Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Madness!! A large array of picks.

Well folks... we are taking the kamikaze movement and going heavy with games this weekend.   LOCKS of the Week are included here plus some other picks.  NINE games total:

Maryland +11
Mississippi State -14.5   (this one burns me because it changed from 14 pts to 14.5 at the last second)
Michigan State -17.5
Stars/Islanders over
Wings/Flyers over
Penguins/Preds over
SF Giants -115 (Vogelsong vs Vargas)
Saints -1
Redskins +10

If this goes really south, you are reading the last post ever on LOCKS of the Week.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 8 NFL Picks: October 24th

In the league where they play………………………………..  for pay. 

Mike went a spectacular 6-0 last week, bringing his season total to 18-9-1 (no matter what he says).   Now, he has a golden opportunity to extend his streak and build upon an already great season record.  Here are his picks for NFL Week 8:

Jets -3 vs Bills
Chiefs -7 vs Rams
Ravens [pickem] at Bengals
Packers +1 at Saints

I will add though... just when you feel like you can trust the Ravens, that's when they let EVERYBODY down.   Something to watch for going into this weekend.  Flacco in particular -- you never know what you're gonna get.   Provocative!   Good luck to Mike's picks for NFL Week 7.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 23rd

And now time for a big edition of our LOCKS (boink) of the Week!

I promised it a few days ago... this week we have a lot of games, and when I say a lot of games, I mean "we have a lot of games."   Let's start:

First from the Pros, we have the Chargers +8 at Denver.   This is a matchup the Chargers used well to their advantage last year, albeit later in the season.  They were also getting over a touchdown in points at Mile High and the Bolts won outright.  I also think it's odd to think of the Broncos winning a divisional game against another good QB by so many points.   On the other hand, it feels like a trap.   Nonetheless, the movement of the line from 7.5 points earlier in the week to 8 suggests many people want to take the Broncos.  That makes me feel pretty confident about this one.  Rivers should be ready to go after an off game against KC.   You may see some big plays from Malcolm Floyd this time around, and while the Broncos have a great run defense, it won't affect this game as the Chargers don't run the ball that much to begin with.

Next!  We have the Packers visiting the Saints.  The Packers are the better team here, but I also think they're due for a minor let down after a monster performance against Carolina.  The Saints had a tough loss at Detroit, and they are now 2-5.  Something has to give, and the Saints are bound to have a big game at home.   Brees hasn't been completely awful of late, and I think he'll spread the ball around much like the Packers do.  I haven't seen anyone really take advantage of GB's secondary, but that will change at the Superdome.   Saints -1 in a virtual pick'em vs Green Bay.

Lastly from the pros, we have a goofy pick: I like the Redskins +10 at Dallas.  This really makes no sense at all.  The Redskins are one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL and they have struggled  defensively against good or even mediocre quarterbacks.   Their QB situation itself is brutal.   They went from RG3 (hurt) to Kirk Cousins (ineffective) to Colt McCoy.   A perennial NFL backup retread against the league's hottest team, I don't like that matchup for Washington.   HOWEVER -- it remains that the Cowboys consistently don't cover at home when favored by ten or more points.  There's no other real reason to take the Redskins, other than the usual nonsense about what a big "rivalry game" it is.   Over time, I've found the games to be pretty close anyway.  Much closer than we'd expect in some years.  There were years where the Redskins had no right to compete that year, yet, you had a game within a touchdown in the fourth quarter.   All the value will be on D.C.'s side, Redskins +10 at Dallas.

Now to College Football.   I enjoy my Saturdays a little more when I have that 9am game to watch with a little juice involved.   This time around, that game is Maryland at Wisconsin.   Once again, the Badgers scheduled 5 tomato cans in a row, seemingly all at home, to give people a fake undefeated record, then played the real teams and fell short.   It's happening again this year, and after losing to Northwestern, Wisconsin isn't really a serious contender.   In a twist -- the Badgers had LSU on the ropes, only to *lose* late in the fourth quarter.  Then, we came to find out, LSU really isn't that good this year, but they have been getting better since that early September game.  Wisconsin, on the other hand, looks pretty weak of late.  This week, they play Maryland, a pretty good offensive team with a full head of steam.  Maryland isn't really the kind of team that can hold a lead, but they are usually pretty good at scoring points.    I like Maryland and their quick paced offense because they played a team similar to Wisconsin earlier in the year: Indiana.   Back then, the Hoosiers sported Tevin Coleman, a terrific running back and a big part of their offense, and it wasn't nearly enough in a 37-15 home loss.   The Badgers also are big on running, their star is Melvin Gordon and he too is the real deal, but that's just it.  The Badgers have had a tradition of running the ball but there's not much else to work with.   Passing from Wisconsin is so-so, and eventually I think the Terps will catch up with them in this game.   Maryland's done a fine job so far fitting in with the Big Ten.  Here's to a good game - Maryland +11 at Wisconsin

Next in College, two big favorites I couldn't resist.   We'll start with Michigan State -17.5 vs Michigan.  No one has been more dominant at home against weak teams than Michigan State.  With that said, they looked pretty shaky against Nebraska, but perhaps the Huskers are better than we imagined.   This time, the Spartans take on the reeling Michigan Wolverines who can't score to save their lives most of the time.   My only hesitation was on the line getting lower, but it didn't happen.  Nevertheless, we'll go Michigan State, coming off a blowout of Indiana on the road.

Finally, I have Mississippi State -14.5 at Kentucky.  I was waiting all week for the line to come down, but instead it actually went *up* to -14.5 from -14.  Very disappointing, but we'll take the game anyway.   Kentucky is 5-2, but none of those wins were against quality opponents.   They also had a terrible outcome against LSU, where they lose 41-3 at Baton Rouge.   While UK is at home, they're also playing the best defense/QB combination they faced so far.   It took me a while to buy into Dak Prescott's offense, but they locked down Auburn and embarrassed LSU on their field.  What more could you want?  The only thing keeping them back is either an unprepared-ness for the Wildcats' Air Raid offense, or a simple action of playing down to their opponent.   Usually in college, the best defense can circumvent or limit the "let down game."   It's hard to say though, that's why the SEC is so tough!   We'll take our chances.  Mississippi State to give the points.

Quick update:  I also have selected UConn +28.5 at ECU.  This isn't a LOCK of the Week, but it does seem like an awful lot of points to be getting against ECU.  ECU beat UNC 70-41, but nonetheless I figure the score will be just a point or two lower than 29 this time out.

So!  On this busy football weekend we have six picks:

Chargers +8
Saints -1
Redskins +10
Maryland +11
Michigan State -17.5
Mississippi State -14.5

Incredibly disappointing that the Bulldogs line isn't lower.   It seems to me that they will win by right around 13, 14, or 15 points.  We'll have to see!   Here's to a good weekend in football.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Kids Club" Podcast Football Picks - Week 8: October 22nd

Here are the Week 8 picks from the "Kids Club" as delivered on the @ditcow podcast!

The theme of the week was "17.5" as in the many 17.5 point favorites that were chosen for college football this week.  We'll list the picks plus each person's season record, and we start with John:

John in CT (11-17) 
Nebraska -17.5 vs Rutgers
Oklahoma State -1 vs West Virginia
Lions -4 vs Falcons
Jets -3 vs Bills

Andy in Seattle (11-16-1) 
Oregon -17.5 vs Cal at Levi's Stadium
Auburn -17.5 vs South Carolina
Patriots -6 vs Bears
Colts -3 at Steelers

Say Hello to Ottis (14-13-1) 
Alabama -17.5 at Tennessee
Michigan St. -17.5 vs Michigan
Bears +6 at Patriots
Seahawks -5.5 at Panthers

Ron in NJ (13-14-1) 
Mississippi St. -13.5 at Kentucky
Ole Miss -3.5 at LSU
Bengals -1 vs Ravens
Packers +1.5 at Saints

Some of these picks are pretty bold... we'll see how they all do over the weekend.  Good luck to the picks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mike Francesa's NFL Week 7 Results: A *perfect* 6-0! 18-9-1 this year.


Mike Francesa went a perfect 6-0 for the NFL Week 7 predictions, and with the perfect week his season total is 18-9-1.   A masterful effort by Mike this year and bear in mind: he started 0-3!  So, here are the picks and the outcomes:

Mike hit with: Colts, Ravens, Vikings, Chiefs, Cardinals, Steelers
Mike missed with: [none]

That's why he's number one, folks.

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 7 Results: John + Andy both go 3-1, Division Standings tighten

John and Andy both needed a nice rebound and they got it with their respective 3-1 weeks.   Ron was not as lucky, with the Colorado State game in particular burning him, and Oat Man held at 2-2.  The picks were pretty well designated so the group as a whole now is closer to one another in the standings.  John wins the week, owning the better overall record and most individual week wins.  Busy day at the office so we'll just give you the straight results:

John in CT (3-1) 
Hit with: Kansas State, Ravens, Jaguars
Missed with: Louisville

Andy in Seattle (3-1) 
Hit with: Duke, Arizona State, Cowboys
Missed with: Chargers

Say Hello to Ottis (2-2) 
Hit with: Ole Miss, Broncos
Missed with: Baylor, Patriots

Ron in NJ (1-3) 
Hit with: Missouri
Missed with: Colorado State, Bears, Seahawks

and here are the standings after 7 weeks:

Ottis: 14-13-1
Ron: 13-14-1
Andy: 11-16-1
John: 11-17

On to Week 8!  It's getting intense with this competition.

Monday, October 20, 2014

LOCKS of the Week go 0-2: Season total is 9-16

It was a disaster this week, but anticipating said disaster we were keen to limit participation to two games:

Interestingly, the game we didn't use, Jaguars +6, hit in a big way.  The Jags won the game outright!  But, officially these are our results:  0-2 for two NFL picks and 9-16 for the season.

Hit with: [none]
Missed with: Bengals, Giants

I think the simple fact is, both of these teams *stink.*   I'm glad they lost, and it serves them right getting overhyped like they do and then doing nothing when you expect them to.

We're starting to run out of weeks!  I can only hope we find a way back to .500 and we're looking at some pretty juicy matchups to use for LOCKS next week.   We may include quite a few games, more than you've seen before.  Stay with us and we'll provide some future winners.