In my first installment of football picks this year, I went 3-2-1. Not a bad week. It was certainly better than the Seahawks-49ers game. But I know I’m capable of more. So what picks am I going with this week? Let’s find out.
Home team in CAPS
Intercollegiate football competitions:
No. 15 Michigan State (+4.5) over NOTRE DAME. Despite being on the road in South Bend, I like the Spartans’ chances of pulling this one out straight up. Regardless, four out of the last six contests between these two schools have been decided by three points. Air-tight victories. So that’s a cool stat if you’re a degenerate who believes in trends. If you do, like I’m willing to for this pick, Michigan State given 4.5 points looks good.
MIAMI (-3) over No. 17 Ohio State. Welcome to the “Infractions Committee Bowl,” dubbed so because of the likelihood of both programs being slapped with stiff penalties from the NCAA’s judgement panel for their respective scandals. As for the game, I’m not expecting much. These are two programs hoping it won’t be long to return to their glory days.
No. 1 Oklahoma (-3.5) over No. 5 FLORIDA STATE. It’s the big game of the weekend. So big that ESPN College GameDay is going to be in Tallahassee for the first time in eight years, which was probably the last time the ‘Noles were this relevant. Indeed FSU has one of their best teams in years, but I think the Sooners are a much more complete team. (Not to mention also had an extra week off to prepare.) Plus, they’re my pick to win it all, so I can’t turn my back on them in their toughest test of the regular season.
Professional oblong ball made of pigskin:
Raiders (+3.5) over BILLS. The Bills had one of the most stunning outcomes of the opening weekend, defeating the Chiefs 41-7 at Arrowhead. But the Bills gave up 6 yards a rush against the Chiefs. What’s more, the Bills last week were third in the league in stopping the pass, but 21st in stopping the run. The Raiders passing offense is abysmal, but no worries; They ran all over the Broncos on Monday night, and I think it’s going to be more of the same in Buffalo this week.
Chargers (+7) over PATRIOTS. The Patriots defense was terrible last week in Miami. They gave up nearly 500 yards up to the Dolphins. The Dolphins! The Patriots let Chad Henne throw for over 400 yards and run for an additional 60 on them. Chad Henne! Who knows what type of disaster is in store for Pats when they face a team in the Chargers that actually has a real offense and a defense that shows up? Although the bigger question for this game may be if whether Pats fans will be lubed up enough for the game.
FALCONS (+3) over Eagles. Yes, I did pick the Falcons to win the Super Bowl. But I gotta admit: getting their butts whipped by stationary-bike enthusiast Jay Cutler and the Bears last week made me regret that pick a little. Atlanta needs a rebound game, unfortunately it’s not going to come easy against the Eagles. But I still believe the Eagles aren’t going to meet their lofty expectations. Here’s a question for you: Can you name any of the three starting Eagles linebackers? If you said either Jamar Cheney, Casey Matthews or Moise Fokou, you cheated. Yes, that’s right. As vaunted as the Eagles appear to be, in the middle of that defense they have virtual no-names, including a rookie taken in the fourth round in Matthews (brother of Clay). With three unproven linebackers, Steven Jackson busting out a 47-yard touchdown on the very first play of the game and Cadillac Williams rushing for 91 yards on them last week starts to make sense. How’d Michael Turner do against the Bears (no pushovers) last week? 10 carries, 100 yards. RUH ROH! (No pun intended using a Scooby Doo quote to punctuate my belief of eminent danger for a Michael Vick-led team.)