Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's football picks

OK, this week it's time to really get going. Last week I was only 7-12; I'm now 64-68-1 for the year.

CINCINNATI 8.5 over West Virginia. PICK: BEARCATS. That Cincy offense will continue to roll. And I think this time the Bearcat defense will get a stop or two.

Alabama 12.5 over MISSISSIPPI STATE. PICK: BULLDOGS. I still don't trust the Crimson Tide offense to put up a lot of points; and Mississippi State played both Florida and LSU real tough.

BOISE STATE 32 over Idaho. PICK: BOISE. They put up lots of points at home.

Clemson 8 over NORTH CAROLINA STATE. PICK: TIGERS. That Clemson offense, with C.J. Spiller, is hot; ride 'em.

Florida 17 over SOUTH CAROLINA. PICK: GAMECOCKS. It's a road game, and again Florida's performance last week at home vs which the Gators were good, but less than awesome...and in which that offense was not-quite-at-high-octane levels...makes you think 17 points is just too much.

Georgia Tech 12.5 over DUKE. PICK: YELLOW JACKETS. Tech was a bit sub-par last week, but that offense should perform well here in a game the Jackets really need, and against a defense that isn't exactly rock-solid.

ILLINOIS 4.5 over Northwestern. PICK: FIGHTING ILLINI. They've won two straight, they're at home, they seem to have turned things around and gotten momentum. They're hot; ride 'em.

Michigan State 3 over PURDUE. PICK: BOILERMAKERS. I'm a bit mystified as to why State is such a favorite here. They're not a good road team, and Purdue's got some momentum. Purdue has warmed up; ride 'em.

OHIO STATE 17 over Iowa. PICK: HAWKEYES. I know, Ohio State is at home, looked real good last week, and Iowa lost their starting QB. But I just have a feeling--OSU has been inconsistent. And Iowa has a good defense.

OKLAHOMA STATE 4 over Texas Tech. PICK: RED RAIDERS. That offense can score, no matter who's at QB. The Raider defense is improving. And Okie State doesn't have Dez Bryant.

PITTSBURGH 7 over Notre Dame. PICK: PANTHERS. This would seem to be an easy pick. I'm not sure it is; I expect ND to play hard. They have little left to lose, and that offense can still score behind Jimmy Clausen and Michael Floyd. But...but...that ND defense just can't jet the job done. And Pitt can score, too.

PENN STATE 25 over Indiana. PICK: HOOSIERS. Has anyone noticed? Yes, Indiana's lost a number of games. But they've been close in many of them. Meanwhile, I expect the Nittany Lions to have a post-Buckeye hangover.

TCU 20 over Utah. PICK: UTES. TCU is an excellent. They will win this game. But Utah is a solid club, and I just think 20 points is too much.

USC 10.5 over Stanford. PICK: CARDINAL. The Trojans aren't quite as good as some thought earlier this year; Matt Barclay is still learning. And, news flash: Stanford showed last week that they're good.

WISCONSIN 8.5 over Michigan. PICK: BADGERS. I've stuck with Michigan quite often this season. Can't do it this week--that defense just can't stop people, at all, and Wisconsin will prove that yet again.

Again, last week a point here, a point there, literally a half-point in the Miami-New England game, kept me from a good mark. I wound up 5-8; I'm still 65-62-2 for the year. This week I'm due. Here goes:

ARIZONA 8.5 over Seattle. PICK: CARDINALS. They've been inconsistent at home and dominant on the road; but they're clearly the better team right now than is Seattle, and I think in a divisional game like this they'll show it.

Atlanta 1.5 over CAROLINA. PICK: FALCONS. The Falcons' run game with Michael Turner is rounding into shape, and just in time. Carolina consistently this year has made a lot of mistakes; that kills you in games like this.

Dallas 3 over GREEN BAY. PICK: COWBOYS. The Packers don't match up well with Dallas in a number of ways here, but especially up front. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 37 times already this season. The Cowboys pass rush is improving game by game.

Denver 3.5 over WASHINGTON. PICK: BRONCOS. The Redskins' offense hasn't shown much sign yet of breaking out of its season-long slump, and now Clinton Portis is hurt. Look for Denver to win a low-scoring game.

INDIANAPOLIS 3 over New England. PICK: PATRIOTS. I think both these teams are very, very good; I just think the Colts' injuries on defense, especially in the secondary, will hurt them here.

MIAMI 10 over Tampa Bay. PICK: DOLPHINS. Yes, the Bucs finally won one last week--but it was largely due to Green Bay miscues. Don't look for the Dolphins to be nearly so generous.

MINNESOTA 17 over Detroit. PICK: VIKINGS. That Lions defense can't stop anyone; and Matthew Stafford will likely commit a few more turnovers, what with that fierce Minnesota pass rush.

New Orleans 13.5 over ST. LOUIS. PICK: SAINTS. Indianapolis put up 42 points a few weeks ago in St. Looey; look for New Orleans to roll up similar numbers.

NY JETS 7 over Jacksonville. PICK: JETS. It's hard to figure the Jags; they're 4-4, but at times this year have looked horrible. They're inconsistent, and haven't done well on the road. I look for them to struggle again at New York.

OAKLAND 1.5 over Kansas City. PICK: CHIEFS. So much turmoil in Oakland. KC should have beaten the Raiders a few weeks ago at home; I just have a feeling they'll find a way to finally do it here.

PITTSBURGH 7 over Cincinnati. PICK: STEELERS. Again, this was a harder pick than you might think. Cincinnati is much improved. But I have the feeling at the Steelers, with Polamalu back, Roethlisberger playing solidly, will play very well here.

SAN DIEGO 1.5 over Philadelphia. PICK: CHIEFS. I didn't get the sense last week that Philly's offense and McNabb were totally in sync. You have the feeling they're a bit beat up. The Chargers meanwhile are at home and playing better.

TENNESSEE 6.5 over Buffalo. PICK: TITANS. Hey, I didn't think he could do much of it; but sure enough, Vince Young gave Tennessee a spark. And now they're on a mini-roll; ride 'em, against a Buffalo team that just hasn't found its stride.

Baltimore 10.5 over CLEVELAND. PICK: RAVENS. Baltimore will need this game to get back in the playoff hunt. Brady Quinn will start for the Browns; well did that work for them earlier this season? Not well.