Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 10th

Here comes another spooky pick-set on

Dave's (Howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl)
of the Week (aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!)

Games are getting closer, and intensity is getting tighter in the College Football world... it's tough to find *any* locks really, but if there's one team we can count on it's GOOD OLE CAL.   Cal used to be one of the overhyped teams of the Pac 12.  Today, they are what they are, simply terrible.  It doesn't even matter who it is... Oregon, Ohio State, whatever, they can't win.  They can't even cover.  Now they'll be on the road at UCLA.   It's interesting that the Bruins get a point spread under 30 for this game, as I thought it'd be higher, so it'd seem like a pretty easy pick to make.  We'll take the Bruins watch them roar louder than the Golden Bears, whose night should *not* be so golden.   UCLA -24.5 at home.

Also on the schedule, Baylor is on the road at Kansas State.   Generally speaking, I find Baylor to be a far superior team to K-State, but the Wildcats have shown some heart recently, including a gutty performance against Oklahoma State on the road, losing by only 3.   To put KSU behind the 8 ball as a 17.5 point dog at HOME is a little out there.  If they were ranked, this decision would be even easier but even though Baylor scored 70+ points in their last three games, I'm still not agreeing with the line.  I like K-State to make a little of a game of it at home.  K-State +17.5 at home.

One more from College:   Ole Miss proved to be virtually worthless at home against Auburn of all teams.   If they can't compete against Auburn, what on earth are they going to do against a spread offense and Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M?   You never truly know how the middle of the SEC does in these games, but to see A&M just a 6 point fave, even on the road, makes me lean towards the Aggies.  We'll go with Texas A&M by a touchdown plus.   A&M -6 at Mississippi.

Now, just to clarify, I still don't think A&M is that great this year, but their offense definitely comes to play.   A&M should eventually fall somewhere along the line (in addition to the Alabama game), but it won't be here.

Now to the pros... here are my NFL LOCKS of the Week:

First thing's first.  I want to get this one out of the way because it just feels like a layup.  The Jets are giving a mere 2.5 to Pittsburgh *at home.*   Let me tell you all why I think the Jets are a winner against the Steelers.

Number 1: The Jets are younger.  Most of their defensive players are younger than their Steeler counterparts.  Geno Smith, their QB, is much younger and healthier than Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Number 2: The Jets are hungrier.   The Jets really had something to prove against the Atlanta last week, and you could really see it in their eyes that they WANTED this win.  I feel the same way about them against the Steelers, in a showcase game on CBS.  Nantz and Simms, I believe, will be covering the game for the Eye.  There's something about the showcase game, be it 4:25 games, Thursday Night, or Monday Night, that brings out the best in the Jets.  At home?  Their fans are going to be PUMPED.

Number 3: The Jets have a plan.   Can you believe I'm saying this?  It's true!  They have a general outline of how to go about the season.  They know their defense can come through for them.  They can from time to time get a pass rush.  They're still pretty decent in pass coverage.  Geno Smith also seems to be a much better decision maker thus far than former starter Marc Sanchez, but bear in mind, he's a rookie.  We saw him get served at Tennessee too.  The Jets try not to do too much or get cute with their passing game.  It's not always pretty but they seem to have an identity now.  We'll see if it holds in Week 6.

One other note... the Jets are 2-0 in home games so far against the spread.   So with all of that, I'm going Jets -2.5 at home.

Up next, we go to Seattle to see the Seahawks after a tough home loss to the Colts a week ago.   One might think the Hawks are suddenly vulnerable, but I don't see it that way.  This is a classic case of "don't overthink it."  The Seahawks are at home following a loss, they'll be very motivated, and they're going to go play against Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Watch the interceptions fly!   The Hawks should be an easy -13.5 point cover against the Titans who have an admittedly good defense themselves.   Seahawks -13.5 at home.

Lastly, we head to Gillette to see the Patriots and Saints make a close shave of it.  Usually you don't want to take a game with a line of 3 or less, but I feel like bounceback wins are a signature move in the NFL.   I like the Saints.  I think they're terrific, and I really like what they bring offensively and Rob Ryan's improved 3-4 defense.   HOWEVER, the Saints are due for a loss and NE is due for a win, and I think Brady will want to avenge his dismal performance at Cincinnati a week ago.   Bolden returned last week, and Steven Ridley will also return this week to bolster the offense.  The Saints defense won't be as effective against a smarter team like the Pats, but I think the game will still be close.  I'll go NE by a field goal:  Patriots -2.5 at home.

ANOTHER tough week to make picks!  But we like our chances here on LOCKS.  To summarize:  UCLA -24.5 at home; K-State +17.5 at home; Texas A&M -6 at Mississippi; Jets -2.5 at home; Seahawks -13.5 at home; Patriots -2.5 at home.

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