Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 2nd

I waited a little longer this week, but here are LOCKS (blam!) of the Week.

This week I want to get an assist from the NFL schedule for picks.  We have a huge array of ranked College Teams facing each other, and since the matchups are so close, it was tough to really feel confident about many of these teams.  For me, even Alabama (-7) at Ole Miss didn't seem like enough of a LOCK for me despite my complete confidence that the Tide will win the game.  It all boils down to Lane Kiffin and his dopey offense.. it's done well so far, but I'm curious to see what it's going to do against another ranked team.  Tune in and see!

So, with some NFL point spreads that really jumped out at me, I have this week's LOCKS... we'll cover the NFL games first here we go.

Packers -8.5 vs Vikings:  Bridgewater is looking more and more like he won't start the game.  Interestingly, the line opened as "Packers -9" and that probably occurred just after the Vikings' last game against Atlanta.   Bridgewater was carted off the field with what we believe is an ankle injury and it didn't look good, but there was some optimism as the week advanced for Ole Teddy.  Unfortunately it doesn't look like he will play, so the Packers at home will have another pretty big offensive night, or expect to.  Rodgers found his groove last week in Chicago, and I'm expecting more of the same with the Pack's wide open spread offense.   What interests me most tonight is whether Eddie Lacy will have more of a say offensively.  He improved last week, but he's off to a slow start to say the least.

Falcons +4 at Giants:  It was impossible to say no to this.  How could the Giants, who have just a terrible defense, have suddenly been rated this highly after a mere two wins?   Two games against Washington (terrible) and Houston (also terrible) apparently was enough to swing the point spread into New York's favor?   The Falcons struggle on the road, no doubt, but it's still a very potent offense and even as much as they lost at Minnesota last week, they were able to really run the ball and score points.   Eli would be good for at least 1-2 interceptions, and I simply think the Giants are extremely overrated in this game.   The Falcons will play much better than they did against a new QB a week ago; Falcons +4 all the way.

Ravens +3.5 at Colts:   The Colts may look good on paper, but they're beating up on some very weak teams.  Jacksonville one week, Tennessee the next (yep, I blew that one!  I really thought they'd be good).   The Ravens had a dogfight with Cincy that they lost, but they also have been incredibly dominant defensively against Carolina and Pittsburgh.  It's tougher to explain the Browns game, but I really thought the Ravens would win the game this weekend over in Indianapolis.  THEN, I saw that they were getting 3.5 points, this was a layup.  The Colts defense still doesn't impress me, and even with a shaky QB, I think the Ravens can put together a win.  Steve Smith really wanted to show up his old team a week ago... maybe he carries over some of that performance into Lucas Oil Stadium too!

Now to the college games... it was tough to seek out some winners but I kinda like these calls:

Texas A&M -2.5 vs Mississippi State:   And let's be honest here.  The hype for Mississippi State comes from two games -- one bowl win against RICE, and a stunning blowout upset of LSU at the Bayou.  Two stinkin' games... now great performances both, but not enough of a sample size for me to say Mississippi State is a big time team.   I would concede that the Bulldogs play much better offensively and that's in big part due to rising star Dak Prescott.  But, over on the other side, you get another rising star, Kenny Hill, picking up right where Johnny Manziel left off for A&M.  So far they've had some tough tests and passed them both.   They probably shouldn't have won the game against Arkansas.   With that said, Sumlin and co. have the better overall track record and let's not forget, a much tougher schedule so far in '14:  South Carolina, and Arkansas, and maybe even Rice to an extent.  Mississippi State played Southern Miss, UAB, and South Alabama before beating LSU and getting a week off.   Call me nuts but I'll go with the better coach and the more seasoned program.  A&M -2.5 even on the road.

and lastly a personal favorite pick of mine for the weekend...

Michigan +3 at Rutgers:   Never in any context would we have seen a perennial past-powerhouse like Michigan getting points on the road on a borderline FBS team, let alone Big Ten team, like Rutgers.  Then we saw the Wolverines lose big-time to Minnesota at home.   It just can't get any worse for the Maize and Blue, but while that's all true, it seems a little ridiculous to be giving points to Rutgers against a big ten opponent.  Both teams can struggle to score against big competition, but I also think this game proves to be a fun moment for this writer.   There are really only two outcomes and both of them I'll enjoy -- either Michigan wins the game and the pick hits, or they lose and get embarrassed.   One of my favorite picks of the year, I can't lose!

There you have it, five games this week.  three NFL and two NCAA.   Here's to a great weekend!

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