Instead of picking every game straight up this year, I thought I would go more Vegas-style and select certain games each week to pick against the spread. Last weeks record: 5-6-1. Season record: 15-13-2. Lock of the Week: 1-2.
Lock of the Week: Texas -2.5 at Oklahoma State. I hate giving points on the road, but the home team has failed to cover 5 straight times in this matchup. Texas has also played very well historically in Stillwater, although they lost the last two in Austin to the Cowboys. Texas just seems like the better team in 2012 and wants to show any remaining doubters that they are back...Texas 38, Oklahoma State 31.
Scoreboard Battle of the Week I: West Virginia -11 vs Baylor. The tempo of this game should be crazy, with close to 200 plays run. This is also West Virginia's first Big 12 game. The Mountaineers got me a week ago, but this one is about Baylor being 0-3 ATS in their last three road games...West Virginia 52, Baylor 35.
Scoreboard Battle of the Week II: Toledo +1.5 at Western Michigan. Last year, these teams ping-ponged their way to a 66-63 final. I don't expect quite the same result, especially with Alex Carder out for Western Michigan. Toledo's defense has struggled against the pass, but without Carder to take advantage, the Rockets will have enough offense to pull the upset...Toledo 45, Western Michigan 38.
Jabesblog Darling Pick of the Week: Louisiana-Monroe -20 at Tulane. I know this is crazy, but I am just doing this for fun. Giving 20 on the road with ULM? Of course I am!! The Green Wave can't score and are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 home games. After Arkansas, Auburn and Baylor, Tulane is going to seem like a JV team...Louisiana-Monroe 42, Tulane 13.
NC State +2.5 at Miami, FL. The Wolfpack defense has gotten their legs and I am trying not to be fooled by Miami's big victory against Georgia Tech last week. The Hurricane defense is susceptible and I expect NC State to contain Miami...NC State 27, Miami 19.
Minnesota +7 at Iowa. I have gone back and forth on this one, as the Gophers traditionally struggle in Iowa City, despite winning the last two years in this match-up (both at Minnesota). Momentum points all toward the Gophers and if Iowa is going to steal some of that back, I think it will take a last second play to do it. I don't expect a lot of points Saturday and I am going to make the Hawkeyes prove to me they are a better team...Minnesota 23, Iowa 20.
Cincinnati +6.5 vs Virginia Tech. History works against the Bearcats in the match-up, but I think Virginia Tech is getting some benefit of the doubt in Las Vegas and the college football world is slow on Cincinnati. I think the Bearcats can win this game outright...Cincinnati 21, Virginia Tech 19.
Louisiana Tech -3.5 at Virginia. I am trying to ignore the WAC visiting ACC aspect of this match-up. The Bulldogs are not your normal WAC team and are a very good road team. Tech is 9-1 ATS on their last 10 and 15-3 ATS in their last 18 roadies. I am guessing they are usually not favored in ACC country, but in Colby Cameron I believe...Louisiana Tech 40, Virginia 28.
Florida State -17 at South Florida. I know this one seems like a trap coming off the big win against Clemson and given South Florida's struggles. I really think Florida State is in the class of Alabama and LSU and in that case, most games aren't close...Florida State 51, South Florida 17.
Washington State +30.5 vs Oregon. The Ducks have not been on the road in a really long time and after their defense made a statement last week, a natural letdown would seem to be on the horizon. Oregon 49, Washington State 24.
Oregon State +2.5 at Arizona. The numbers all slant toward the Beavers, who are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 meetings with the Wildcats. Oregon State is also good on the road and proved that last week at UCLA. The number don't lie...Oregon State 27, Arizona 24.