Fresno State Bulldogs at Illinois Fighting Illini Free Pick

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Fresno State Bulldogs at Illinois Fighting Illini Free Pick: Everybody has completely bought in to the Illini’s recent change in play, and I must admit, this is more of the team I expected when the season started. Juice Williams is playing pretty good football, and the team has some offensive playmakers, definitely. The problem is, when they’re playing good or bad football, they still can’t stop anybody. Especially a team like Fresno State that is much better than people give them credit for.

I thought this line was kind pretty off when I first saw the line, and it’s only moved in my favor. I took the Bulldogs +1 and they’ve moved to a field goal underdog, and still, 60+% of the public likes the Illini. I’m starting to think (or have always thought, would be a better way to put it) that “names” of a program means a lot more to bettors than the actual ability of said team. Really, the Bulldogs are the better team, there’s no doubt in my mind.

But Illinois is a “Big Conference School” (I know, the Big 10, so powerful!) and they’ve won 4 of their last 5 against the spread (including a big win over big powerhouse, Michigan). They are hot, so to say. Sure, they only have 3 wins on the year and have been beaten by double digits in almost every single one of their 8 losses, but they’re “hot”.

Listen, Fresno State’s only losses come against Nevada, Boise State, Cincinnati, and Wisconsin. Two of those were decided by one score. One went to overtime. I’ll take the much better team and a field goal, thank you very much.

Fresno State Bulldogs (+1) @ Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini vs Cincinnati Bearcats CFB Pick

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Illinois Fighting Illini (+18) @ Cincinnati Bearcats CFB Pick: Just as I imagined, this spread moved in my favor – but I’m thinking I don’t need those extra points – though 20 would be nice (and the spread is currently at 20.5 in 90% of the sports books) I just see this game being closer. The Illini have some elite players, and they were certainly expected to perform better than they did this season, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they have the athletes to make this a game.

Illinois has covered in three of their last four games, winning two of their last 3. They’ve played their best football of the season over the last 4 games, and Juice Williams and company are finally getting on track. A little late for a post season performance, sure, but this game is Illinois’ season, and it would put a nice finishing touch on a tough season if they could hand the Bearcats their first loss of the season.

Cincinnati has played quite a few close games lately. Against West Virginia, Connecticut, and Fresno State, they finished on top by a single score or less. They still have a quarterback dilemma (thought two stud quarterbacks seems like a good problem to have) and the questions surrounding who is going to play and when might still be sitting around for this solid team.

The Bearcats have a lot to look forward too, and sometimes, often times, teams in that situation get caught looking forward. If Illinois can hold the ball, keep it in their hands with some big conversions, I think they keep this game very close.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA Pick

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Illinois Illini (+7) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA Pick: Once again, I love these late season games where 2-6 teams that have struggled but are still better than 5-4 teams finally get a chance to try and make things right. I’m a strong believer that when Illinois travels to Minnesota to play the Gophers, that’s exactly the type of game they’ll be playing.

Illinois has stunk this year, no doubt about it. But despite their stinking, they had lost 3 games by two touchdowns or less before beating the piss out of Michigan last week, 38-13. That was their second straight win against the spread, and probably the first game they played up to their talent level. They’ve certainly had a pretty tough schedule to start the season, about as tough as Big 10 opening schedules go – playing Missouri, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, a talented Indiana team, and Purdue – then Michigan. I’m not crazy about the Big 10, but aside from also playing Iowa, that’s about as tough a schedule as a Big 10 team can have.

Minnesota just got done beating Michigan State at home last week, and they’ve played pretty good football in Minnesota. They are 3-2, but a close loss to Wisconsin was a good showing, and it was a 21-21 tie with Cal until the Bears broke the tie with 7 minutes left in the 4th. So, they’re comfortable on the road.

The road team has won 3 of the last 4 meetings between these two schools. Despite the fact that Minnesota has covered in 4 of the last 5 and won outright in all four of those games, I’m taking Illinois to continue playing good football. They have the talent…

NCAA Free Picks REVIEW: Week 6

15-10-1 in a tough Saturday in NCAA Football. I was a handful of tough losses away from a brilliant week, but I’ll take 5 games up – that’s for sure. A special thanks goes out to college football teams in Washington – keep up the coverless football fellas!

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at West Virginia Mountaineers (-14) (LOSS): Up 14 headed into the 4th, I thought I could get a little help from the Mountaineers and pull this one out despite the injury to Pat White that had him out headed into the final frame. The Mounties tried to run out the clock, and White was out for good. Rutgers scored a late touchdown and I lost this one. I still think it was a good bet, but having White go out was tough.

South Carolina Gamecocks at Mississippi Rebels (-2.5) (LOSS): I still think the Rebels are the better team. A couple freakish “spurrier plays” turned momentum and South Carolina pulled this one out. When analyzing these two teams, I think Mississippi wins 7 or 8 out of ten. This just happened to be one of the 20% – bummer for me.

Florida State Seminoles (+3) at Miami Hurricanes (WINNER): “Talk about two up and down teams, you never seem to know what to expect from these two teams absolutely chalked full of talent. I’m just going to go ahead and chalk FSU’s 3 point output against Wake Forest up as a flukey bad loss and go with them headed into “The U” – Miami has talent, no doubt, but FSU has shown some strength against decent teams, Miami has only played well against nothing good. Rivalry game, but I’ll take the road team.” Well, I was certainly right on the button about these two Florida schools being more up and down than a yo-yo circus act. With FSU up 24-0, Miami’s lone 1st half score, a measily field goal, seemed to open up some kind of sadistic U flood gate to points. Miami put up 36 second half points, but that wasn’t enough to keep the visiting Seminoles out of the win column as FSU won by two.

Arizona State (+9.5) and (+10) at California 3:30 pm: (LOSS, PUSH) This was a push, though earlier in the week the line was 9.5 and so I guess I get a loss for that bet, my late bet got me a push though – so I’ll take that – ha. Arizona State didn’t do anything offensively, and I was lucky to get a push here.

Temple Owls (+8) at Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (WINNER): “I just like what Temple brings to the table with 11 returning starters, 20 seniors, and 26 juniors – this is a good football team that has had some tough losses against some good programs to start the season. I think they fight back with a nice win in this one.” Sometimes what I like and what I think become one in a fantastic explosion of joy and money winnings -this was one of those instances. The Owls were never down in this game, and while it got close in the 3rd, Temple came out tough in the 4th to put up 14 unanswered and make me a smart winner of more money.

Florida International (-6) at North Texas (WINNER): “Florida International is pretty decent – they stick close to good teams, and given a shot against a relatively equal opponent I think they will win easy. North Texas isn’t good – against anyone. Unless I’m sleeping on something, I like the FLINT to win by 3 touchdowns – lots of rushing yards from them in this one.” Did I say three touchdowns? How about 42-10, and North Texas didn’t put a touchdown on the board until the 4th quarter. I think I had this one pretty well figured out.

Northern Illinois at Tennessee Volunteers (-15.5) (LOSS): Maybe I’m wrong and Tennessee is really bad. Fluke loss to UCLA or just not very good? I’m thinking, after this week’s performance against NIU, option two is looking good. Sorry about this beat.

Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans (-16): (WINNER) Up 27-10 at half time I liked my chances. up 37-10 after three I was beginning to cash my check. And the 44-10 end game result was icing on the cake. Maybe the Trojans just had a bad game, and quite possibly, wait for it, they are actually really freaking good. Crazier things have happened.

Hawaii at Fresno State Bulldogs (-21): (LOSS) And Hawaii wins… It’s an interesting ball game, this college football, you never know what’s going to happen for sure. Just ask the Bulldogs. 21 point favorites losing in overtime to a Hawaii team that’s never upset a ranked team on the road. Ranked team
? Fresno? Well not anymore they aren’t.

Oregon State Beavers @ Utah Utes (-11): (LOSS) Damn Thursday Night games… That’s it for me, take the underdog on Thursday night or don’t bet the game at all. There’s no point in watching black magic happen against you – that’s my new philosophy and I’m sticking to in, until of course there’s nice value on a favorite.. Haha..

Cincinnati Bearcats (-3) @ Marshall Thundering Herd: (WINNER) The Bearcats, with 3rd string quarterback and all, were a heck of a lot better than the Thundering Herd. I knew it, you knew it, everyone knew it, so I’m hoping I wasn’t the only one cashing in on this winner.

BYU Cougars (-29) @ Utah State Aggies: (LOSS) “Cougars by 38 – that’s my best guess. Did I say guess? I didn’t mean it, I meant that’s my strong opinion based on facts and assumptions that border on the line of reality.” You can say what you want, and argue what you will, but I watched a BYU team walk into the 4th quarter with a 34-0 lead and on pace to one up my 38 point win prediction. What happened? Once again a team lets up late, not thinking of the bettors at all, and a couple souls get crushed. They didn’t go for the jugular and they allowed a couple late scores, and 34-14 doesn’t even cover my private parts. This was the first of four tough losses for me this weekend.

Boston College Eagles (-8) @ North Carolina State Wolfpack: (LOSS) I hate Boston College. They went into “try not to lose” mode and nearly let one slip away. What they did do was allow a bad Wolfpack team to crawl right back into this one with a 14 point fourth quarter. A late touchdown won it for BC, but I was still a point down, and despite my hopes and dreams, the Eagles didn’t elect to go for two to get me a push. Damn them.

Akron Zips (-3.5) @ Kent State Golden Flashes: (LOSS) The Zips win by 3 in overtime and I get a half point loss. You win some you lose some, but when I look back at what could have been an unbelievable week, I see a couple very tough losses on the card that could have easily gone the other way.

Florida Gators (-24) @ Arkansas Razorbacks: (WINNER) I needed most of those 21 fourth quarter points to pull out a cover here, but Arkansas couldn’t get into the end-zone all day. They had plenty of chances, and this game shows me that Florida probably doesn’t have much value anywhere close to 4 touchdown dogs, but it’s nice to learn a lesson and get a win – no doubt about that.

Oklahoma Sooners @ Baylor Bears (+27): (LOSS) This one didn’t start out well, that’s for sure, but it got close there, and if it weren’t for a late 4th quarter touchdown by the Sooners, I would have walked out of Baylor with yet another win to my name. As it was, I lost this one by 5 points. That’s the bad news. The good news, I wouldn’t lose another one all day long…

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+28) @ Virginia Tech Hokies: (WINNER) “This is a real test, but after much deliberation I still can’t even fathom the Hokies as a -28 favorite against anybody in the nation, not even a Hilltopper team that has a 38 point loss to Kentucky and a 34 point loss to Alabama to be credited for.” You have to say that I had this one right on the dot. The Hokies can will a win out as well as anyone, and they play some solid defense, no doubt about it, but this game shows you they aren’t 28 point favorites, not even against Hilltoppers.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (-7) @ Kansas State Wildcats: (WINNER) “Don’t be fooled by K-State’s 3-1 record thus far, North Texas and Montana State don’t count, they lost to Louisville, and beat ULLaffayette by 10. Needless to say I like the Raiders, even though the public is riding this like a used up quarter pony at Walmart. Ride it!” Ride it, my pony…. The Raiders made K-State’s defense look like stationary defensive decoys as the TT put up 58 points on their conference foe. Maybe the Raiders are pretty good afterall, and maybe beating North Texas and Montana State doesn’t put you in close proximity to a Top 10 team in the Nation. Shoot, I don’t know.

Kentucky Wildcats (+17) @ Alabama Crimson Tide: (WINNER) Just as I thought, the 17 was too big of a spread here. Alabama came out and put up 14 quick points, but the rest of the game wasn’t that easy, and they needed a late onside kick recovery to finally put away the hard fighting Wildcats. Kentucky is solid, and maybe Alabama shouldn’t be huge favorites regardless of competition.

Illinois Fighting Illini (+3) @ Michigan Wolverines: (WINNER) “Because one of these weeks the Wolverines are going to get obliterated by all those stupid mistakes and Illinois is too physical and good to allow Michgan back in a game in which the Wolverines are getting handled. Juice will have a huge game, showing the Wolverines what kind of QB they need to be legit.” You know Rich Rodriguez was watching Juice throw the ball all over his defense and just admiring the young QB. Williams absolutely torched Michigan in the 2nd half. Juice’s 310 passing and 121 rushing yards were plenty of offense for the Illini, as they fought an early 14-3 first quarter deficit to win 45-20.

Nevada Wolfpack (-24) @ Idaho Vandals: (WINNER) “Because that’s how bad Idaho is.” Nevada went to 3-2 and beat Idaho 49-14. Does that cover a 24 point spread? Let’s see, carry the 3, you bet. It was 28-0 in the 3rd quarter, and Idaho’s 21 fourth quarter points sealed a nice win for me.

UL Lafayette (-2) @ UL Monroe: (WINNER) A little closer than I thought, Lafayette still took this one by 9 after Monroe put up 13 points in the 4th quarter. I love me some winners!

Washington Huskies @ Arizona Wildcats (-21): (WINNER) Well, this one was even easier than I thought. I needed some Washington Sports programs to come to my rescue, and by losing big and without much of a fight, they did exactly that.

Ohio State Buckeyes (-1) @ Wisconsin Badgers: (WINNER) Ohio State didn’t win by 10 like I thought they would, but a late touchdown put them over the top of one of the best home teams in the Nation, and they covered that 1 point spread by the hair on Jim Rome’s chinny chin chin.

Washington State Cougars @ UCLA Bruins (-17): (WINNER) This one seemed easy – it was – boy oh boy, Washington Sports is at a tough spot right now.

Week 8 College Football Picks Review: 2007

There we go! 4-1… It’s all coming back around. I had a big week, and I hope you did, too. This is how I took home four out of five.
Free Picks: Week 8

Oregon Ducks (-11) @ Washington Huskies: (winner)
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

“The Huskies are a great first half team, but the Ducks are a great every down team. The Dogs should be close at half time, but with a defense that breaks down the stretch, I expect a Ducks team that can put up points in a hurry, to win without much trouble. Dennis Dixon is magic.” What can I say? I called this game to a T. The dogs played well for just around 3 quarters, but their defense spent too much time on the field, and in the end, their offense couldn’t go blow for blow with Oregon. The Ducks won by 21.

Iowa Hawkeyes @ Purdue Boilermakers (-7): (winner)
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

“I like Purdue to be too offensive for the Hawkeyes. I know that’s what I expected last week when I had Purdue taking down Ohio State, but this week it will come true.” The Boilermakers scored a touchdown or more in every single quarter, and easily beat the Hawkeyes 31-6 – as their defense stepped up and allowed only two field-goals. And how about that offense? Just like I predicted, Purdue ran the Hawkeyes off the field. 315 yards passing for Curtis Painter, and three touchdowns to boot. Easy win for me.

Michigan Wolverines @ Illinois Fighting Illini (+3): (loss)
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

This game was a bit of a joke. The game was tied at 17, and Michigan was driving, well, kind of. What actually happened was Michigan cashing in on personal fouls, late hits, and face mask penalties all the way down the field. But that still wasn’t enough, and they had to punt anyway. However, Illinois bailed the Wolverines out when they muffed a punt and soon after that the Wolverines scored an easy touchdown on a reverse pass.

Arkansas Razorbacks (-4.5) @ Mississippi: (winner)
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: SBGGlobal)

“I know they’re favored on the road, which is rarely a good thing, but the Razorbacks have too much talent in their rushing attack for the boys from Mississippi to handle. McFadden is a beast, probably the scariest weapon in all of college football. I like his chances to fight back and have a big game after a sub-par performance last week.” McFadden and Jones rushed for 100+ yards each, and the Razorbacks didn’t allow a point until the 4th quarter. This game was too easy. The talent on Arkansas showed up when it was most important, converting on 66% of their 3rd downs, and reeling off big plays. Another easy win.

Kansas State Wildcats (+3) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys: (winner)
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

I was wrong about this game – but I still covered. I thouh K-State would run through the Cowboys and OK State would be lulling. Well, they pulled off 17 4th quarter points and ended up taking the crown by a deuce. It was one hell of a game, and like I said, the Cowboys played much better than I imagined. But hey, a cover’s a cover – and a win is a win is a win.

4-1… That’s been along time coming.

Free College Football Picks Week 8 – 2007

Week 8 should prove to be much more profitable than my week 7 venture. With a couple easy games, I think 4-1 is all but guaranteed this week. Check out my free picks, and enjoy the writeups!

LUCKY LESTER’S NCAA Football Pick’em

Free Picks: Week 8

Oregon Ducks (-11) @ Washington Huskies:
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

The Huskies are a great first half team, but the Ducks are a great every down team. The Dogs should be close at half time, but with a defense that breaks down the stretch, I expect a Ducks team that can put up points in a hurry, to win without much trouble. Dennis Dixon is magic.

Iowa Hawkeyes @ Purdue Boilermakers (-7):
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

I like Purdue to be too offensive for the Hawkeyes. I know that’s what I expected last week when I had Purdue taking down Ohio State, but this week it will come true. Now that the Boilermakers have that OSU game out of the way, all they can think about is now, and this is a must win for the Boilermakers. Iowa is a tough team, but in the end, I like the Boilermaker passing attack to win by a couple touchdowns.

Michigan Wolverines @ Illinois Fighting Illini (+3):
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

I don’t think much of the Wolverines, especially without Mike Hart (a very distinct possibility in this one) and I don’t know how the Wolverines are favored on the road against a very good Illini team. It’s all pretty confusing to me. Michigan has won 5 straight, but hasn’t looked amazing in many games this year. I like Illinois to expose the Wolverine’s defense and win out right in this one. I don’t know why one 6-10 loss to Iowa would drop the Illini so far after wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, so I’m taking them here.

Arkansas Razorbacks (-4.5) @ Mississippi Rebels:
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: SBGGlobal)

Both teams are winless in conference, but I like the Razorbacks to get off the snide in this one. I know they’re favored on the road, which is rarely a good thing, but the Razorbacks have too much talent in their rushing attack for the boys from Mississippi to handle. McFadden is a beast, probably the scariest weapon in all of college football. I like his chances to fight back and have a big game after a sub-par performance last week.

Kansas State Wildcats (+3) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys:
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

After basically crushing the Nebraska athletics program with a 45-14 road win last week in Lincoln, I might even have a lull this week. I can’t imagine how the Cowboys are going to react. Think about it. They just came off a game where the Cornhuskers reacted by firing their AD, questioning their coaching staff, looking for ways to rebuild, all the while preparing for next weeks game. And they were the cause of this. At home this week, they’ll play a much tougher foe in K-State, a team that has plenty of speed and know-how, and will strike quick if OK-State doesn’t have their A game. I can’t imagine they will, so I’m taking the Wildcats.