South Florida Bulls vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Free Pick

no banners

South Florida Bulls @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+1)Free Pick: These teams are pretty dang equal. Both are 6-2, both have lost to just Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and both have played consistent football all season long, on the road, at home, everywhere. Neither team stuns you with their offensive attack, and while South Florida is a little faster on defense, they are a little smaller as well. Face it, these two teams are equal. But 54% like the road favorites (though favored by just a point).

The advantage that I see for Rutgers is the way they’ve played since Tom Savage took over at quarterback. The freshman gun slinger has been very efficient, made very few costly errors, and turned into a young leader or this football team. Since he started under center, the Knights are 6-1 with their loss being a 24-17 against 12th ranked Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights don’t throw interceptions, they don’t fumble the ball, and they control the clock. Sounds like a good bet to me.

South Florida might be the more talented team of the two, but they are known for their late season let-downs. Now, all they’ve done is lost to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, so it’s not like they’ve crumbled to bad teams, and a win against West Virginia helped salvage the last few weeks, but this is a team that hasn’t played well down the stretch of their schedules over the years. B.J. Daniels, like Savage, took over at quarterback for start QB Matt Grothe when Grothe went down with a season ending injury. He’s played well, but the team hasn’t performed better like Rutgers has.

I think momentum is on Rutgers’ side. They are playing at home against an equal opponent. The value is with them.

West Virginia Mountaineers vs South Florida Bulls Free Pick

no banners

West Virginia Mountaineers (-3)@South Florida Bulls Free Pick: The South Florida Bulls have hit their common lull. Per usual, the Bulls started the season on fire, winning their first 5 games, only to drop the last two and come right back down to earth. The only difference this time is that Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, the two straight losses for the Bulls, are very good teams this season. SF is still 5-2, and 3-3 ATS. They look to turn things around and beat the Mountaineers, something they’ve done 2 of the last 3 seasons.

They Mountaineers are coming off yet another win, a 28-24 home win against Connecticut. West Virginia is 6-1 so far this season, but just 2-4 ATS, so they haven’t beaten up on the teams they were expected to. Their single loss came on the road to Auburn. The Mounties still use their vaunted rushing attack, handing the ball to lightning quick running backs, but the question is will South Florida’s elite defensive speed match that speed rushing attack? The Mountaineers have out-rushed every opponent so far this season.

I’m taking the Mountaineers because I think their rushing attack is good enough to keep the ball in their hands. The Bulls have been out-rushed and beaten in each of the last two games, and I think that trend continues against WVU. I think the Mountaineers play better on a short week.

South Florida Bulls vs Pittsburgh Panthers Free NCAA Pick

no banners

South Florida Bulls (+7) @ Pittsburgh Panthers: The Panthers don’t blow good teams out, they aren’t that kid of squad. South Florida has a very quick defense, and I think that ends up limiting the Panthers in this one. Isn’t it time for Pittsburgh to start losing games they are supposed to win? The Panthers have just one loss, to a mediocre to bad North Carolina State team, a couple one score wins in a row won’t help the Panthers in this one. South Florida fights back after a tough loss last week to Cincinnati. You can run on the Panthers, and the Bulls will – that’s enough to take the 7 here. Give me the Bulls.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs South Florida Bulls Free Pick

This Thursday Night free football pick has two undefeated Big East teams squaring off in what should be one hell of a game. The spread is tight, the teams really fly around well, and the Bearcats have climbed all the way to 8th nationally without one single win against a ranked opponent – I guess that’s what 5-0 and some big passing numbers will do for a school. But how will they go this Thursday?

no banners

Cincinnati Bearcats (-2.5) @ South Florida Bulls: This game is tough, no doubt, you have history, you have this season, and you have Thursday Night Football, all three things are working their magic on my decision here. The Bearcats are 9-1 in their last 10 games, losing on New Years Day to the Virginia Tech Hokies 20-7. South Florida is 5-0 on the season, but late season breakdowns have been their MO. The home team has taken the win in 5 of the last 6 meetings between these Big East foes, and Cincinnati has covered the last 5. The Bulls’ star quarterback, Matt Grothe, is out for the season, while Tony Pike has been very busy making quite the name for himself while throwing for just under 300 yards per game in Cincinnati this season. This game is likely to be very close, as neither team looks likely to budge on Thursday. The Bulls have a little more speed on defense, but Tony Pike and company can put up some points offensively. What has me taking the road dog in this one is South Florida’s Thursday Night history. It’s tough to come in and pay mid-week, a lot of teams struggle with it, and the Bulls just happen to be one of those teams. They’ve been embarrased two straight seasons by big Thursday Night upsets, and I think Cincinnati just happens to be the better team this time around. I’ll take Cinci to do some damage on ESPN’s Thursday Night Football.