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College Football Week 5, NFL Week 4 Free Picks

Mississippi vs. Alabama, 6:30PM ET
Alabama doesn’t look as dominant as it has in year’s past, and bettors have taken notice. The spread in this game has been bet down from one key number of 17, to another key number in 14. The Rebels have fared well against the Tide, covering in all four of their last four meetings with ‘Bama in Tuscaloosa. They’re also 6-2 against the spread in their last eight meetings overall with the Tide, while the road team is 5-0 against the number in the last five meetings between these two teams. Ole Miss has a balanced offensive attack thanks to quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti, who is a running threat. The Rebels enter tonight’s game with plenty of confidence and should stay within two touchdowns of a Tide team that didn’t look sharp defensively two weeks ago versus A&M.
FREE PICK: OLE MISS +14

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, 8:00PM ET
The Buckeyes have been flat-out dominant in their first three games and own the fourth-highest scoring offense in the country (52.5 points). But Braxton Miller is set to return tonight following a sprained left MCL injury suffered a few weeks ago. Rust might be a factor in the early going, which could give Wisconsin confidence for the rest of the game. The underdog is 10-3 against the spread in the last 13 meetings between these two teams and the Badgers are 4-0 against the number in their last four games overall. They’re also 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 conference games and have rushed for 387 yards or more in three of their four games. Look for Wisconsin to give Ohio State its first challenge of the season.
FREE PICK: WISCONSIN +6.5

Bengals vs. Browns, 1:00PM ET
The Bengals are coming off two emotional victories against Pittsburgh and Green Bay, and now has to travel to Cleveland and play a team in the Browns that they’re expected to beat. There’s always value in the home underdog, especially one in Cleveland that shocked bettors a week ago by beating Minnesota outright as a 6.5-point dog. The line in this game has been bet down from 5 to 3.5 despite the public siding with Cincinnati. The underdog is 10-1-1 against the spread in the last 12 meetings between these two teams and the Bengals are just 2-5-1 against the number in their last eight games versus the Browns. Look for a confident Cleveland team behind Brian Hoyer to keep this game within a field goal.
FREE PICK: BROWNS +3.5

Seahawks vs. Texans, 1:00PM ET
The Seahawks look every bit a Super Bowl contender in the early going. They suffered no letdown last Sunday when they thumped a brutal Jacksonville team a week after crushing division rival San Francisco on Sunday Night Football. But the Seahawks have never been a team that travels well and the Texans are licking their wounds after being embarrassed in Baltimore last week. Houston knows it can’t afford to fall behind in the AFC South, especially with Indianapolis playing Jacksonville this week. Look for the underdog Texans to win outright as a small home dog.
FREE PICK: TEXANS +1

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Great weekend to tailgate in Columbus

Ok – every weekend is great for tailgating at a major college football game, and Columbus ranks up there as one of the most iconic college football spots in the nation.

But this past weekend was particularly good, as the Ohio State Buckeyes had their backs up against the wall versus the Purdue Boilermakers, a team that has given the Buckeyes fits in recent years.

The Buckeyes were 8 points down late in the game, and their star quarterback, Braxton Miller, was on his way to the hospital for an injury he suffered in the third quarter. But backup quarterback Kenny Guiton found some magic in the past minute to miraculously tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion, and then led the Buckeyes to the win in overtime. I wish I was there.

Well, Jerod Morris was there courtesy of La Quinta to enjoy the game and all the tailgating leading up to it. Check out his diary of a very fun 36 hours.

Join Bullz-Eye tonight for their Ohio State vs. Michigan Twitter Party

Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein yells to his players during the first half of their Big Ten men’s NCAA basketball tournament quarterfinal game against the Illinois Illini in Indianapolis March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Brent Smith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Want to talk college hoops while also having an opportunity to win some cool prizes? Then join Bullz-Eye.com tonight as they team up with Infiniti and The Bachelor Guy to host a Twitter party during the Ohio State-Michigan game at 9:00PM ET!

Infiniti is a proud corporate partner of NCAA Men’s Basketball and as part of their partnership they are hosting the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge. How you can enter to win prizes is by voting in the Infiniti Coaches’ Challenge and after casting your vote, tweet who you voted for @InfinitiNews while including the hastag #CoachesCharity.

Four winners will receive a $50 Via Gift Card and an Infiniti Branded Basketball, while one lucky winner will win a grand prize of a $100 Visa Gift Card and an Infiniti Branded Basketball.

So stop by the party tonight on Twitter @bullzeyedotcom and talk a little hoops, cast your vote for a great cause, and possibly win some prizes!

Miller completes one pass in Ohio State win over Illinois

Woody Hayes would be proud. Sort of.

The Ohio State Buckeyes partied like it was 1969 as they pounded Illinois into submission with a physical defense and a solid running game, winning 17-7. The Buckeyes spent most of the day in the power-I, and Dan Herron returned to the lineup to lead the running attack. Meanwhile, Braxton Miller completed only one pass in the game – a touchdown to tight end Jake Stoneburner. On this windy day, the formula worked well as Miller was more than happy to run out of the pocket. I don’t know who is on a bigger learning curve – freshman quarterback Miller or first-year head coach Luke Fickell. Fickell seems to figure things out, but he’s always about three quarters too late. Even with this win, the lack of imagination of the Ohio State coaches in the passing game is embarrassing.

Meanwhile, The Fighting Illini learned what it was like to face a real defense. Despite their collapse last week against Nebraska, the Ohio State defense is a solid unit that plays physical football. Illinois had built a 6-0 record against mediocre competition, but reality set in against Ohio State.

Then there’s the Ron Zook factor. He’s going to take some heat for a late-game decision to go for it on fourth down when he could have kicked a field goal to bring the Illini within one score of a tie.

The Buckeyes have been a mess all year, but it will be interesting to see if they can compete with Wisconsin in a huge home game in two weeks after their bye week. It also looks like the Michigan game will be competitive this year.

Ohio State redefines offensive ineptitude in loss to Michigan State

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell (C) runs onto the field prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

So, about that Ohio State offense. Woof.

The Buckeyes put on a performance for the ages, today against Michigan State. That is, if their ages were 8 or 9. They gained 178 yards in a 10-7 loss to the Spartans, 95 of it coming on their last two drives. The final drive covered 62 yards and ended in a touchdown pass by Joe Bauserman with 10 seconds remaining. Something to build on, I suppose.

But for the majority of the game, the Buckeyes were something worse than atrocious on offense, as true freshman Braxton Miller showed us all what it looks like when a true freshman with limited offensive weaponry around him plays against a legit Big Ten defense. That sight, but the way, is not pretty.

A week ago I wrote that Miller was the Buckeyes answer at quarterback, even though he struggled passing the football. Today he may have proven me wrong. I’m sure Miller, who is supremely talented (or so I hear), will one day be the man for the Buckeyes, and not out of necessity. But with DeVier Posey and Dan Herron coming back next week, it might be a better idea to just go with Bauserman and play boring, classic Big Ten offense. This is not to be confused with the so boring it’s kind of exciting offense that was on display today.

And before you get into the “Michigan State is top-ranked defense” argument, stop. The Spartans numbers are inflated by playing cupcakes and a Notre Dame team that was less interested in moving the ball and more interested in not letting Tommy Rees do Tommy Rees-type things in the second half. Even then, the Irish moved the ball up and down the field without a lot of interference at times.

The point is, this is not the best defense Ohio State is going to see this year, and yes things are going to get better when players return from suspension, but with who the Buckeyes have under center, it’s tough to even see it getting to “watchable.”

The defense is still solid, but it’s not as good as it has been, so I don’t see it being able to pull out games against better foes. It’s going to be a long season in Columbus.

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