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.
Baylor, Oregon and Florida suffer embarrassing losses
Where are all of the so-called “experts” who said Baylor would “crush” teams like Ohio State? We’ve seen this before with Oregon. Running up the score against weak competition just because you run a no-huddle offense through the whole game means nothing when you’re facing better teams. It’s particularly true when you face more physical defenses.
Baylor was embarrassed last night by Oklahoma State. After this game they shouldn’t even be in the top ten, let alone in the discussion for the BCS.
Meanwhile, the arrogant Oregon Ducks got embarrassed as well by RichRod’s Arizona team after several Oregon players said that the Rose Bowl was beneath them. Where will they go now? The Tangerine Bowl?
Finally, the once-mighty Florida Gators managed to lose at home to an FCS team in Georgia Southern.
Which team should be most embarrassed today?
College Football Week 13, NFL Week 12 Free Picks
Missouri vs. Ole Miss, 7:45PM ET
Some pundits didn’t expect Mizzou to win six games this season and now the Tigers are knocking on the door of playing in the SEC championship game. They have two more hurdles to overcome, however, as they need to beat Ole Miss on Saturday night and then Texas A&M in their final game of the regular season. Fortunately their starting quarterback James Franklin is set to return from injury to take the place of redshirt freshman Maty Mauk, who filled in admirably while Franklin was out with a shoulder injury. Before he was knocked out of a win against Georgia earlier this season, Franklin was completing 67.7 percent of his passes and was one of the top quarterbacks in the nation from a statistical standpoint. One mismatch that Franklin can take advantage of is the one-on-one issues that the Tigers’ receivers will give the Rebels’ cornerbacks. L’Damian Washington stands 6’4″ while future NFL prospect Dorial Green-Beckham is 6’6″ and Marcus Lucas is 6’5″. Conversely, Ole Miss’ starting corners are 5’9″ (Senquez Golson) and 5’8″ (Mike Hilton). As long as Mizzou’s stout defense can limit Bo Wallace’s ability to freelance and connect for big plays, they should win.
FREE PICK: MISSOURI -2.5
Oregon vs. Arizona, 3:30PM ET
Oregon is back on track to being the top seed from the Pac-12 and it knows style points will count tomorrow in Arizona. The Wildcats, meanwhile, have failed to cover in three straight games and are coming off a lifeless performance versus Washington State last week. The Ducks are 12-2 against the spread in their last 14 road games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 conference games. Arizona doesn’t have the hosses up front to dominant Oregon in the trenches. These are the types of matchups where the Ducks thrive.
FREE PICK: OREGON -20.5
Cowboys vs. Giants, 4:25PM ET
The Giants have won four straight but take a look at the quarterbacks they beat during that stretch: Josh Freeman, who didn’t know the playbook, Nick Foles before he became Nick Foles, a hobbled Terrelle Pryor and then Scott Tolzien last Sunday. Not exactly a Murderer’s Row of signal-callers. Granted, the Cowboys’ defense has been brutal under Monte Kiffin this season but Eli Manning hasn’t been sharp himself. The Cowboys are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games following a straight up loss and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Take the dog.
FREE PICK: COWBOYS +1
Panthers vs. Dolphins, 1:00PM ET
There isn’t a team hotter right now in the NFL than the Carolina Panthers, which is why they’re probably due for a letdown. They’re coming off back-to-back wins versus the 49ers on the road, and the Patriots at home on Monday night. Seeing as how they’re coming off a short week and now have to make the trip down to Miami, this is a perfect time to fade the Panthers. The Dolphins have been a mess both on and off the field over the past three weeks but they picked up a nice home win last week against the Chargers and are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games versus the Panthers.
FREE PICK: DOLPHINS +4
Posted in: College Football
Tags: Arizona Wildcats, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, college football free picks, Dallas Cowboys, free picks, Missouri Tigers, New York Giants, nfl free picks, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks
Texas loses running back Jonathan Gray for rest of season
I interviewed Jonathan Gray last year as he accepted the award for the Gatorade High School Player of the Year. He was a great kid and based on his high school career Texas fans had every reason to be excited. He exploded this year in his sophomore season with 790 yards and a 4.9 YPC average. His running helped Mack Brown and Texas salvage a season that looked like a potential disaster.
Unfortunately, Gray suffered a right Achilles injury that will require surgery and he is lost for the season. Texas also lost defensive tackle Chris Whaley for the season as well. Hopefully both players will recover fully for next season.