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!!!

Free College Football Picks: NCAA Week 2

After a tough week, I look to get back on track with my free college football picks. Everybody has their ups and downs, and while I’m not saying I’m the best capper in the world, I am saying that I consistently win more than I lose. That, at the very least, deserves a little credit. Hopefully I can turn it around and pull at least 7 wins this week. Here’s my set of wagers…

Clemson Tigers (+5.5) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Clemson’s offensive and defensive lines are so very much underrated. The D-line is straight up fitly, and ranked 5th in the nation last season against the run. The offensive line is also tough, probably a top 15 group in the country. They may have a freshman quarterback, but they also have a very talented run game to give him a helping hand. They are a nice dog going into Georgia Tech on Thursday. Tech can really run the ball, and Nesbitt has shown the ability to make the big play through the air, but I like Clemson keeping it close. C.J. Spiller is one of the most dynamic players in college football, and is a real true threat to score the ball every time he touches it. The underdog struggled on Thursday night last season, as home teams dominated the time slot. I think that changes in this one as Clemson gets close to pulling the upset.

Central Michigan Chippewas (+14.5) @ Michigan State Spartans: 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. Thunder Dan and his Chipps took a 19-6 loss on the chin against Arizona in Week 1, they’ll show up to play against their instate competition.

North Carolina (-4) @ Connecticut Huskies: UConn’s new starting QB, Zach Frazer, threw 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions against Ohio last week in UConn’s easy win. Last year he completed just over half his passes while throwing just 2 TDs and 6 interceptions in 83 attempts. That’s 8 interception in about 100 throws. Carolina’s defense is not softy, and they’ll put enough pressure on Zach to up those INT numbers into double digits. And UNC can take advantage of those picks. I know the Tar Heels are heavily favored with the public (72%) but every once in a while the public gets one right. This is one of those times.

Stanford Cardinal @ Wake Forrest Demon Deacons (-3): 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.

Syracuse Orange @ Penn State Nittany Lions (-28.5): Greg Paulus was re-introduced to football last week, and he played well. But that was Minnesota, this is a whole different beast. The Nittany Lions didn’t lose at home last season. Not only did they not lose, but they absolutely throttled the competition. They have lots of talent on that team, stuff that will make Syracuse coaches cringe in the film room. Despite the poor value at 28.5, I still think this is a pretty good bet. With that extra half point, the books are really trying to get action on Syracuse – can’t trick me….

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3) @ Michigan Wolverines: I don’t think ND is that good, I just think they are barely better than the Wolverines. I’m sure Michigan has loads of young talent on that team, they have a coach that knows how to recruit and a program that draws big names. However, they also have a group of players that don’t like how much time they are putting in, likely have 10 freshmen starting, and even more getting minutes, and all this against a pretty mature Irish squad. I think this one is close, but 7-10 points in ND’s favor.

East Carolina Pirates (+6.5) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: The public is loving the Mountaineers in this one. But I see a lot to like about ECU. Despite the big names and elite speed playing for West Virginia, they didn’t look that impressive to me last week. The Pirates barely got by sub-division opponent Appalachian State, but that is a tough team no matter what division they are in, and in reality the Pirates were up 29-7 going into the 4th quarter of that contest. West Virginia struggled against Liberty. Yep, Liberty. ECU got a lot out of their running game, and I’m willing to bet that continues. It would not surprise me if the Pirates pulled an upset here, thus I’ll be happy to take the 6.5 points.

BYU Cougars (-17.5) @ Tulane Green Wave: 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 cover this game by 3 touchdowns or more. That’s a cover.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (-2) @ Washington State Cougars: 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. The Cougars just keep getting wore. After cutting more than a couple starters last season, because they were clowns off the field, a few new players are in trouble already. Hawaii has to come a long way, and from Paradise to Pullman has to be tough on the Rainbow Warriors, but as far as plane rides go, this one isn’t a bad one for Hawaii. They aren’t great, but better than Wazzu is all you have to be to cover here.

Oregon State Beavers (-7) @ UNLV Running Rebels: The Beavers are one of the better teams in the Pac 10. The Rodgers brothers are beasts. Jacquizz is one of the more special talents in all of college football. He runs big. He’s really fast, and he’s sneaky good at this game. He’ll cover this spread. The Rebels have talent, but I think that OSU rushing attack will be too much.
Get them winners! Good luck this weekend!