Last week housed another so-so Saturday since, yet again, I ended the day at 5-5.
However, a new week of pickin’ hopes to see me get back on the above .500 track as Adam and I take the day on in a SUPER SIZED fashion—15 picks! That said, we’ll either end the day like a boss or in tears…I’m hoping for the former, obviously.
And, while he took a brief respite last week, my fellow pick-mate, Adam Cubbage, makes his triumphant return to the ATS game this week. If you haven’t yet, give his site a look. He’s always giving you his take on both the MLB and the NFL.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
As per normal, the lines are courtesy of vegasinsiders.com and are current as of this posting.
1. South Carolina at Mizzou (-2.5):
Here’s the thing about Mizzou, even though they’ve had impressive wins over Florida, Georgia, and Vanderbilt, they still haven’t quite proven they’re “for real” yet—at least not in my mind.
The win over Vanderbilt was nice, but the Commodores lacked a true running game, and were under-manned on defense, thanks to injuries and suspensions (quell the “but Vandy beat Georgia jokes”), so all the Tigers did was what they should have done: win with their offense and capitalize on defense.
The Georgia win looked good on the scoreboard, but the Tigers won that game in the last 5 minutes and the Bulldogs played without four key starters on an injury-riddled offense.
The at-home win over Florida, meh, I saw that one coming a mile away—the Gators aren’t faring much better than Georgia in the injury department these days and look a lot more dangerous on paper than on the football field.
South Carolina might not look like world-beaters, but they do have a somewhat experienced quarterback in Dylan Thompson, and a very good rushing attack with Mike Davis; if the defense can rattle Maty Mauk and the offense can get the running game going early, and keep Michael Sam from rattling Thompson, I can certainly see a scenario where the Gamecocks put points on the board.
Will it be enough points to derail Mizzou’s trip to Atlanta in December? I don’t know, but I’ll take those odds.
Boy this was a tough one. I think South Carolina has the ability to beat MIZZOU but it all depends on quarterback play. I’m going to regret this I know but I’ll say South Carolina pulls off the upset.
The Lady’s Pick: South Carolina
Adam’s Pick: South Carolina
2. Penn State at Ohio State (-15)
Penn State put up 40 points against the Michigan Wolverines a couple weekends back, but the Wolverines have proven all season that they can be scored on, with zero trouble, by any team with a half decent quarterback—and by half-decent I mean any quarterback that can hit a runner in stride at least half the time.
Ohio State ain’t Michigan and, as much as I hate to see Urban Meyer flourish in yet another zip code, the Buckeyes look destined for a BCS Championship appearance this season—barring a complete meltdown; Penn State doesn’t have much hope of changing that.
Unless O’Brien has ten extra scholarship athletes written in on his play sheet I’m gonna go Ohio State in this one
The Lady’s Pick: Ohio State
Adam’s Pick: Ohio State
3. Vanderbilt at Texas A&M (-18)
I watched Vanderbilt play Georgia—win or no win—I was less impressed by how Georgia managed to consistently shoot themselves in the foot (via play calling, via special teams, via turnovers, etc.) than I was impressed with the fact that the Commodores won with a backup quarterback at the helm.
There may be a ton of points being given to the Aggies in this one—especially given the sheer lack of dominance on the defensive side of the ball—but Vanderbilt is not nearly as good as Georgia made them look.
It all depends on two things: Johnny Football and whether or not they can hold Vandy under 30 (which they haven’t done against an SEC opponent this year). For that reason, I’m gonna say Vandy keeps it closer.
The Lady’s Pick: Texas A&M
Adam’s Pick: Vanderbilt
4. Texas Tech at Oklahoma (-6.5)
Here’s my issue with the Sooners: every time I’ve seen them in a somewhat big money game over the last decade, they’re dropping the ball—and I mean that figuratively; there’s a reason they’ve been given the not so flattering nickname “Choklahoma” by many a college football fan, and that ain’t a good thing.
So, as they head into this against the Red Raiders, being lauded as the favorites, I can’t help but think of the last Texas team they faced—a team that they had absolutely no business losing to—and how badly that ended for Bob Stoops…you lost to the Longhorns, man? Really?!
Oklahoma might be ready to right their wrongs against coach Kliff Kingsbury’s high-powered passing attack, but I’d just as soon believe in the friggin’ tooth fairy before laying money on a Bob Stoops team again this season.
Texas Tech has a very good offense and a good system in place. The defense at Oklahoma is impressive but I don’t know if they match up as well against the aerial attack of the Red Raiders. If the Sooners have to win by 6.5 I don’t think that happens. I’ll go Texas Tech (I’ll regret this one too, I know).
The Lady’s Pick: Texas Tech
Adam’s Pick: Texas Tech
5. UCLA at Oregon (-23):
I looooovvvvvveeee Brett Hundley, I really do. I think he’s got the goods to not only finish his collegiate career in a big way, but the right stuff to make some NFL team very happy in the near future. That said, unless head coach Jim Mora, Jr. can find a way to patch up his offensive line prior to Saturday’s game, Hundley will spend this weekend doing much the same as he spent the last one—running for his proverbial life.
On the flipside of that, if the Bruins can protect Hundley better than they did against Stanford, and he’s able to get his game going, the Ducks will have a lot to contend with from a Bruins offense that has the talent to really make things happen on the ground and in the air.
It could really go either way here, but I’m just not sure any team can stop the Oregon train this season.
The game is in Oregon, which could give the Ducks a huge advantage. I’m going to point out that I think UCLA is a very good football team in the Pac-12. If this game were in the Rose Bowl I might even pick them to win. That said I think UCLA keeps this closer than 23 so I’ll lean UCLA.
The Lady’s Pick: Oregon
Adam’s Pick: UCLA
The Other 10 (The Lady’s in Bold, Adam’s in Italics. Unless specified)
6. Boston College at North Carolina (-7): Adam picks BC as well.
7. Clemson at Maryland (+16): Adam picks Clemson as well.
8. Duke at Virginia Tech (-13.5): Adam picks Duke as well.
9. Arizona at Colorado (+13)
10. Tennessee at Alabama (-28.5)
11. Utah at Southern Cal (-7.5)
12. California at Washington (-24.5)
13. West Virginia at Kansas State (-11.5)
14. Oklahoma State at Iowa State (+13)
15. Stanford at Oregon State (+4)