Miami Hurricanes vs Wisconsin Badgers: Champs Sports Bowl

Right off the bat the Hurricanes come in with a big home-field advantage, as this game is being played in their home state, Orlando, against a Big 10 school from the Midwest. The Hurricanes have a heap of top-flight speedy athletes, consistently prepare well with long breaks, and have played well at home all season long. Wisconsin probably doesn’t have the speed they’ll need to compete with Miami, plus they’ve covered on the road only twice all season long, at Minnesota and against at Hawaii. That doesn’t really win me over on the Badgers.

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One thing Wisconsin has done is out-rush every single one of their last 10 opponents, but that hasn’t really meant victory for them. They’ve lost 3 of their last 7 games, and haven’t beat a “good” team yet this year. Every time they had a chance to prove their worth, they’ve fallen to the Big 10’s top teams, losing to Iowa and Ohio State – they didn’t play Penn State, and they also lost to Northwestern.

Miami has also struggled against top-tier teams, losing to Clemson, North Carolina, and virginia Tech. They did beat Oklahoma and Georgia Tech earlier in the season, also smacking around a decent South Florida team to end the year.

Both teams are 9-3 SU this season, and both have been much better at home than on the road. That should be key in this one as I’ll take Miami playing in Orlando.

Miami Hurricanes (-3) @ Wisconsin Badgers:

Miami Hurricanes vs North Carolina Tar Heels Free Pick

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Miami Hurricanes @ North Carolina Tar Heels (+3) Free Pick: The Hurricanes are 7-2 on the season, 6-3 ATS, and 3-1 on the road. They are 2-2 ATS away from home. The Tar Heels are 6-3 this year, 4-4 ATS, and 4-2 at home.

The Canes really struggle against teams that can run the ball, and the Heels have been on point with their run game over the last few weeks. They’ve out-rushed their last 4 opponents, FSU, Virginia Tech, and Duke – winning 2 of their last 3 games, and setting up a good ACC match-up with the visiting Hurricanes.

The Tar Heels have won 3 of thier last 4 while the Miami has won 5 of their last 6. The Hurricanes are 3-1 on the road this season. Their two losses came against defenses that stop the run, Clemson and Virginia Tech – that match-up is good for the Heels. I think they can keep this game low scoring, giving them a nice chance to pull the upset at home.

When it comes down to it, I like Carolina’s defense to take advantage of the mistakes Miami has. The Tar Heels have one of the most underrated defenses in the land, allowing just over 15 points per game. The Heels hold a nice edge in time of possession, and I think that goes a long way this Saturday. Getting Miami thinking that they have to do more with less is a successful recipe for getting the W. These two teams are very even, getting 3 points at home is good value.

NCAA Football Top 10 Free Picks: Week 1

I’m back! And hopefully, for you and for me, better than ever. If you followed me last season you saw a winning season in both the NFL and NCAA, giving you free NCAA and NFL winners for absolutely FREE. When I say Free Picks, I mean Free Picks, I made nothing, you gave nothing, we’re talking real Free, not some small print excluded kind of free that gets your hopes up right before crushing you with reality. The good free. The big story here? I’m back for some more free picks, write-ups, and best of all, heaps and heaps of flipping winners. College Football’s Week 1 is always a big deal, it means football is here, the NFL is damn close, and that nice warm weather that kept you warm (and less pale) for the last four months is just about finished. But the cooler nights allows me to smell some football. And with a bigger whiff I smell some winners. And that smell, more than anything, makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Here’s 10 bets for Opening Week… Enjoy!

Oregon Ducks @ Boise State Broncos (OVER 64): Here’s the deal. The Ducks went out big last year, winning a few games to end their season, then busting Oklahoma State in the mouth on their way to a big bowl win over the heavily favored Cowboys. Hooray last year. The Ducks also return their stud starting quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, a beast of a running back in LeGarrette Blount, and a few big boys on the line among others. What they lose, however, is some punch in their secondary and that could really hurt against a Broncos team that knows how to pick apart defenses. Boise State has some athletes of their own, helping Kellen Moore put points on the board will be Jeremy Avery, Jeremy Childs, and a huge play guy in Titus Young – a receiver that just happens to be one of the quickest players in the land. You throw in the blue turf, an Oregon team “trying to prove themselves and make up for last years loss to Boise State in Oregon” and I think the Broncos have the comfort level in this one. While I like the Broncos to win, and likely cover the 4 point spread in this one, I like the OVER even more. Oregon scored over 30 points in 11 of their 13 games, and I don’t think the Broncos will hold them much lower than that. The Ducks give up points too, allowing 30 or more to each ranked team they played in 2008. This game should light up the scoreboard, take advantage of that, it’s the best bet in this game.

South Carolina Gamecocks (+5) @ North Carolina State Wolfpack: Did South Carolina get that much worse in the last year? I don’t see Steve Spurrier’s team doing that. In fact, I think they’ve gotten a little better. Has North Carolina State become a powerhouse this summer, losing their best defensive player for the season? I think they’ll be decent in 2009, but they’re not a great team. The Gamecocks beat NC State 34-0 last season. They played tough against just about every single team they played until injuries broke them down and they lost 3 straight to end their season. Spurrier is a bit of a donkey, don’t get me wrong, but he’s one hell of a coach, offensive genius, and recruiter. His Gamecocks will get big contributions from freshman, a better season out of the quarterback position, and an upset win at NC State this Thursday Night.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (-6.5) @ Syracuse Orange: This game seems too easy. Does that put a little scare in a guy? Sure, from time to time, but the books are busy, certainly, and doing all those pre-season games, getting lines up for Week 1 in the NFL, getting proper lines for every single college game to start the season, shoot, it has to be tough. So they miss a line now and again. I’d take the Gophers at -14 in this one, so less than a touchdown favorite seems like free money. You know what I think about free money? Take it before it’s not free anymore. Sportsbook still has the Gophers favored by less than a TD, it doesn’t get much easier than that. The Orange are starting a quarterback that hasn’t played football in 4 years, and just transferred from Duke to Syracuse this spring. Greg Paulus, Duke’s old PG, is now the starting QB for Syracuse. Come on. This is Tim Brewsters’ 3rd season as the head coach of the Gophers, this will be his best season yet. The Gophers can really run the football, and the Orange are terrible at stopping the run. Look for the Gophers to start their season off right.

Baylor Bears @ Wake Forrest Demon Deacons (-2.5): This line seems to be moving towards the visiting team. I think the Deacons will win, but the hype is with the Bears. They have a young QB that lit up the conference last season, but I still give the nod at that position to 4 year starter Riley Skinner – the guy has a scope on his arm. Wake loses a lot offensively with Demir Boldin’s graduation, but there’s talent there, and like I said, Skinner is a sniper. Wake struggled a lot last season, playing way below their expectations, and I think that flips this season. The opposite can be said for Baylor. The Bears don’t play well on the road, they look like everybody’s favorite sleeper team this season, and I’m not buying in. I’ll take the Deacons.

BYU Cougars @ Oklahoma Sooners (-22): BYU didn’t get better, and last year they got pretty well kicked around by every “Good” team they played, at least final score wise. Arizona was decent, they won by 10. Utah was good, they won by 24. TCU was good, they won by 25. You get the picture? Oklahoma returns a load of great players, 1st round pick in the NFL type players, best QB in the land type players – so despite the high number, despite BYU’s returning players and big game hopes, I like the Sooners to beat up the Cougars by 30 or so.

Virginia Tech Hokies (+6.5) @ Alabama Crimson Tide: The ACC gets not love, and that’s fine, I’ll just ride them toward some bags of money. The Hokies have a good enough defense to go with them as a 6.5 point dog against anybody in the nation, especially a run first team that lost 3 starting offensive linemen, their starting quarterback, and starting running back. I’m not sure that the Hokies are a Top 5 team, but I really don’t think Alabama will finish the season in the Top 15, not that rankings matter at all, but I’m basically saying the Hokies are the better team.

Maryland Terrapins (+21.5) @ California Golden Bears: I’m taking the Terps because 25 is too high. The Terps play close as dogs, and I think the Bears are a little overrated, even though Jahvid Best is an absolute beast. I think the Bears win by 10, maybe 14, but not more than three touchdowns.

LSU Tigers (-17.5) @ Washington Huskies: If the Tigers promise that they won’t throw the ball, and the Huskies get to stack 11 people in the box, and their new head coach just for shiggles, the Tigers will still run all over the Huskies in Seattle. The talent difference on the field should look like a college team playing a pro team. Do I think the Huskies will be better this year? You bet. Will they be good enough to make this game respectable? No chance. I would be stunned, absolutely pissed on, if the Huskies finish within four touchdowns of the Tigers.

Mississippi Rebels (-16.5) @ Memphis Tigers: Anybody worth anything hammered Memphis last season. The Rebels were one of those teams. This year, the Rebels are a year older, and that has made them a more complete team, stronger in a lot of places that help you destroy teams like Memphis. Ole Miss isn’t used to being in the Top 10, that’s for sure, and a couple games this season, those expectations are going to hurt them. Not in this game, that won’t hold them back.

Miami Hurricanes (+6.5) @ Florida State Seminoles: I think Miami’s the better team. There it is. This game is always a huge rivalry game, but I must say that it has to mean more to Miami. This is their very best chance for a win in the first four games of the season. After FSU it’s Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma. It doesn’t get easier after this game, that’s what I’m saying. So, I think they’ll have a little urgency, something that FSU won’t be ready for. I also think Jacory Harris is special, and that this Miami team is going to be very talented this season. Almost a touchdown dog in this big in-state rivalry game? I like them to cover here.

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.

DIRECTV – ESPN GamePlan Free NCAA Picks: Week 4

After a losing Week 2 got me down, I fought right back and I put up a 12-4-1 record in Week 3. For the season, that brought me 7 games over .500. I was 7-2 with my DirecTV GamePlan picks, and I’m back at it again this week with the full5 game set from DirecTV (well, the only 5 that carry lines anyway). We’ll see if I can’t have two great weeks in a row. Here’s the short and sweet firework show…

Mississippi State Bulldogs (+8.5) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12:00pm EST): This one seems easy to me. The Bulldogs play tight with everyone and Georgia Tech isn’t a force that can put up tons of points all of a sudden. In fact, G-Tech seems to run all over everyone but they can’t seem to compute all those rushing yards into points. The Bulldogs aren’t a great team, but they have the defensive fortitude to be a solid bet when greater than a touchdown underdog.

Alabama Crimson Tide (-9) @ Arkansas Razorbacks (12:30pm EST): I wouldn’t risk the house and the pool and the kids and the mistress on this one, definitely not the mistress anyway – but this seems like a pretty good bet. Sure, on the surface Arkansas is 2-0, but I can’t even list the two teams they’ve beat without really digging in the bottom of the D1 pool. Alabama isn’t a killer offensively, but the Razorbacks just don’t have the firepower to score points here. I’ll take Alabama 24-6 in this one. That covers easily.

Virginia Tech Hokies (+3) @ North Carolina Tar Heels (3:30pm EST): They have the talent, and while it is young, they’ve begun to turn it around. Tech isn’t a bad team, they were just greatly overrated to start the season. Now they are giving Tyrod Taylor the ball instead of red-shirting him like they had originally planned. Taylor is a physical specimen, and he should give the Tar Heels enough trouble to get a win for the visiting Hokies. Plus, as much as I love the Heels, history tells me they aren’t the favorite to bet on.

Miami Hurricanes (-3) @ Texas A&M (3:30pm EST): Give me some Hurricanes here. I’m not going to call this a great bet. In fact, I’d stay away from this game as I know very little about either of these teams. However, I like the toughness Miami is playing with, and A&M isn’t impressing me with a couple close games against New Mexico and Arkansas State. Miami is turning around their program, and a road win here should keep them climbing.

Idaho Vandals @ Utah State Aggies (-4.5) (4:00pm EST): Talk about a real exciting game to feast your eyes on. Utah State is 0-3 after a 10 points loss to UNLV, a 42 point loss to Oregon, and then a 42 point loss to in state rival Utah. And get this, they are the favorite in this one. That’s because Idaho is just 1-2 with a 70-0 loss to Arizona on their resume, and this little fact – they are worse than Utah State. So, I’ll put my money on the Aggies in a game of anemic proportions.