Picks to Pound is our regular handicapping feature here at Elbow Deep. I’ll be picking winners for Saturday College Football, Sunday NFL, and any other lines that spark intrigue throughout the week. Once NBA gets going, we’ll be cooking with gas. All lines via Bovada.
Getting a late start today so I’m not including any noon games. Time to pony up.
- 3:30pm – #19 UGA (4-1, 2-1 SEC) at Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 SEC). The pick is Georgia -3
Big time game to start off our board. UGA looking to rebound after getting rag-dolled by Bama, and Tennessee trying to right the ship and salvage their season with a big win at home. Tons of pressure on both Mark Richt and Butch Jones, too. Wouldn’t be crazy to see the losing HC have his papers served at the end of the season. Bottom line: I don’t see UGA dropping back-to-back SEC games; they’ll come out firing after being embarrassed last week. I’d like the line more at -2 (Bovada, fuckbois), but I’m still taking the Dawgs to win by at least a field goal. Nick Chubb goes for 180, too. The ML is only -150 so if you can get that, I’d lay it in a parlay with my next pick.
- 3:30pm – #13 Northwestern (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at #18 Michigan (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten). The pick is NORTHWESTERN +10
This one’s gonna be an all out ground-and-pound defensive battle. Look for the running games and defensive secondaries to play key roles for both teams. Northwestern has to be such a dog due to Freshman QB Clayton Thorson going into the Big House for the first time. Thorson is an above-average runner who can spin the ball, too. If he avoids INTs, he’s as good a rookie QB as you’ll find (sans Josh Rosen). Look for Justin Jackson to have a big game running for the Cats.
The real reason I’m picking NW is because Jake Ruddock, Michigan’s 5th-year QB, fucking stinks. Coach Harbaugh has got him to limit turnovers the last couple weeks, but I think Pat Fitzgerald’s defense forces a few interceptions today. I have more confidence in Thorson on the road than Ruddock at home against a good team.
These teams are mirror images of each other. Both have a badass defense, good running games, and coaches who could throw on the pads and start today. One guy wheres shorts on the sideline, the other brings his baseball mitt to luxury suites. Harbaugh is building a future champ at Michigan, but I’m taking Fitz and the Wildcats to keep it at least within a touchdown. IMO, it’s worth putting a small unit on NW straight up as well. Upset Alert. Parlay NW +10 with UGA ML, thank me later.
- 3:30pm – Navy (4-0) at #15 Notre Dame (4-1). This pick is Notre Dame -14.
Gotta ride with my Fightin’ Irish on this one. Navy always comes to play, but a big part of their success is the confusion caused by their Triple-Option offense. The Midshipmen are great at lulling opponents to sleep with a thousand 4-yard gains in a row and then hitting a big play when the defense slips up. This usually comes in the form of a play-action shot over the top that goes for 50. Check out the box scores, more often than not, you’ll see the Navy QB put up lots of 4-6 for 80 and 2 TD stat lines. They execute and take efficient risks. BUT, these teams play every year and ND has tons of veterans on this defense. They’ll be coached up and know what to expect from Navy.
To date, the Irish have been allowing more points per game than coach Brian Kelly would like, but they’ve also been lighting up the scoreboard and haven’t slipped up with Freshmen QB DeShone Kizer taking the reins. Look for Kizer, wideout Will Fuller, and running back CJ Proisse to have big showings. Navy won’t be able to keep up, I like the Irish by 18.
- 7:30pm – #2 TCU (5-0, 2-0 Big12) at Kansas State (3-1, 0-1 Big12). The pick is TCU -9
Lot of experts talking up Baylor to challenge TCU for the Big12 title this year, saying QB Trevone Boykin hasn’t “shown” everything they thought he would coming into this season as a Heisman hopeful. Look for Boykin and the Horned Frogs to shut ’em up tonight in Manhattan. TCU can light it up and plays better defense than any of the top Big-12 squads. Kansas State is notoriously a tough place to play, but the Horned Frogs have been there, done that. They can handle themselves.
Normally, I would trust any coach who manages successful seasons while also avoiding the clutches of Death for what seems like two decades, but I think Coach Bill Snyder is due. For a loss. Not to die. Hopefully he hits triple digits in that regard. 9 points seems generous to KSU, I like TCU to win by at least two touchdowns.
- 7:30pm – #11 Florida (5-0, 3-0SEC) at Missouri (4-1, 3-1SEC) This pick is UF -5.5
This one scares me a little more than the three games above, but I like the Gators’ stingy defense to eat up Missouri’s Freshman QB Drew Lock. If Maty Mauk was playing it might be a different story. As shitty as Mauk plays sometimes, he can also light it up. Florida still doesn’t have a QB, but the Gators have everything else you look for in an SEC horsey. Coming off their huge victory over Ole Miss, UF is looking to prove that they are for real. I’m buying them, at least against Mizzou.
- 8:00pm – #4 Michigan State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at Rutgers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten). The pick is MSU -13.
MSU is currently 0-5 this season against the spread. Just can’t fucking cover for the life of them. That ends today against a dogshit Rutgers program that may be fielding an entire team of walk-on replacement players due to having infinity players arrested this fall.
Rutgers is in shambles, sure, but they have still proven capable of scoring some points (against bad opponents). The only legit opponent RU has seen this year was Penn State, who at the time was 1-1 and just lost to Temple. PSU used Rutgers as a jump-off to restart their season, beating the Scarlet Knights 28-3. You can take that score and add 15, I like Michigan State to win 45-10. To me, this line seems scary low so maybe the books know something I don’t, but fuck that. Connor Cook will get it going and MSU covers the first time this season. Sparty Up.
Locks of the Week:
BH – TCU 1H -5…. First Half bet alert! BH likes the Horned Frogs to jump ahead early. Great call.
Bud deBurgh– Northwestern +10
Matty Fudge – Michigan State -13
BH – Cal to win at Utah
Bud – Northwestern to win at Michigan
Matty Fudge – Oregon State to win at Arizona
All road dogs to win. Bold strategy, Cotton.
UPDATE: 2-4 on Saturday with wins on Florida and Notre Dame. MSU almost straight up lost to Rutgers. Just embarrassing. We’ll bounce back and be better than ever starting on Thursday Week 7. K, See Ya.