Week 8 Preview and Gamblin Picks
I apologize about the lack of posting last week. I’m sure my five followers (at best) were very distraught. That being said Ralphnuts did have the Top 11 picks last week on Saturday morning and apparently just kept them to himself. (Sorry Roach, I was smoking a pork loin and drinking beer most of the day, and just plain ran out of time) This is unfortunate for the rest of you since I went 8-3-0 last week. No need to worry we can do it again this week as I really like the slate of games this week.
8 must see games:
1. Oregon (6-0) at Arizona State (5-1) (Thursday Night)—The battle in the desert. Oregon is a terrific offensive squad but this is the first road test of the season. And Tempe will be rocking tonight as the Sun Devils have exceeded all expectations this year. The Sun Devil defense is yielding only 14.2 points per contest and obviously will be tested by the Duck speed. They don’t need to stop them just keep them below 35….because Arizona State can score to the tune of 40.5 points a game and the Duck defense is solid (20.0 ppg) but they will be their toughest test. Call me crazy but I think #3 goes down tonight.
2. LSU (6-1) at Texas A&M (5-1)—Johnny football gets his second shot against a SEC power as the first one (Florida) resulted in a 20-17 loss. A&M has looked special on offense 47 points per game but let’s face it the Aggies are putting up those types of numbers on the Tigers defense. The key will be controlling the line of scrimmage and getting defensive stops. And an effort like last Sat. where they gave up 57 to Louisiana Tech will not get the job done. A&M is a solid team but they don’t have the horses up front to consistently stop LSU’s rushing game. This will be a slow death for the Aggies but eventually LSU will pull away to win by 7-10 points.
3. Nebraska (4-2) at Northwestern (6-1)—Tough spot for the Cornhuskers as they had a bye after giving up 63 points in Columbus. This Nebraska team has really struggled on the road and will need to handle the Northwestern spread attack on Sat to escape Evanston will a win. The blackshirts are average (27.7 ppg) at best. Northwestern is not a great team despite their record but they have a diverse offense and their defense is solid giving up 22.1 ppg. In fact they are a Penn State 4th quarter explosion from being undefeated. No pressure on Fitzgerald and company…they get the win.
4. South Carolina (6-1) at Florida (6-0)—This one is for control of the SEC east. No big secret that both Shaw and Driskell are tremendous athletes. Not quite solid that they are tremendous QB’s. This will be a slug-it-out affair. The home team has the better rushing offense so they get the nod.
5. Texas Tech (5-1) at TCU (5-1)—I was a little surprised at how Texas Tech played against Oklahoma but I’m prepared to give them a small pass and indicate that Oklahoma is simply that good. Texas Tech’s defensive line and front seven in total is really…really…really good. In fact maybe the best in the Big 12. They held Geno and company to 14 and now the key is to take that performance on the road. Boykin is going to be a really good QB but TCU was successfully last week because of Baylor turnovers and the fact they were the more physical team. Not so this week. Texas Tech beat an Iowa State team by 11 on the road. I think TCU and ISU are similar as far as what they want to do with TCU having a slightly better offense and slightly worse defense. Red Raiders win by a TD.
6. Kansas State (6-0) at West Virginia (5-1)—Do you remember Optimist Prime from Transformers…I think Collin Klein is kind of the same type of deal. 3rd and 14 and no one open…that’s fine I will just tuck it and run for 15. The man just finds a way to win the battle on 3rd down. The KSU defense is nothing great and yet they only yield 16.5 ppg. The reason, because the offense of KSU keeps the opposing offense on the sideline with long time consuming drives. KSU was ripe for the picking last week in Ames. But not this week…you have to have an average defense to win consistently in toughest conference from top to bottom…yeah I said it SEC fans. KSU wins again.
7. Virginia Tech (4-3) at Clemson (5-1)—This is the obligatory ACC entry and people quite frankly might choose Iowa vs. Penn State over this one. The point is that the ACC and the Big 10 are both irrelevant this year so it really doesn’t matter. Clemson wins by 14 and Virginia Tech fans rethink their quest to be in the SEC.
8. ULM (4-2) at Western Kentucky (5-1)—The Mid-Major game of the week and believe me that both of these squads could compete in a BCS conference this year. ULM has a win over Arkansas and close losses (less than 5) with Auburn and Baylor. Western Kentucky has a win over Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have covered in 15 straight games. Lets just let that one sink in. 15 straight games where they have fooled Vegas….that is insane. However that streak probably comes to an end this week. ULM has the better QB in Browning and their offense is averaging over 38.3 points per game and has not scored less than 28 in any contest this year. Western Kentucky will try to control the clock but the ULM rush defense will due enough to break the streak of wins ATS.
Top 11 plays in no particular order
1. Houston -6.0 at SMU (Thursday Night)
2. Arizona State +7.5 vs. Oregon (Thursday Night)
3. Bowling Green -17.5 at UMASS
4. Rutgers -5.5 at Temple
5. ULM +3.5 at Western Kentucky
6. New Mexico +10.0 at Air Force
7. Iowa State +14.0 at Oklahoma State
8. Northern Illinois -16.5 at Akron
9. Navy -2.5 vs. Indiana
10. Tulane +14.0 at UTEP
11. San Jose State -10.5 at UTSA
Wisconsin -17.5 vs. Minnesota
Week One 7-4-0
Week Two 4-7-0
Week Three 6-5-0
Week Four 6-5-0
Week Five 5-6-0
Week Six 6-5-0
Week Seven 8-3-0