Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: November 13th

A short week!  Time for an new edition of

Dave's (clank)
LOCKS (rrrrrrrr)
of the Week (fwap!)

Honestly, I couldn't come up with many games at all on this week's schedule.  Here are some of the ideas I *was* going to go with:

  • Pick Florida State to cover a 30+ point spread.  I considered it, but there's too much of an element of the "intentional mush" involved.  It also seemed silly to  hinge LOCKS on the mere fact that all of these teams are rolling.  Florida State seemed like the strongest play against Syracuse (they're *bad*), but then I looked at Syracuse's schedule and they hung around a lot of these games.   Florida State was favored by 40, then eventually 38.  It still seems like a tough call.   FSU really is that good, but if the Orange score even 10 points, the 38 point spread is severely threatened.  I stayed away.
  • Pick USC to cover at home against Stanford.  It was going to be a great plan UNTIL I learned the Stanford Cardinal are favored by only 4 points.   With only 4 points between them, I had to just let the situation play out.  I feel pretty confident about USC, even to the point where I can imagine them winning the game, but as a LOCK?  No go.
  • Pick Green Bay to cover +6.5 at the Giants.   Packers w/ a backup QB at the Meadowlands… it could be a very interesting game, and probably a closer game than we think but GB with a backup QB going against a Giants team that's been all-out unpredictable (although pretty lousy the whole time) is a tough decision.  LOCKS are easy decisions.  
So let's go!  Time to check out LOCKS and see who's best.

We'll go with the #MACtion to start us off.   Look at the two teams who play tonight:  Ball State vs Illinois.  I will admit, I don't actually know a whole lot about either team, but I do know this:  against common opponents, all of their games had similar scores.  VERY similar, even down to the actual number of points scored and points allowed.   It would seem to be that tonight's game is a showdown.  Ball State is a 9.5 point underdog and we'll take the points, even at Northern Illinois.    Ball State +9.5 at NIU.

Next, we go to Illinois and take a *rare* Dave Big Ten Favorite with Ohio State.  Ohio State has proven enough over the year that they can succeed against the spread.   You look at the Illini, and they are a sad sack.  Even Michigan State can run up the score against them.   Ohio State and the Buckeyes come off a bye week and in the last month they destroyed every team they faced in the Big Ten.   This week, they go to Champaign in a game that I think is a layup.  I have Ohio State giving 33 and taking care of business.  Ohio State -33 at Illinois.

Lastly, we head to Mississippi State and ROLL TIDE with Alabama.  The Tide are 25 point favorites on the road, and the spread seems very manageable.  Not much more to say, other than the fact that Mississippi State is pretty weak, overall.  I grant you that they kept pace with A&M a week ago, but that's due to A&M's porous defense.   Alabama -25 at Mississippi State.

Next to the NFL…

Only two games to select in the 'L this week.  The first of these comes from the Superdome.  The Saints are remarkably only a 3.5 point favorite against the visiting 49ers.  I'm a little puzzled at the size of the spread.  Less than 4 points?  The rest of the year, the Saints were at least a touchdown favorite in home games.  I wonder what they know that we don't know.  In the meanwhile, we'll take the Saints, pending the status of SF's Eric Reid and Vernon Davis.  Saints -3.5 at home.

Lastly, another odd looking potential trap bet with the Panthers giving only 1.5 at home against the Patriots on Monday Night Football.  The Panthers may be the favorite, but quite a lot of people took the Patriots in bets so far this week.  I love the Panthers defense -- they tackle well, cover receivers well, and bring a good rush on the passer.  Why, I wonder, are most bettors more confident in the Patriots?  Is it the name brand value?  Is it Vegas almost asking guys to give the points, and many sniffing it out?  Is it the fact that the Panthers may have peaked?  Is it the fact that the Panthers struggle to score points against decent defensive teams, which the Patriots are?  Is it the fact that the Pats are bound for a win since "they always win 10-12 games a year"?  It's effectively a battle between past history and current talent.  I'll take the current talent.  Panthers -1.5 at home on Monday Night.

Here's the recap:  Ball State +9.5 at NIU; Ohio State -33 at Illinois; Alabama -25 at Mississippi State; Saints -3.5 at home; Panthers -1.5 at home.

No comments: