After watching my new NHL team, the Habs, put out a horrid third period effort in a loss to Buffalo, I realized as the Bruins won 3-0 over Ottawa that it's probably my fault. Oh well, on the bright side they still sell beer by the gallon in Canadian Bars (long story, some time I will relive my Montreal experience. I love that city)
This is a big weekend for college football and the NFL, as even though there are not a lot of NCAA games, almost all of them have some sort of relevance. Hell even Army/Navy looks like it won't be the annual Navy rout it has recently become. UCLA/USC and Colorado/Texas have National Title implications, Georgia/LSU is always a good game and even games like West Virginia/ South Florida and Louisville/Uconn have bowl game implications.
In the NFL I have heard a lot of hype about Dallas/New York, Atlanta/Carolina,and thanks to the human hype machine Chad Johnson, Cincy/Pitt. I am staying away from all of those games, as frankly, why bother with that when there are easier games out there? With that said, here are this weekend's plays...
Georgia was a DJ Shockley injury away from being unbeaten and screwing up the BCS again. Georgia has a quasi homefield advantage here AND have a turnover ratio advantage. The wrong team is favored and my system points to Georgia here for the win and cover.
San Diego ST +3
Conventional wisdom says that Hawaii should have a great homefield advantage here. They don't. This Warriors team is subpar at best and San Diego is an eye popping The Aztecs are 13-2 ATS vs. Hawaii and 8-0 against the number when visiting the islands. System points to the Aztecs, I tend to believe it.
Yes, Buffalo has been horrific on the road this year, BUT, in their last DIVISION road game, vs Pats, they easily covered the 10 point spread. The Phins are coming home off a straight up win against the Raiders and will be without Junior Seau and Zach Thomas. 4 points is too much to give up when Gus Frerotte is your starting QB. System points to the Bills
At first this looks like a trap line, but I have watched this same situation a couple of times this year and when you think the spread should be -6, Vegas puts it at 3 1/2. You think you are on to something, New Orleans is coming off of consecutive ATS wins and the Bucs played horribly in a loss to Chicago. Vegas puts it 3.5? This is an easy field goal game! Not quite. Tampa has the turnover edge, and the system points to an easy Tampa cover.
This game will be the one that suckers in everyone. San Diego has been on fire lately, and Oakland looks like it needs to be set on fire. Two weeks ago in this same situation San Diego wasted the Bills by 38. How many people will tease this game down to San Diego -5? My guess is most of America. System points to Oakland for the cover, I don't disagree. In fact I would not be shocked if they won outright.
Capping Plays (The use of common sense and GAMBLING common sense)
Louisville is great, but even when they had Brian Brohm, who is out with a knee injury, they couldn't cover a book on the road. Now they are supposed to do it against a UConn team that needs one win for bowl eligibility in an injury plagued year. Take the points on the live home dog, here...
Army has won 4 straight ATS, and they have had two weeks to prepare for this game. This game has been due for a close one for a LONG time. Being an ex Army Vet, I will take the Golden Knights to cover here.
South Florida +9
West Virginia is awesome, but South Florida has played great this yer and had 5 turnovers last week vs UConn and STILL only lost by 5. I think this squad got caught looking ahead to this week's game. South Florida with the Points, here...
Virginia Tech -14
The Hokies have one of the best defenses in the country. If not for a flat, stumbling performance against Miami I think they would have given USC or Texas fits. Florida St can't score in Heidi Fleiss massage parlor with a $100 bill on their head. their O-Line is decimated, Weatherford is STILL playing like a freshman, they can't run, the D will be worn out in the 2nd half trying to keep them in it. Unless the Noles score 2 defensive TD's and a special teams TD, Va Tech should lay them out.
Why? UCLA has been sluggish out of the gate all year. They have had to come back from 20 point defecits against the likes of Stanford, for god's sakes. USC will come out in the first half and thump the living hell out of a Bruins team that has been lucky and overrated all year. I hate to lay this many points in a rivalry game, but everyone I have listened to has UCLA losing a close one. Unless USC lets them back in the game in the second half for the backdoor cover, they should take it easily.
This line keeps going up and up and up. Texas and Colorado are both coming off of flat performances. Why the 29? Simply put Colorado has played this team once. I expect a completely different game plan than last time. I see an under here (Texas's first of the season) and 29 points is to much to give in an under game.
Florida International +8
MTSU is not very good on the road (win vs. Vandy aside). This line is Waaaaay too high.
Houston is awful and Baltimore is looking to save Coach Billick's job. Alot of bettors will see this line and take the 8 points. This game screams take Houston. I like Baltimore to force some turnovers and cover easily.
Pats - 10
The Jets are awful. Corey Dillon is coming back. The Pats defense is slowly improving (they played decent bend but don't break d vs KC last week) If Brady doesn't throw 4 picks, they come back and win last week. They completely handcuffed the Chiefs in the second half last week outside of a 52 yarder by Dante Hall. The Jets are awful and are dying to lose every game and have a chance at Reggie Bush. the League wants Bush in New York. Can you imagine the headline in the Post and Daily News? Eli and Bush competing for cover time? I see a flat effort by J-E-T-S here.