finished Week 4 only a little better, 6-8. I’m still up headed into Week 5, but that hot early start isn’t as dreamy as it once was. Here’s the haps…

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Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears (-10): (WINNER) This was a pretty weird game, the Lions kept it a game for most of the day, but ended up losing by 24. It wasn’t that quite like that, tied at 21 going into half, but I have to say I was still thinking I was going to cover this one going into the second frame. The Bears got some help from the big play on special teams and defense, not needing to do much yardage-wise, but Jay and Forte did plenty, and the Lions gave me a winner to start my day. Needless to say it went down hill from here.

Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (LOSS) The Browns came to play, no doubt about that, and the Bengals just kind of snuck by in this one. The Books moved and moved, but even the Browns at +3.5 ended up being a good bet. Weird, those tricky books. Cleveland ran the ball really well, something I didn’t think they’d be able to do. That right there was enough to keep them right in the hunt against the Bengals. I thought that I, and the rest of the public, was walking into some free money after the Bengals went up 14-0 early in the 2nd quarter, but the Browns fought back to take the lead, 20-14. The Bengals seemingly iced all hopes for bettors by scoring what everyone thought would be the go-ahead touchdown, only the extra point they actually needed to “go ahead”. That gave me just an ounce of hope, as a Bengals TD would get me the cover. It wasn’t to be, a field goal in the final seconds of OT (that looked like it missed by the way) was good, and the Bengals do just enough to win without covering. This, not the first game, was a sign of my day to come.

Oakland Raiders (+9) @ Houston Texans: (LOSS) The Raiders can’t run or throw, I feel like a took box for taking these gong-show outcasts in any game with any spread. How bad can a pro-team be? Poor Richard Seymour, I feel bad for the guy. Darren McFadden… Really? Al Davis is poison.

Seattle Seahawks (+10.5) @ Indianapolis Colts: (LOSS) Seattle couldn’t run the ball, and their play-calling sucked, for the second straight week. Peyton Manning was at the top of his game, and I again feel like a dope for thinking the Hawks had good value here. Damn.

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Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (LOSS) “70% like Tennessee here. This is a very tough one for me, but in the end I’m with them. I would like to preface my selection with this: if the Titans weren’t 0-3 I would be taking the Jaguars here for sure. I think Jacksonville should find some openings in the Titan secondary, and MJD will probably have a decent day despite Tennessee’s stellar run defense. But the Titans can’t go 0-4.” Apparently they can. Like I said, this one was very tough for me, and I let the Titans “need” to get a win get in the way of me actual winning. Out-thought by myself again!

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs (+9): (LOSS) “The Giants have beaten the Chiefs by 10 or more points every time these two teams have played since 1998. Now that doesn’t mean much to me, I’m just saying so you know. The Giants can really run the ball, the Chiefs can’t stop the run. The Giants take full advantage of the passes they do attempt, the Chiefs shoot themselves in the foot with penalties like it’s their job. The Chiefs struggle with pressure put on them by opposing defenses, the Giants can make life hell on most quarterbacks while rushing just four guys. Now, I wanted to let you know all that stuff before I told you this: I’m taking the Chiefs (+9). Call me nuts,” Hey, dude, you’re nuts! Out-thought by myself again! The Giants didn’t run real well, but the Chiefs don’t play to win and if it weren’t for two lousy touchdowns late this game would look even more pathetic than it does already.

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots (-1.5): (WINNER) This game was very tight, and I think the Ravens got screwed around a bit, plus a late dropped pass killed any chance they had. I still like the Patriots at home to win straight up against anyone. I always will, until Tom Brady hangs ’em up. He’s a winner, that’s what he does.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins (-7): (LOSS)  After Santana Moss’s touchdown catch, from the human turnover machine, Jason Campbell, I thought the Redskins were going to walk away with this one, despite missing an extra point that eliminated my push. But I gave clown Zorn (who I once thought would be a good coach) too much credit. He started playing not-to-lose and everyone knows that’s a terrible way to score points. He didn’t lose though, only I did. Damn the man!

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Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (+2): (WINNER) The Dolphins kicked around the Bills, and I’m actually hoping that TO holds it together in Buffalo and doesn’t flip out because this coaching staff is really too cautious for them to win enough games to keep TO smiling. And honestly, I’ve seen enough of TO pissed off, fighting off idiot media bastards, and just being sad. Guy can be the saddest man in the world some times. I hope he just fights it, keeps plodding on, and has some good games going forward. But I’m sure glad they got kicked around this week by Ronnie Brown and the youngster, Chad Henne, because I needed a win something fierce!

New York Jets (+7) @ New Orleans Saints: (LOSS) I don’t know. The Saints defense has made a magical change from last year to this. Amazing. They are good. They don’t give you anything, running or passing, and they come after you. I’m impressed. But the Jets still should have covered this game. If Sanchez doesn’t make a couple huge rookie mistakes, the Saits aren’t given 14 points to play with early. But, Mark is a rookie, and I took his squad, knowing damn well there was a chance the rook could make some of those mis-reads. I’ll take this one on the chin.

Dallas Cowboys (-3) @ Denver Broncos: (LOSS) I loved getting this game wrong. Josh McDaniels has been one of my favorites since he had no problem trying to help special princess players off the team from the beginning. That’s how you make a team tough. Is his team tough? Hell yes, tougher than any Bronco team has been in a long time. I missed on this one, though Dallas had all the opportunity to keep this from being a game early. Tony Romo and company just can’t get the job done when it matters most. And Roy Williams, you are a sandy-crotched marshmallow. Get in the damn game to try and help your team. Your ribs hurt? Good lord. Dude is a princess.

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers (-9.5): (WINNER) “The 49ers are as good as they’ve shown. They have a stout defense that brings it every play. They have elite players in the secondary, in the line backing crew, and on the defensive line. They have an offense that pounds it until opposing defenses can’t take it anymore. The only reason I’d take the Rams here is because they actually have a chance now that Marc Bulger is out. I think last week’s last second loss puts some piss and vinegar into the 49ers this week. They should be 3-0 if black magic didn’t strike them dead in Week 3. St. Louis is still the worst team in football, even with Bulger finally on the sidelines. This win would make San Francisco undefeated against the entire NFC West to start the season, and I know Mike Singletary will have made that an emphasis for this playoff bound 49ers squad. Now the 49ers aren’t going to win a lot of games by double digits, but they’re not going to play the Rams very often, either. Take them here, despite the high spread.” Even on the tough weeks, you have to hit some right on the nail – this was one of those.

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San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5): (WINNER)  “Even the Steelers can run the ball against San Diego’s defense. Now Pittsburgh has played pretty poorly to start the season, never being able to finish, and lucking out to have just one win thus far (they should have lost to the Titans). But they’ll play better in this one. THe Chargers aren’t good defensively, and I don’t think they run with any success in Pittsburgh. I don’t think the world of the Steelers but doubt they drop to 1-3 to start the season, not with all that open room to accrue yardage against the Chargers defense. How does San Diego’s 24-20 win over Oakland look right now? How about their 10 point win against Miami when they were down 6-3 after Chad Pennington went down? Listen, neither of these teams is as good as everyone thought heading into the season, but Pittsburgh is still the better team. I like the over here a lot as well, but since I only take sides, I’ll just say I’m leaning on the over. Many big plays in this one, Steelers by 10 at home on Sunday Night Football.” It took just about 3 full quarters for SD to get anything going, but then they made me look brilliant. The Steelers win and cover by 10, the over gets smashed, everyone has to agree with me about who is the better team, and basically everything I said was true. And I needed this one really bad.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5): (WINNER) It wasn’t how I thought it was going to be, the Vikings didn’t run all over the Packers – Green Bay obviously focused a lot on stopping AP, and they did that pretty well. But Brett killed them. The last thing the Packers must have wanted was for Brett to come out like a cowboy and just shoot them down with a smile. But that’s what happened. The game got close at the end, and I was a little worried with the Packers marching down 10 – but the Vikings held and covered for me.

NCAA Free Picks Review: Week 5

BIG WINNER!!! Finally, a nice week in the college football ranks. Some big wins by some big teams, and I reaped some of the benefits. I tore it up during the week, going 3 for 3 on back to back to back Wednesday, Thursday, Friday games – and then the weekend. Here’s how the cookie crumbled. My baker’s dozen turned into 10 wins; 10-3 gets me right back in the game!!!

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Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Lousiana Tech Bulldogs (-3.5): (WINNER) 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: (WINNER) Luck. Then some terrible un-luck. And what do you know, some really good luck with two seconds left the Buffaloes throw a hurry-up touchdown in the corner of the end-zone for the cover. There it is. Sometimes you need some luck to counteract the un-luck.

Pittsburgh Panthers (-6.5) @ Louisville Cardinals: (WINNER)  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: (LOSS) What do you know, the Spartans were sick of all that “little brother” talk, and they came out to dice up the Wolverines. But Michigan fought and battled and took this to overtime. A stupid, stupid interception put the Spartans in a good place to win OT with a field goal (which would have meant a push for many of the Wolvering bettors that got on later in the week), but a broken tackle or two meant a TD win for the Spartans. My first loss.

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Florida State Seminoles (-4.5) @ Boston College Eagles: (LOSS)  I expected FSU to come out to win after playing like dump in Week 4. But they just kept the poo-cycle on full blast, and let the Eagles win by a touchdown.

Alabama Crimson Tide (-17) @ Kentucky Wildcats: (WINNER) I barely covered this game. The Tide won by 18. However, the Tide crushed the Cats. They were up 31-6 and then 38-13, but Kentucky really wanted to cover, so they gave it their all. Lucky for me, I had that one point.

LSU Tigers (-2.5) @ Georgia Bulldogs: (WINNER) I’m still not sure LSU belongs in the Top 5, but they earned it this week, and they’ll spend at least one more week in that group. This was quite a battle, down to the wire, but LSU had just enough to make me, and them, a couple winners.

Washington Huskies (+17) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: (WINNER) “I think they have a good chance to not only cover, but pull the upset, so I’ll take all those points.” The Huskies got proper screwed, like the hare. Now, any team that gets inside the 1 twice and comes away with just three points probably doesn’t deserve to win, but the Huskies got a TD taken away that never went back on the board. They also watched as ND failed a 2-pt conversion only get two points anyway. The Huskies went all the way to OT with the Irish, but couldn’t get the right bounces. Easy cover for me though.

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Oklahoma Sooners @ Miami Hurricanes (+7): (WINNER)  “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,” I think the ‘Canes had a nice win here. Both teams played alright, but Miami did just enough to get the win, as Oklahoma couldn’t stop the run. Oklahoma fought back late, but fell just a little short.

Ohio State Buckeyes (-17) @ Indiana Hoosiers: (WINNER) The Buckeyes won by 19, just enough to cover up, but they hammered the Hoosiers, it wasn’t that close.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-4.5) @ Mississippi State Bulldogs: (WINNER) The bulldogs tried to make it close in the 4th quarter, but Tech QB, Josh Nesbit, was just too much of a beast. He missed on only 3 of his 14 attempts, putting up 266 yards and a touchdown on just 11 completions. He also didn’t get huge ground numbers, but his 23 rushes helped batter the Bulldogs defense.

USC Trojans @ California Golden Bears (+6): (LOSS) “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.” Apparently I was wrong, and apparently it wasn’t a freak occurrence, the Bears getting trounced by the Ducks, because I have a feeling the Bears just aren’t nearly as good as anybody thought. I don’t get how Mr. Best can continually get shut down by ranked teams, yet another time he does nothing against USC…

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Washington State Cougars @ Oregon Ducks (-31): (WINNER) “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.” I would have been surprised, but since the Ducks slammed 52 points down WSU’s collective throat, I’ll just settle for being right… and satisfied… Fade the Cougs is back on folks!!!

Week 3 College Football Free Pick Review

I started out winning 4 out of 5 of my NCAA free picks and was pretty excited going into the second half. I had picked some good upsets, some favorites, and a nice dog that turned into a mighty husky. After that it was all down hill. I may be killing it in the pros, but this is my worst start in college football ever. Here’s how it went.

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ Miami Hurricanes (-4.5): (WINNER) The Hurricanes were the much better team, smacking the Yellow Jackets around something fierce. Tech moved the ball better than the final score showed, but penalties kill a team that doesn’t throw the ball. They had 2nd and long lots of times.

Boston College Eagles @ Clemson Tigers (-6.5): (WINNER) I thought this one would be pretty one sided, I told you it would be, it was. Clemson is a pretty darn good team up front, I imagine they’ll keep showing up to play, and should be a nice bet moving forward, because they really get no love at all.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (+15) @ Oklahoma Sooners: (LOSS) Oklahoma big brother’d the Hurricane in this one, treating them like a small college team, and using their strength to just flat out dominate from kickoff to finish. Missed this one.

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (+6) @ Maryland Terrapins: (WINNER) “The Blue Raiders have looked solid in their start to the season while the Terps have looked dismal. This spread should be smaller, yet 71% of the public is still riding the slow moving Terps. I think Maryland falls to the small school Blue Raiders. They just haven’t played well enough to win games, and nothing seems to be getting answered in Maryland.” I can’t say it better with 20-20 hind sight.

USC Trojans @ Washington Huskies (+20.5): (WINNER) WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!! The Huskies not only covered but iced the #3 Trojans to the tune of a huge 16-13 upset. Gotta love that! As big as this win was, for the Dawgs and myself, it was the last win of the week. Damn the man!

Arizona Wildcats (+5.5) @ Iowa Hawkeyes: (LOSS)  Arizona came to play as if they had walked to Iowa the night before the game. This one was pretty blah from the outset, I was wrong again.

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SMU Broncos (-7) @ Washington State Cougars: (LOSS) Those blasted Cougars got lucky, so much for betting against them every single game just to see what happens. I hate when my plan gets foiled.

Cincinnati Bearcats @ Oregon State Beavers (EVEN): (LOSS) This was a close one, but the Beavers couldn’t do enough. Cincinnati didn’t put up big time points like they had been, but their defense was still pretty stout. They did enough to keep me losing.

Florida State Seminoles @ BYU Cougars (-7): (LOSS) Florida State showed why small programs can’t hang with the big boys on a good day. FSU came out pummeling the Cougars and never stopped. The athleticism on the away team’s sideline was too much from the get go.

Georgia Bulldogs @ Arkansas Razorbacks (-1): (LOSS) The Bulldogs came in and winged it around. I was pretty stoked up 21-10 after the first quarter, but both teams kept firing away and I was on the wrong end of a 4th quarter that put the Bulldogs up for good.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors @ UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (-7): (LOSS) UNLV won, but naturally, because this is how my college football year has gone thus far, it wasn’t by enough to get me the win. A one point win for the Rebels was good enough to assure me a 4-7 Week 3. You ought to be killing College Football if you’re fading me.

Week 2 NCAA Picks REVIEW

Week 2 was a little more kind to me with my free college football picks, and while not the back to even come back I was looking for, some good things happened for me early in the week, bringing some wins my way. It wasn’t all gravy though. This is how the wins and losses accumulated to a flat even tie (ugh).

Clemson Tigers (+5.5) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: (WINNER) Some people are trying to tell me I’m lucky for covering this game… Please, Georgia Tech was lucky to score those early freak touchdowns in the first quarter or they would have had no chance to win this one. Clemson had some really bad luck early, then showed what they were made of by pretty much shutting down the Jackets over the final three quarters. A field goal ended up getting GT the win late, but it was just 3 points, and I won anyway, despite the freak touchdowns on back to back fake field goals. As my good buddy Josh said, “I’ve never seen a team score two touchdowns on back to back fake field goals, and the fact that they were on either side of the ball for each one, that’s just crazy.” Crazy indeed.

Central Michigan Chippewas (+14.5) @ Michigan State Spartans: (WINNER) “I know, I’m nuts, but I like the Chipps to get awfully close to pulling off this upset. I like a lot of what Central Michigan has. I love their QB, the kid is a winner. Central Michigan has either won, or lost by less than 14 points in 19 of their last 20 games. I know the Spartans are solid, but the only team that beat the Chipps by more than two touchdowns last season was Georgia. State isn’t that kind of good.” What can I say, I hit this one right on the chin. I still can’t believe the Chipps won the game. I must admit, I’m a victim of early evacuation in this one, I left the game after the Chipps missed on their two point conversion attempt. But some how, they pulled it off. Obviously the cover wasn’t in question, but it was nice to see Dan and his guys get a win. They didn’t just get awfully close to pulling the upset, they made it happen.

North Carolina (-4) @ Connecticut Huskies: (LOSS) Carolina couldn’t do anything offensively, which really surprises me. This game didn’t look good, but NC found a way to get the win, just not by enough to make me a winner. I’m not sure what to take from this game – I don’t think NC’s offensive attack is that poor and I don’t think UConn’s D is that good – so should I just write this off as an aberration? I’ll look into it. I know that those 12 fourth quarter points shows me a lot about a team in terms of getting a win no matter what.

Stanford Cardinal @ Wake Forrest Demon Deacons (-3): (WINNER) “The Cardinal really struggled on the road last season, tallying their only road win at Washington (and the Huskies didn’t even win one single game). I think that trend continues. I also think the Deacons came out slow last week, and while a late push made that game a game, the couldn’t quite pull it out. One of the sharpest tossers in the game, Riley Skinner, threw three picks last week. He won’t throw one this Saturday, and that should be enough to get Wake Forrest in the win column.” The Cardinals didn’t get a road win. Skinner didn’t throw an interception. But the Deacons got off slow again, but Stanford’s road woes haunted them just enough to let Wake back in it. Down 17-3 at half time, Wake put up 21 unanswered points in the 2nd half, including two touchdowns in the 4th quarter, getting me my 3rd win in four chances.

Syracuse Orange @ Penn State Nittany Lions (-28.5): (LOSS) I don’t know what to say. It was 28-0, but Penn State didn’t score nearly as much as they should have. They gave up a late score to Syracuse, giving me no chance to cover. I should have known that 28.5 was too much. Penn State needs to get stronger running the ball or they’ll be in trouble against big teams.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3) @ Michigan Wolverines: (LOSS) This game was back and fourth, and ND easily could have been the team to pull this one out, but Michigan’s freshmen were dynamic, tough nosed, and stepped up really big to take out the Irish. I must say, I haven’t been happier about a loss in my picks. This whole “Irish undefeated” talk, or “ND to a BCS Bowl Game” jazz was making me a little sick to my stomach. Now we can let that crap die.

East Carolina Pirates (+6.5) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: (LOSS) After being down just 21-20 at half time, I liked my chances with the Pirates – however, despite plenty of opportunity, they just couldn’t put up points in the second half while West Virginia’s two touchdowns were plenty to hand me my third loss in a row.

BYU Cougars (-17.5) @ Tulane Green Wave: (WINNER)  “I don’t like that over 75% of the bets are taking BYU. I don’t like that BYU pulled a huge upset over #3 Oklahoma last weekend. I don’t like a lot of things about this. But one of the most important don’t likes just happens to be how I feel about the Tulane Green Wave football team. I’m not sure if BYU will have their stud RB Unga back, but they should find running the ball a lot easier this week. They win this game by 3 touchdowns or more. That’s a cover.” 54-3… Like I said, there were lots of things I didn’t like about this game, but my feelings for Tulane trumped all that “sharp” stuff and I took the heavily favored Cougs. Good move on my part, huh? I must say, I was a little worried when BYU was up just 3-0 after 1… But I was pretty sure of the cover up 17 at half time. The Cougs are pretty solid.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (-2) @ Washington State Cougars: (WINNER) “Fade east of the mountains in Washington State. What can I say, after the passion the Huskies played with last week, I can’t say, fade Washington State teams anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fade THE Washington State team.” That’s all that needs to be said, unless a really heavy line in the Cougs favor shows up, you can bet your dollar that they’ll be in my Top 10 picks section next time they play. What a brutal program right now.

Oregon State Beavers (-7) @ UNLV Running Rebels: (LOSS) Up 20-7 after three, I thought I had this one pretty well in the bag. Rodgers was running all over the Rebels, just like I expected, and the Beavers were doing just enough through the air to take advantage of all the Rebel’s attention to the run. Then all of a sudden the game had changed, and UNLV was up one. A last second field goal kept the Beavers in the win column, but that didn’t do much for me, as an Oregon State loss put me at 5-5 for Week 2. Better than last week but still not good enough. Taking the next step next week!

NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 16

A nice start had me excited before I fell right on my face just like the Jets and Eagles did – coincidence? I picked both of those teams to step up when their games mattered most. I should get a nice slap on the face just for imagining that they’d play with some urgency.

Thursday Night
Indianapolis Colts (-6) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WIN) It was just barely, but they pulled it off late, a nice 7 point win on a 6 point spread. The Jaguars played like the Jaguars should have played all year, where were they?

Saturday Night
Baltimore Ravens (+4.5) @ Dallas Cowboys: (WIN) I did say that I saw the Ravens winning outright in Dallas, I just didn’t think they’d run the ball for that many yards. However, watching the game you know they got most of those yards in the last 5 minutes. Either way though, the Ravens were in control of this one, they are the tougher team.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (WIN) “I don’t think Ken Dorsey is worth a bet.” That pretty much says it all right there, and his game against the Bengals “awesome” secondary definitely confirms it.

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions (+7.5): (Loss) The Lions didn’t win. They are 0-15. They played with absolutely no heart, and even though more than 40 players from the Lions had the flu, I have to be considered dead wrong on this one.

Miami Dolphins (-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WIN) This game was very tight, and it came down to a score. That score just happened to be a touchdown and the Dolphins won. I win and I’m happy. What are the fins doing with Ronnie Brown? That guy is a beast, and I know they don’t want to wear him down, but he’s not getting enough touches. Maybe they’re kind of resting him for the playoffs?

Arizona Cardinals (+9) @ New England Patriots: (Loss) Am I just wrong about the Cardinals and not willing to admit it? I’m beginning to think so – we’ll see next week when they are supposedly approaching the last game of the year like it’s a playoff game.

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) @ St. Louis Rams: (Loss) San Francisco pulled one out, but they didn’t deserve it. They couldn’t run the ball against the Rams, which is pathetic in and of itself. They got a little luck going their way late and won by one, but they didn’t have the brass bowling balls to cover for me.

Pittsburgh Steelers (pk) @ Tennessee Titans: (Loss)This game was just about what I expected early but then the Titans started taking it personally. I was wrong here.

San Diego Chargers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): (Loss) The Bucs have really hit the skids. Think, a few weeks ago they had the NFC South crown in their grasp, now it’s probably out of the playoffs for the Buccos – gotta love that. Can’t love my miss on this one though, how about them Chargers about to battle for the playoffs? Awesome.

Buffalo Bills (+7.5) @ Denver Broncos: (WIN) You know I was loving this one, and the Broncos really tried hard to make it come true for me. Jay Cutler is like one of those guys on Madden that pick who they are throwing to when they select the play, no matter what the defense is doing. He has great games when the defense guesses wrong, but with the season on the line and Brandon Marshall double teamed, the defense guessed right.

Houston Texans (-7) @ Oakland Raiders: (Loss) The Texans aren’t a road team. I need to pound that home in my memory, even if they are playing a terrible Raider team.

New York Jets (-4.5) @ Seattle Seahawks: (Loss) This one was worth it. The Jets play calling is trying not to lose – and you know what that means. I thought they’d run and run against the Hawks, but instead they passed and passed, unsuccessfully at that. Eric Man-Gina is brutal lately. His genius is making him do sick things.

Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) @ Minnesota Vikings: (Loss) The Falcons won in Minnesota, locking up their spot in the playoffs. Gotta love that.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) @ Washington Redskins: (Loss) Haha – Eric Mangini and Andy Reid game plan together – no doubt in my mind. I hate that teams like Philly can trick bettors as much as they did this week, they should be beaten for that, or at least fired.

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants (-3): (WIN) The Giants were the better team, but this came down to the end, and I was sure an overtime field goal was going to push me to a tie. Nope, the Giants didn’t want to mess with kicking – and Tom Coughlin stepped right out of my dog house because of it. They won big, and they relied on what got them there, the running game.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (-4): (Loss) I hate the Packers and the Bears. I hate losing. Cry.

NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 15

Well, I lost some tied some and won some, all by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin. And all being tallied I came out in a tie. Yes, that’s right Donovan, it’s possible for me to tie, and it sucks almost as bad as tying with the freaking Bengals. But here goes the review of where I went wrong, right, and absolutely no where. Here’s my 7-7-2 “Push me around in a red radio flyer” week.

New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears (-2.5): (WINNER) That 2.5 was just enough for me, but I’m pretty sure it was closer to pick em just prior to game time. This was an interesting one as I expected a lot more out of the Bears’ offense. However, they didn’t need all that O as they held Drew Brees and company pretty much in check, battening down the hatches when they needed it most. It was a close one, but that seemed to be the way the weekend went.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) @ Atlanta Falcons: (Push) This is one where the early week pick hurt me. This line moved up to 5.5 for the Tampa Bay Bucs, and that would have been a nice win. As it finished, my +3 was just enough for an overtime push as Jason Elam snuck one in through the upper left upright. Those are the breaks of early picks. Hopefully you guys followed me late and got the win anyway.

Washington Redskins (-6.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals: (Loss) Not only did the Bengals cover, but they won. And how did they do it? Chad 85? Nope. TJ Houshmanzadeh? Nope, he had 3 grabs for 19 yards (thanks for the fantasy help TJ). It was Cedric freaking Benson blowing up for 160+ yards of total offense. You gotta love it when Ced Benson ousts your team from any sort of playoff hope. Awesome in a losing kind of way.

Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Houston Texans: (Loss) Well the field goal wouldn’t have won it for me, but I have a hard time believing that Rod Bironas can’t kick a 49 yarder and get it to the posts. I know it was windy, but really? Anyway, the Texans played tougher than I expected and Andre Johnson was big brothering cats like it was his job.

Detroit Lions (+18) @ Indianapolis Colts: (WINNER) One of my picks of the week, the Lions fought tough until the last snap – weird. Nobody wants to lose them all folks, but the Lions might just do that. They lost by 10, and covered by 8. It was a close game throughout as the Lions tied it late before giving up 10 straight to assure the loss.

Green Bay Packers (-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (Loss) The Packers kind of pissed around all game long, but they were still up 13-7 headed into the 4th. Unlucky for them, they gave up 2 touchdowns in the final quarter and gave away a win over the Jags. Thanks for showing up Green Bay.

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (+6): (WINNER) Boy, the Chiefs can’t buy a win, but they always seem to play well enough to cover. That’s my kind of team. A last quarter surge helped the Chargers (and my fantasy hopes) as Philip Rivers took over the game that the running game failed to produce in. Still, this Charger team needs some help if they want to get back to respectability next season, and it’s going to start on the line.

San Francisco 49ers (+7) @ Miami Dolphins: (WINNER) Two tough teams that don’t score much. The 49ers are tough, and without their best player they still fought until the end with a chance to pull this one out. The Dolphins won but my 49ers covered the touchdown spread.

Buffalo Bills @ N.Y. Jets (-7): (Loss) The Jets were running away with this one early, but they continue to be one of the dumbest teams in the league. This team’s need to pass kind of makes me sick. Only 23 runs almost got them another loss – 35 should be their aiming point. At least 50-50 with passes. But they continue to throw the ball 30 times or more, and Brett continues to be the league leader in interceptions. Nice.

Seattle Seahawks (-3) @ St. Louis Rams: (Push) It was nice of the Seagulls to come out and actually play in the 2nd half. That was enough to get me the push here. That’s how bad the Rams are. On the other hand, this game was down to 1 point as the week dwindled toward kickoff and if you took the Hawks, you definitely got the win here. I hate taking teams that will lose spread points later in the week.

Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals (-3): (Loss) Where have all the Cardinals gone? This team looks lost of late. Maybe they’ll turn it around against a Patriots team that is fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot. Ha. They sure didn’t put up any kind of resistance this weekend against the Tarvaris Jackson led Vikings.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+2) @ Baltimore Ravens: (WINNER) An interesting game. An interesting final call. The Steelers get the win. I win as well. These are two very good teams, no doubt about that. They are both led by a defense wins championships mentality with an offense that grinds it out. This was as close as games get.

Denver Broncos (+9) @ Carolina Panthers: (Loss) My gut feeling was punched. The Panthers dominated this game, and once again, when they can run they can dominate. I thought Denver would play well as a huge dog, but they played like garbage. They dropped passes, threw the ball too much, and Jay Cutler wasn’t on his game. My gut lost one to my brain in this one, weird.

New England Patriots (-7) @ Oakland Raiders: (WINNER) “That may be the “smart pick” but something in me sees Bill Belichick realizing how crappy his team has played on West Coast trips and somehow working that in to practice to motivate them. Did I mention I hate Oakland?” The Patriots came out with guns a blazing, and the Raiders were helping them get into easy scoring situations. Randy tortured his former team to the tune of two touchdowns and an easy win for his team that isn’t run by a raging lunatic. I’m writing off Randy’s struggles in Oakland as an attempt for him to get the hell out of there. Consider his last season a success.

New York Giants (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys: (Loss) The Cowboys didn’t do much more than I thought they’d do. They were better defensively and their pressure on Ellie was too much for him to manage. A late safety gave the Boys some home, but in the end Tashard Choice was too much for the Giants. Crazy.

Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles (-14): (WINNER) I had an eerie feeling that a couple late touchdowns might smack me in the face in this one, but the Browns offense still hasn’t scored in 250+ minutes of game time, and that was just enough to get the Eagles a 20 point win. That also got me a W – and a much needed one at that. I pushed, but it turns out that I don’t lose any games because of it.

NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 11

Well donkey balls – so much for 11 in Week 11 – but I didn’t lose 11 either, so my strong season didn’t take too big of a hit. Interested in seeing if I was helped or screwed by the idiot official that made up a rule so that the Steelers wouldn’t cover the spread? With the way I worded it, I bet you can guess – that joke call pushed me on the week – Eight wins, eight losses, but as it turns out I should have been 9-7… This is how my weekend went. 

New York Jets (+3.5) New England Patriots: (WINNER) Well I was right about the outcome but wrong about the way it would happen. So much for a low scoring affair, these Thursday Night games really don’t see a lot of defense played – but Kris Jenkins did do work against the Pats run game and basically shut it completely down. Hence Cassel throwing for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. Anyway, the Jets win in overtime and I win outright. 

Denver Broncos @ Atlanta Falcons (-5.5): (LOSS) And the streak of losses begin to roll on. The Falcons didn’t really dominate on the ground, as the Broncos are really picking it up with their back-ups in there. Denver played pretty good football and Jay Cutler walked the ball down and threw a lazer for the win. Roddy White dropped a game tying touchdown pass, but it wouldn’t have covered for me anyway. The Falcons lose their first game at home, and I lose too. 

Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins (-10): (LOSS) Interesting. This game proves that anything can happen in football, and from week to week, anything will. That’s all I have to say about this loss. 

Houston Texans (+10) @ Indianapolis Colts: (WINNER) “When Houston can run, they’ll be alright.” Admit it, this game was a lot closer than most of you thought, and that 6 point Colts win got me a win with the Texan side of this game. Houston ran all over Indy, as Steve Slaton had a huge rushing day and Ahman Green found himself in the end zone twice – probably by accident, but still. This is a game I really needed. 

Chicago Bears (+5) @ Green Bay Packers: (LOSS) The outcome of this game really surprised me. The Packers killed the Bears – but I’m not willing to say that the Pack is better than Chicago – just one of those games I think. Tough week for me and THOSE games. 

New Orleans Saints @ Kansas City Chiefs (+5.5): (LOSS) The Chiefs actually played pretty well and had a nice chance to win this game. 4-5 dropped passes killed a normally sure handed KC team and some questionable play calling put them in a bit of a bind. They ended up losing by 10, which wasn’t enough to make me a winner, but I think the Chiefs are a solid betting group moving forward. 

Baltimore Ravens (+7.5) @ New York Giants: (LOSS)  The Giants are very good. The Ravens had played close with everyone, been in every game, and done very well against the run. The Giants basically made them look foolish, they won by 20, and this game wasn’t that close – did I mention that the 3 Giant runners did just about everything they wanted to do? Well they did – and Brandon Jacobs took his 11 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns – that guy is a man. I lost again. 

Detroit Lions (+15) @ Carolina Panthers: (WINNER) Detroit played even better than the final score indicated, and besides the fact that they are Detroit and anything can happen, I was never worried about this cover. How bad has Jake Delhomme been lately? Luckily for him, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart both plowed past 100 yards with ease. It was a dominate ground attack by Carolina, but not enough to cover against my pick here. 

Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): (WINNER) The Bucs won in an ugly game. Jeff Garcia was legit, probably as accurate as he’s been all year, and the Bucs did just enough to oust the Vikings and cover for me here.

Philadelphia Eagles (-9) @ Cincinnati Bengals: (LOSS) Damn the Eagles! Damn ties! Damn Philly basically making every game a must win situation because they couldn’t take care of business against the 1-8 (now 1-8-1) Bengals. Gross game. 

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers (-5.5): (WINNER) A round of applause for my man Mike Singletary. If you don’t think this guy will get his players to win, you are going to be tricked. 

Arizona Cardinals (-3) @ Seattle Seahawks: (WINNER) The Cards tried to lose this one, but Kurt and Anquan and Larry Fitz were just too beastly for the Cardinals. A 26-20 win wasn’t pretty, but it was enough for the public to reap the benefits here. 

Tennessee Titans (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WINNER) The Titans made it close for most of the game, but Kerry Collins looked like he had enough of 8 and 9 in the box, so he tossed more than a couple passes to Justin Gage, and the undervalued wide receiver made the most of it. The Titans won by 10 in Jacksonville – and the public rejoiced! 

San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4): (LOSS 0- Kind Of) Not that Steeler bettors deserved to win this game, but they should have. Some sorry excuse for a ref took a correct call and turned it around when it didn’t matter to anybody but people trying to cover spreads, and millions of dollars went to the books – what a joke. If you saw this game, you know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t see this game, you will certainly here about an error that cost bettors millions of dollars. 

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins (+2): (LOSS) This game was gross. Had to stop watching it at half time and go shoot hoops with the townies. But Dallas pulled it out, despite poor performances by everyone this side of Marion Barber. (MBIII is a BEAST). The Redskins tried hard not to lose and it definitely showed in their selective play calling and lack of chances down field. This is a Dallas secondary that plays very well close to the line of scrimmage and very poorly down field. Come on Jim Zorn! 

Cleveland Browns (+5.5) @ Buffalo Bills: I like the Browns in this one. I think the Bills will have a hard time rushing against the Browns front line, and I think Brady Quinn gives the Browns enough accuracy to stay on the field that much longer. He didn’t look as great as everyone likes to say he did, last week against a bad Broncos defense, but he is accurate enough – and that’s huge for the Browns. This should be a close one, like most Brown and Bill games, so those 5.5 points should come in handy on Monday Night.

NCAA Football Free Picks REVIEW: Week 12

Nice week me… 14-5 is something to smile at – and Saturday had plenty of smiles. 

Rutgers (+8) @ South Florida: (win) I’m starting to figure the Big East out I think – whatever the consensus is, go the other way. I liked me some Rutgers in this one, and for good reason, they walked into South Florida and won outright. And talk about a beating, without any scoring in the 1st quarter, the Scarlet Knights put up 49 points on the Bulls. That’s big time. It was a sign of things to come, that’s for sure. 

Duke (+11.5) @ Clemson: (loss) Okay, I lost this one, and Duke was greatly outplayed – but their best player and team leader, quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, went down in the 2nd series of the game and Duke didn’t have a shot. In that case, neither did I. Clemson won 31-7, and I take one on the chin. 

Georgia (-8.5) @ Auburn: (loss) I should have listened to myself on this one. I knew it wasn’t a gimmie game, and I knew Georgia’s early season close wins were starting to look worse and worse, but I went with Georgia anyway, and while they did win, it wasn’t enough to get me in the W column. 

Middle Tennessee State (-2) @ Western Kentucky: (win) “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.” Middle Tennessee ran the show in this game, never trailing for a minute and winning by 11 on the road. What can I say? It was a good week to be a me. You could almost say a Lucky day to be Lester? Whoa!!! A quick one. 

Toledo (+16) @ Western Michigan: (win) “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.” I hit this game right in the nuts, you can’t argue with that. No doubt about it, Toledo is the lesser team, but Western Michigan didn’t play up to their ability. Sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. 

California @ Oregon State (-3): (win) The Beavers were better than Cal, and a late pick 6 cleared this one up perfectly. Cal couldn’t deal with constant pressure all day, and a Rodgers’ brother duo that did work from start to finish. The Beave is tough enough. 

North Carolina @ Maryland (+3): (win) “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.” And what do you know, the Terps pull out the win at home. It was close. It was a battle. It was everything I thought it was, and at the foot of a 4th quarter field goal the Terps are still undefeated in Maryland. 

New Mexico State (+17) @ Fresno State: (win) “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. What has Fresno done to be a 17 point favorite this season? Nothing is the answer. Take the Aggies.” There you have it. It took a late Fresno State 4th quarter touchdown to take the lead from New Mexico State, while me and that 17 point spread easily. 

Boise State @ Idaho (+36.5): (win) I said the value was with Idaho because the spread in this rivalry game had never been as big as it was this weekend. Boise State won by 35, and just by the hair on the spread’s butt crack, I won. Boise hammered Idaho in the 2nd half, but it was that early fight that got me the win. 

Oklahoma State @ Colorado (+18): (win) I said this spread was a touchdown bigger than it should be. I was right. The OK State Cowboys won by 13, but that was still enough for me to cover. Yhatzee! 

Troy State (+16.5) @ LSU: (win) This was a weird one. You can see why I wanted to leave it alone. The first 3 quarters were why I took Troy State, and the last quarter, the one where LSU did anything they wanted to do and fought back after being down by a seemingly insurmountable spread, and won – that’s why I didn’t want to bet on this game. That being said, I had the right side, as surprising as that was – it was Troy State’s side. 

Boston College @ Florida State (-6): (loss) The Seminoles fought back late, but BC was too tough defensively – mainly on their defensive front. FSU was hurried all day long and the Eagles won by a touchdown. 

Ohio State Buckeyes (-9.5) @ Illinois Fighting Illini: (win) I thought Juice’s touchdown pass with 50 seconds left in the game was going to get me, but then I remembered my line was 9.5 not 10.5 – close one. Ohio State won this game much bigger than the score showed. 

Nebraska Cornhuskers (-6.5) @ Kansas State Wildcats: (win) The Cornhuskers trounced the WIldcats, making me look like a smart little sports writing college picks advisor. Wahoo! 

Washington State Cougars (+36.5) @ Arizona State Wildcats: (win) As I said, it came down to wondering if the Wildcats could score enough points. A team that hasn’t scored 42 all season long shouldn’t be favored by 36.5 – Now 31? Sure… Haha… The Cougars tried to get me a loss, but they managed to hold the Wildcats out of the end zone one last time. 

Arizona Wildcats (+4) @ Oregon Ducks: (loss) The Ducks killed the Cats early, it was 44-17 at half time. But the Wildcats fought back and it took a late touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount that actually covered the spread for Ducks bettors. Arizona scored 28 straight points to pull within three and pull a sure loss into a cover win, but that late score did bettors justice and I lose. 

Tulsa Golden Hurricane @ Houston Cougars (+4.5): (win) These teams weren’t quite as equal as I thought, either that or Houston just had the right bounces because the Cougars did work, basically doubling up Tulsa and scoring 70 points on the Hurricane. 

San Jose State Spartans (+15.5) @ Nevada Wolfpack: (loss) It was 31-17 going into the 4th quarter, but the Spartans were shutout in the final frame as they allowed 10 – that got me another loss on this college Saturday. 

UCLA Bruins (-7) @ Washington Huskies: (win) The Huskies play calling is brutal. They are not good personnel-wise. There was absolutely no reason this game should have had this close of a spread. Free money indeed.