Last week: 1-4
2014: 77-48-5 (62%)
Woof. Tough one last weekend; it happens. Whiffed badly on the UNC/South Carolina over, but that Ohio State/Va Tech game felt pretty underish as the 4th quarter grinded away. Urban Meyer pushed the passing game with J.T. Barrett in the game for Cardale Jones and some garbage time TDs pushed it way over.
UCLA kept Virginia out of the end zone all day, until they left the backdoor open and the Cavaliers stole a cover from Bruin backers late in the 4th quarter.
The lone winner (Bama/Wisky over) got over the number in the 4th quarter on a 43 yard Bama TD run on a 3rd and 26 play. Whatever, I’ll take it.
Time to turn the page, where we find a full NFL board as well as a fuller college board than last week.
In college, we do find some teams now playing their second game of the season, but the top 25 slate is pretty one sided in general. Only four games featuring a top 25 team have a spread in the single digits. Lots of big boys loading up on cupcakes.
The NFL debuts tonight with the Patriots and Steelers which is followed by a full Sunday and two Monday nighters. If you play in a survivor pool, this is one of the toughest weeks I’ve ever seen. The largest favorite on the board are the Pats tonight (-7) and there are an astounding EIGHT road favorites, including both Monday night games. Might we see a public beatdown in week 1 of the NFL? It’s happened before.
Week one of both college and pro can be tricky because the lines have been posted for months rather than days and you have no recent games to react off of when making a pick. With lines posted for months, it’s tougher to get a feel for line moves and action. With no recent games, there’s not much public reaction — or over reaction — to the result they just witnessed, commonly known as the error of recency. This is a trend I personally use a lot, but it’s a trend that doesn’t exist in week one.
So for that reason, I usually tread lightly in the first week. As those of you who followed the picks last season, once I’m geared up I can easily have a single day college or pro card with 10-15 plays.
With that being said, let’s move on to week two of the picks. But first, some NFL win season total picks for you to lock in before Sunday.
New Orleans Saints, over 8.5 (-125): The public has turned their backs on the Saints but I think Drew Brees has enough in the tank for a big bounce back season after an interception plagued 2014.
Coming off a four loss season where they went 2-4 in games decided by six or less (including a back breaking 0-3 in OT games), the Saints will give the NFC South another run behind Brees and 2nd year WR Brandin Cooks. The Saints, Panthers and Falcons are all at win totals around 8 or 8.5; give me Brees and Sean Payton.
Buffalo Bills, under 8.5 (-130): Because everyone’s on the Bills bandwagon. Because they had one of the splashier free agency periods in the offseason. Because the Bills could end up with Matt Cassel at QB.
A year ago, I loved the Bills over (6 wins I believe), but there’s too much love this season for a team with such an unsettled QB situation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, over 6 (-120): Doubling down on the Bucs after missing on the over last season. They won 2 games in 2014, but had an incredible 1-8 record in games decided by 6 points or less. That’s a trend that could easily reverse this season, given that many close NFL games are decided by referee whistles and not the play on the field. I’ll take a flyer on Jameis Winston in a wide open division where the Bucs can steal a few wins. They have talent at the offensive skill positions as well as on defense and will end up 8-8.
Denver Broncos, under 10.5 (-130): Pretty tough schedule for Denver and an improving division. As a rule, I never take the over for double digit win totals. It’s either under or pass. Denver hasn’t won less than 12 games over the past three seasons, but with an aging Peyton Manning , a new coach in Gary Kubiak, two teams breathing down their necks in the race for the AFC West (Kansas City & San Diego) and another division foe who seems like a great pick for some ML plays this season (Oakland), I think this is the season Denver slips a rung and doesn’t win the division. 10-6 record at best.
Detroit Lions, under 8.5 (-125): Crazy looking schedule on paper, especially early on. The Lions do have two different stretches where they play three consecutive home games but they also have to travel to London for a “road game” against the Chiefs. Ndamukong Suh is a huge loss from the front seven. A year after an 11 win season and the Dallas screw job in the playoffs, Detroit falls back in the standings.
Week 2 picks (more will be added in the comments section):
Lines courtesy of scoresandodds.com. For entertainment purposes only.
Arkansas State +11.5: Last week, lots of the online betting podcasts and websites were smitten with Arkansas State catching all those delicious points — the line closed at 27 — against USC.
Final score: USC 55 Arkansas State 6
Now the Red Wolves (I had to look that up) return to the Walmart State for their home opener against Mizzou. Double digit home dog coming off a publicly backed beat down by one of the countries best teams and the public turns their backs on them? Arky State takes the batting donut (USC) off their Louisville Slugger and all of a sudden Mizzou doesn’t seem so fast. The Red Pups bark enough to keep it close.
Florida Atlantic +18.5: Live home dog versus a Miami (FL) team that could be looking ahead to a big time match the following week at home against Nebraska. Canes have some injuries at WR and FAU will throw the entire playbook at them. Friday night shenanigans in Boca Raton as the home dog hangs around and stays within the number.
Buffalo/Penn State over 51: The public saw the anemic Penn State offense last week and are pounding the under. The line went from 49 to 51 anyways. Buffalo has an experienced QB but a shaky defense, a great combo as a nearly three TD underdog when looking for an over. Christian Hackenberg will air it out into the 2H for those pile on TDs over backers love.
More picks will be added in the comments section throughout the weekend.