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: 8-3. Season record: 30-20-2. Lock of the Week: 3-2.
Lock of the Week: Western Kentucky -2 at Troy. The Hilltoppers have covered 10 straight and 21 of 26. Troy is playing better in 2012 than they did in 2011, but Western Kentucky is one of the teams to beat in the Sun Belt. The numbers don't lie, so why not ride them...Western Kentucky 30, Troy 20.
The Ol' Ball Coach Pick of the Week: South Carolina +3 at LSU. I went against the Gamecocks last week and look where it got me. I think South Carolina is the better team and the LSU offense shows no signs of being able to do anything against a defense that may be better than Florida's. In a low-scoring affair, I'll take the points and the upset...South Carolina 19, LSU 13.
MAC 3-Pack of the Week: Kent State -2 at Army. Army got a huge win vs Boston College last week, but they did also lose to Stony Brook. The Golden Flash are playing really well and have a run defense good enough to slow down Army and get the victory...Kent State 41, Army 28.
Toledo -14 at Eastern Michigan. The Rockets are establishing themselves as serious contenders in the MAC, while Eastern Michigan struggles in all facets and has been beat by an average of 22 points at home. No reason to think Toledo won't do at least that...Toledo 41, Eastern Michigan 7.
Northern Illinois -13 vs Buffalo. The Huskies are rolling and host a 1-4 Buffalo team that has been competitive on the road this season. The average losing margin the last three road trips against Northern though is a whopping 37.3!! Competitive, but not this week...Northern Illinois 38, Buffalo 14.
Geno Mancrush Pick of the Week: West Virginia -3.5 at Texas Tech. As I stated last week, the Mountaineers are better at covering on the road. I think last week also proved that West Virginia is a serious National Title contender and Texas Tech is not a serious Big 12 Title contender. It might seem like a trap game, if so I am falling into it...West Virginia 49, Texas Tech 27.
Were You Waiting For It? Pick of the Week: Louisiana-Monroe -24 vs Florida Atlantic. The worst team in the Sun Belt comes to visit one of my darlings. FAU really can't score, so predicting a blow-out is not that far-fetched...Louisiana-Monroe 38, Florida Atlantic 0.
Duke +9.5 at Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils have never won in Blacksburg and they may not this year either. But there is no reason to think they won't keep it close against a struggling Hokie team...Virginia Tech 27, Duke 26.
Temple +5.5 at Connecticut. Hard to turn down over a field goal in a game likely to be very low-scoring. Plus Temple has the momentum and a new weapon in Montel Harris...Temple 20, Connecticut 19.
SMU -16 at Tulane. The Green Wave boast the worst offense in the FBS. The road team has covered 8 straight in this match-up. Looks like everything is pointing the way of the Mustangs this week...SMU 27, Tulane 3.
Alabama -21 at Missouri. The Crimson Tide vs a back-up quarterback? I seem to remember a 52-0 result against Arkansas in a similar situation a few weeks ago. The Missouri defense is better than the Razorbacks, but if you only score 15 against Vandy, how many can you expect against 'Bama...Alabama 31, Missouri 3.