College Football Week 15, NFL Week 14 Free Picks
SEC Championship Game, 4:00PM ET
Both Missouri and Auburn were predicted to finish near the bottom of their respective divisions in the SEC and yet both shocked the masses by meeting in the SEC title game. Even though this is an even matchup, all anyone can talk about is Auburn after the Tigers pulled off the upset over Alabama last Saturday. A very underrated Mizzou team isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Dorial Green-Beckham and L’Damian Washington create mismatch problems against Auburn’s smaller defensive backs, and Mizzou owns one of the most balanced offenses in the nation led by proficient QB James Franklin. On the other side, Auburn’s rushing attack has been a headache for opponents all season, which includes Alabama and its stout front seven last weekend. That said, Mizzou has an athletic front seven capable of stretching out Auburn’s ground attack and at least limiting its effect. Mizzou won’t be able to contain Auburn because nobody has. But if it can build a lead with its passing game and force Auburn to be somewhat one-dimensional, Mizzou will win this game. Mizzou is 4-0 against the spread in its last four conference games, 13-3-1 ATS in its last 17 games overall, and 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games following an ATS win.
FREE PICK: MISSOURI +1
Big Ten Championship Game, 8:17PM ET
Based on Michigan State’s vastly underrated defense, many expect this game to be low-scoring. But Ohio State struggled with Michigan’s offense last week despite Devin Gardner’s regression all season. Yes, you can throw out the records when Ohio State and Michigan meet. Thus, it wasn’t shocking that the Wolverines hung with the Buckeyes on their home turf last week. But what was surprising is that Gardner put on a show and a Michigan offense that hadn’t been firing on all cylinders in over a month racked up 41 points on the Buckeyes. Despite Michigan State’s success this season defensively, Braxton Miller and that Ohio State offense will get theirs in the end. Granted, the Big Ten has only held two championship games in its existence. But both games sailed over the total as Wisconsin edged Michigan State 42-39 in 2011 and the Badgers thumped Nebraska 70-31 last year. Look for more fireworks on Saturday night at Lucas Oil.
FREE PICK: OVER 51.5
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, 12:00PM ET
The only reason this contest could wind up being close is because its a rivalry game and the Sooners’ defense should keep things interesting, at least at the start. But Oklahoma’s offense has been punchless in big games this season, unless you consider its 38-point outburst over an overrated Texas Tech team back in October. The Sooners could only muster 12 points versus Baylor in early November and scored 20 in a 36-20 loss to Texas in mid-October. If Oklahoma State’s offense is firing on all cylinders, this one should get ugly in the second half. The Cowboys are 6-0 against the spread in their last six conference games and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Look for OK State to roll.
FREE PICK: OKLAHOMA STATE -10
Panthers vs. Saints, 8:30PM ET
The Saints were embarrassed in Seattle on Monday night so look for Sean Payton’s squad to come out fired up with first place in the NFC South up for grabs on Sunday night. Carolina’s defense is criminally underrated but New Orleans’ offense operates at another level at home compared to on the road. Payton is a more aggressive play-caller, Drew Brees is a more accurate passer, and the skill position players are usually unstoppable in their one-on-one matchups. The Saints are 21-6 against the spread in their last 27 home games and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games versus a team with a winning road record. The only reason the spread has been set as low as it has is because New Orleans played so poorly on a national stage last Monday. The Saints represent value.
FREE PICK: SAINTS -3
Posted in: College Football, NFL
Tags: Auburn Tigers, Carolina Panthers, college football free picks, Drew Brees, Football Free Betting Picks, free picks, Free Picks betting, Missouri Tigers, New Orleans Saints, nfl free picks, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys
The best and worst of college football
Yesterday was an epic day in college football. On rivalry Saturday, Auburn won the Iron Bowl in stunning fashion as a last-second field goal try by Alabama was returned for a touchdown. It was one of those jaw-dropping plays that will be replayed and remembered forever.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, another legendary rivalry game also produced an instant classic, as Michigan’s Brady Hoke decided to go for two at the end of the game, leaving Michigan with an unforgettable 42-41 loss against their bitter rivals in The Game.
Unfortunately, one of the greatest days in college football history immediately led to the inevitable and idiotic debate of who is more deserving of a spot in the National Championship game. What should be happening is both Ohio State and Auburn celebrating a spot in a playoff with these wins (assuming they win next week). The same is true of Missouri.
Instead we have to argue whether an undefeated Big Ten team should be jumped by a one-loss Auburn team. I have strong opinions about this, mostly because I’m biased. Auburn had a great miracle win against Alabama, but they also had a fluke Hail Mary win on their resume as well, while Ohio State has won 24 straight games!
But everyone is biased when it comes to this debate. Surely SEC fans have an argument that a one-loss SEC team deserves a chance to play for the national title. Still, if the SEC is so dominant, why is Missouri in the SEC title game?
Some will claim they aren’t biased and can make a logical argument for their position. But it’s just a subjective determination! College football will be forever tainted as long as opinion trumps the notion of deciding a champion on the field. The winners of the five power conferences should automatically go to a playoff. We can have some spot for at-large teams based on a committee, but winning a conference championship should put you in a playoff so you have a chance to measure yourself against another conference winner. This notion of winners playing other winners for the chance to call yourself a champion rules every other sport, other than Division I college football.
Today, we should be looking forward to possible playoff matches, and any argument between Ohio State and Auburn/Missouri fans could ultimately be settled the way it should be – by playing games. But we’re left with an absolute mess.
Mike Tomlin should be suspended for Jacoby Jones play
This is totally ridiculous, and Mike Tomlin should be suspended by the NFL. His argument that he just made a mistake in not getting out of the way of Jacoby Jones until Jones had to adjust his path is not believable. Anything like this that directly impacts the integrity of the game needs to be taken seriously by the NFL. A fine is not enough. Tomlin should be suspended for one game.
Marisa Miller is a 49ers fan!
Not surprisingly, she looks pretty damn hot in this Niners jersey she posted on Twitter.
Why Antonio Brown Deserves More Attention
In 2010, Antonio Brown was a 6th round pick out of Central Michigan University, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his rookie year Brown had only 16 receptions for 167 yards. Next year he broke through, establishing his presence as a threat on this offense, catching 69 passes for 1108 yards and returning punts for 325 yards and one touchdown. At 5’10″ tall and 186 lbs he’s not ideal for a wide receiver in the NFL. But that hasn’t seemed to stop him yet. Through 10 games this year, he has had 74 receptions for 952 yards and five touchdowns. He also has returned 18 punts for 236 yards this season.
On the September 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Brown was targeted only three time in the first half with two catches for 35 yards. He was targeted only six times in the second half. Could the Steelers 4 and 6 record be due to the lack of passes in Browns direction? Rumors have said that during the second half of Sunday’s game against the Bengals, Brown confronted his offensive coordinator on the side lines complaining he wasn’t getting enough chances to make plays. Although there was no video footage of the incident, the pattern of the game indicated something was off.
As one of the highest paid players on the team with a consistent high percentage of the catches made, one would think Brown would be getting more, or as many passes thrown his way than his fellow starter Emmanuel Sanders. Brown is indeed a top quality receiver. Nobody disputes that Brown is a play maker, possibly the team’s best receiver. Brown always seems to find a way to make those great, athletic catches against some of the game’s best corners.
According to sports news from YouWin, Brown is establishing himself as one of the best route runners in the NFL and he is only getting better. With his 452 yards, Brown is on pace to break Yancey Thigpen’s 16-year-old team record and is also in the running for Hines Ward’s 11-year-old record of 112 catches in a season. If Brown can manage his current pace, he’ll be on track to finish the year with 118 receptions and over 1,500 yards.
Brown’s role as punt returner isn’t too bad either. He has a 13.1 yard return average and is ranked fourth highest in the NFL. Keeping this pace, he will end the season with another career high mark. Brown is a well rounded player who has many years of stardom ahead of him. While Brown continues to be one of the more electric players on the Steelers roster, he is becoming a very powerful force on the team. Although Brown my only have five touchdowns so far this year, he is still very valued on the grid iron. One reason for his lack of touchdowns is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has several options to choose from.
The Steelers aren’t the strongest team when it comes to offense, but Brown’s persistence and hustle on the field shows off his excellent ability and all-around play making qualities, that not only make him an asset to his team but also a player you can count on to make the plays when needed.