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CFB Week 12 Picks

Back to back 4-1 weeks!  24-25-1 overall and I’m officially back in this thing.  Let’s get over the hump this week.  Also, my apologies for not writing an article last week, but if you are here from Reddit, you should have seen my picks there; you can also hear my picks on the Podcast.  Last week’s slate was the worst of the year and while this week looks better, I’m still not finding myself thrilled about any of these matchups.  Regardless, let’s get in to my week 12 card:

Appalachian State at #15 Coastal Carolina (-5.5), o/u 48 – NOON on ESPN2

I was pumped for the Coastal game last week against Troy and heartbroken when it got cancelled.  Coastal Carolina coming out of nowhere and making a ton of noise has made them one of my favorite teams to follow this season – right alongside BYU, for similar reasons (CC’s teal field is a nice touch as well).  So far this season, Coastal Carolina’s dominance on both sides of the ball is what has made them a legitimately good program; not a gimmicky one who just seems to win by scoring 80 points per game.  They’re 15th overall in Total Defense and 37th overall in Total Offense.

Appalachian State is comparable in that sense (21st overall Total Defense, 31st overall Total Offense), but they’ve had a few bumps in the road.  While Coastal has never failed to show up, Appalachian State couldn’t beat a very good Marshall team and just squeaked out a 17-13 win last week against a Georgia State team that Coastal defeated 51-0. I see this Coastal Carolina team continuing their undefeated streak and I don’t think 5.5 is enough.

My Pick:  Coastal Carolina -5.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#7 Cincinnati (-6) at UCF, o/u 64 – 3:30PM on ESPN

I was dead wrong last week picking ECU to cover against Cincinnati.  I like Cincinnati as a program, I just thought the ECU could hang around while Cincinnati might be getting in their own head about an undefeated season.  Clearly I was wrong and hopefully that won’t come back to bite me this week.

Cincy has been an absolute money-maker this year, going 5-2 ATS.  UCF at 2-5 ATS, is quite literally a money-shredder.  What worries me in this game is that UCF is an offensive powerhouse, averaging over 620 yards per game.  UCF nearly allows as many yards per game on defense (448) that Cincinnati averages on offense (470), yet they score enough to where it doesn’t even matter.  Don’t forget that UCF was also #11 in the country before they went on a bit of a skid following a tough loss to Tulsa (Football).

A perfect season and the CFP looming over Cincinnati’s head still worries me. However, Cincinnati’s defense is for real and they have shown no mercy to lesser opponents all year.  That’s the type of stuff you love to see, especially from a college program.  UCF’s powerhouse offense will be tamed by Cincinnati’s stingy defense and the Bearcats will not slow down no matter the score.

My Pick: Cincinnati -6, this is my week 12 lock.

#14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma (-7), o/u 59.5 – 7:30 on ABC

The Bedlam Series.  Oklahoma currently leads this series 89-17 all-time and is on a 5-game winning streak.  You might as well throw all of that out of the window this season with how good Oklahoma State has been.  If not for a tough OT loss to Texas, we would probably be talking about them as the likely #4 seed in the CFP.  Which, by the way, I don’t think any Big12 team has a chance at seeing now.

The breakdown of this matchup seems pretty simple:  Oklahoma has the edge offensively, while Oklahoma State has the edge defensively.  I thought I would just look at some common opponents to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Oklahoma State CowboysOklahoma Sooners
Kansas, W 47-7Kansas, W 69-3
Texas, L 34-41 OTTexas, W 53-45 4OT
Kansas State, W 20-18Kansas State, L 35-38
Iowa State, W 24-21Iowa State, L 30-37

Oklahoma has looked like themselves the last few weeks, but look at the opponents:  Kansas (0-7), Texas Tech (3-5) and TCU (3-4).  I am still a believer in the Cowboys even though they lost to Texas and we haven’t seen them in action in two weeks.

My Pick:  Oklahoma State +7, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#20 USC (-3) at Utah, o/u 58 – 10:30PM on ESPN

Like I said earlier, this week really isn’t moving the needle for me.  I don’t like USC and Utah hasn’t even played their first game of the season (it’s week 12!).  Why am I even touching this game?  It’s probably the Oregon fan in me needing a PAC12 game on my card.  It’s also probably the Oregon fan in me that is going to take USC -3 in hopes that they can go undefeated to face Oregon in the PAC12 Championship and hopefully give the Ducks a playoff birth.

I wish I had more of an analysis for you here but the main element I’m looking at is simply 2 games to none.  USC has played 2 games and has 2 wins.  Utah has yet to see the field. Also, considering USC has the most returning production in the PAC12 while Utah has the least, laying only 3 feels like a bargain.  I’ll also take the over.  Because, PAC12.

My Picks:  USC -3 and OVER 58.  These are both 3 out of 5 confidence ratings.

Follow me on Twitter for more week 12 picks and let me hear it about what I got wrong. See you all next week!

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CFB Week 10 Picks

I went 2-3 last week after missing the Florida/Mizzou over by HALF of a point. You just hate to see that. You can hear my picks and analysis on last week’s episode of The Vig. Stay tuned for this week’s episode, dropping Friday, which will have some more week 10 picks as well as some NFL picks. Let’s get into my week 10 card:

Kansas at #19 Oklahoma -38, o/u 63 – 3:30PM on ESPN

Oklahoma is 4-2 ATS, Kansas is 0-6 ATS.  Kansas has yet to be competitive this year and Oklahoma is returning home, riding a 3-game winning streak.  I think this game is pretty self-explanatory, in that Kansas will continue to be abused by their fellow Big12 opponents and allow for Oklahoma’s backups to get a solid workout in.  

The Jayhawks are losing on average by 30 points and even lost by 44 to BAYLOR.  You’d have to be insane to take Kansas in this game and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oklahoma cover this spread in the first half alone.  Lastly, these teams are a combined 9-2-1 when it comes to Over/Unders.  This is a pure numbers game and the numbers tell you to fade Kansas and to take the over.

My Pick:  Oklahoma -38 and over 63, this is a 3 out of 5 confidence rating.

Rutgers +38 at #3 Ohio State, o/u 65 – 7:30PM on BTN

This game is going to make me hate myself.  Why am I taking two 38-point spreads?  More importantly, why am I taking Rutgers!?  They beat a Michigan State team that went on to beat a Michigan team that most people had high hopes for.  They followed that up with an absolutely heartbreaking called back touchdown off of some crazy laterals, which cost them the ATS win.  Gregg Schiano has this team playing well above their talent level and I expect them to come into this game fired up.  Rutgers defense has done great at holding opponents on third-down and their offense is somehow managing to put points on the board.  They’ll only be able to hang with Ohio State for a quarter or two, but at +38, I think that’s all it’ll take. 

My Pick:  Rutgers +38, this is my lock of the week.

Stanford at #12 Oregon -10.5, o/u 51 – 7:30PM on ABC

If I was smart I’d stay away from the PAC12 for a couple of weeks just to get somewhat of an idea on how things will pan out.  However, it’s week 10 and I’m an Oregon fan, so I’m just gonna dive right in.  Oregon finished the season 12-2 last year and Stanford finished 4-8.  Obviously the Ducks are without Justin Herbert and have had quite a few opt outs.  Stanford has suffered a fairly significant loss of personnel as well. 

People still imagine Chip Kelly’s Oregon team of a high powered offense and while they still do have the ability to run the score up, their defense might be the bread and butter of this team.  They were the ninth ranked defense last year and I expect them to kick it up a notch this year.  I don’t see Stanford’s offense doing enough damage and I think Oregon starts the season off strong at home.

My Pick:  Oregon -10.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#1 Clemson -5.5 at #4 Notre Dame, o/u 51.5 – 7:30PM on NBC

We’ve now seen back-to-back tough showings from Clemson.  They’ve allowed Syracuse to stay in the game for 3 quarters and nearly blew their season last week against Boston College.  Obviously, Trevor Lawrence was out last week.  Unfortunately for them, he’s out this week as well.  I was wondering if Notre Dame may even be favored this week, which they clearly are not.  I expect for all of the money to come in on Notre Dame and I think Vegas wants all of the money to come in on ND.  For that exact reason, I’ll be taking Clemson.  On top of that, Notre Dame just hasn’t impressed me so far this season.  I truly do not know what Notre Dame team we’ll see this weekend and they’ve stumbled against far lesser teams than Clemson.  Clemson will win this game and laying 5.5 isn’t enough to make me feel uncomfortable.

My Pick:  Clemson -5.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

P.S. – look out for Syracuse (+14) to cover, if not beat BC this week.

P.P.S. – check out my Twitter for some live tweeting and other week 10 picks throughout the day.