College Football Week 11 – Picks To Pound

Welcome back to Picks to Pound, our handicapping feature here at Elbow Deep. As always, all lines come via Bovada.

Roller coaster of a week last week as I started hot with Bowling Green on Wednesday and my Lock of the Week, Mississippi State, on Thursday night.  The Bulldogs might have been our easiest call of the year.  Way too much credit given to Missouri.  Dak Prescott went into Columbia and laid the wood on ’em.  Fortunately for Jonathan Butler, his boys got whooped so bad that they decided to pack it up and focus on some off-field issues.

After the 2-0 start, I got absolutely shut out.  Temple couldn’t cover at SMU, Duke got smoked, OK State and Bama dominated, and holy hell was I wrong about Memphis.  Paxton Lynch is a stud and the Tigers will upset someone in a bowl game, but Memphis is most definitely not a dark horse title contender. 2-5 on the week. Disgusting.

It comes in waves, though, folks.  Any good handicapper addict knows that the best is right around the corner. The tough get going when the going gets tough, or whatever.  With that said, let’s get back to what we do best: picking winners in the captivating chaos that is #MACtion.

Joe, Tunechi, you know the drill

fat joe tunechi

Midweek MAC Picks To Pound

  • Tuesday, 8:00pm – Kent State +6.5 @ Ohio
  • Tuesday, 8:00pm – #24 Toledo -4 @ Central Michigan
  • Wednesday, 8:00pm – Northern Illinois @ Buffalo +6
  • Wednesday, 8:00pm – Bowling Green -3 @ Western Michigan OVER 75.5

As for the rest of the games this week,

  • Saturday, 12:00pm – Maryland +14 @ #7 Michigan State.

Maryland is a bad football team. On paper there’s potential for a blowout here, but I like Maryland for one reason and one reason only: Michigan State plays down to its opponents.  The only game Sparty has covered this season was that insane comeback win over Michigan when MSU was seven point underdogs.

This game definitely has loser potential because the Spartans are coming off their first loss of the season, a loss that came by way of a bogus missed call by the referees, at that.

MSU is looking to bounce back, and they should win handily, but the Spartans need to show me something before I blindly bet them to cover as favorites again. Maryland is the time to do it, but until then, I’m taking the dogs.

  • Saturday, 3:30pm – Wake Forest @ #5 Notre Dame OVER 52

Wake Forest is terrible, but they still have 14-21 point potential.  Notre Dame is 27 point favorites in this game and while I don’t love that spread, I do love betting overs that are less than twice as much as the predicted point differential.  DeShone Kizer is the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner but he doesn’t know it yet, Will Fuller is a pro, and the Irish defense can force some turnovers. With out without C.J. Prosise, I smell a 40-17 winner.

  • Saturday, 7:15pm – Arkansas @ #2 LSU -7.5. 

Here we’ve got two teams coming from complete opposite ends of the spectrum barreling towards each other.  Bret Bielema ain’t gonna know what hit him. The Razorbacks are 5-4 but trending upwards after pulling off another wild finish in college football to upset Ole Miss in overtime.

LSU, meanwhile, just took its first loss – and a bit of a “gut check” – at the hands of Alabama.  The Tigers are 7-1 and Leonard Fournette has had an incredible season, but Les Miles’ entire team got manhandled by Bama. The Tigers will be looking to reestablish themselves as a top-4 playoff team.  I like LSU to dominate this game and win by at least ten points.

Don’t feel bad for Bret, though. Mrs. Bielema will be waiting at home to cushion his fall.

  • Saturday, 12:30pm – NC State @ #16 Florida State -9.5

Bounce back game for the Seminoles here. Their playoff hopes are dead but there’s plenty of hope to work into a big bowl game and Dalvin Cook is still running like a Heisman candidate.  I like Cook, Quarterback Sean Maguire, and the rest of the FSU offense to breakout after being stifled by Clemson. Seminoles in a rout.

  • Saturday, 3:30pm – #17 Michigan @ Indiana +13
  • Saturday, 3:30pm – SMU @ Navy -21.5

SMU played its best game of the year last week in a tough loss to Temple.  Navy is on fire (and should be ranked in the top-25 by the time this game is played) after absolutely bulldozing contender-turned-pretender Memphis. SMU is certainly an attractive target for let down games, but I don’t think Navy operates that way. No days off at the Academies.  Midshipmen by 28.

  • Saturday, Kentucky +3.5 @ Vanderbilt.

Two terrible teams.  I like Kentucky to win this game outright.  UK Quarterback Patrick Towles is decent, and I can’t bring myself to bet on Vandy football.  Jay Cutty ain’t walking through that door.

  • Saturday, 7:00pm – #22 Temple -3 @ South Florida

Easy money. LOCK OF THE WEEK.  Temple got its letdown game out of the way last week at SMU.  Nobody’s blowing hot air up the Owls’ assholes anymore.  Back to being little old Temple, a safety school in Philly known for trying not to be know for Bill Cosby and that time John Chaney tried to murder Coach Cal

In other word, it’s time for the best linebacker in the country, Tyler Matakevich, and the most underrated running back in the nation, Jahad Thomas, to get back to work. See you in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, Temple.

Locks of the Week:

BH – tbd

Bud deBurgh tbd

Matty Fudge –  Temple -3 @ South Florida

Upset Alert:

BHtbd

Bud – tbd

Matty Fudge Miami over UNC

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College Football Week 10 – Picks To Pound

Welcome back to Picks to Pound, our handicapping feature here at Elbow Deep. Keep an eye out for NFL picks with Bud deBurgh later this week and some NBA and college hoops blogs coming soon from yours truly.  As always, all lines come via Bovada.  

deshaun clemson

First, I must apologize.  I took the last two weeks off of NCAAF, the only reason – besides laziness – being that neither slate was very exciting.  Well, folks, my amateur football boner has regained circulation and is once again rearing his ugly, throbbing little head.

We’ve finally reached the thick of things with college and pro football, NBA, and college hoops rapidly approaching.  November is like the sweet spot in a bone-in ribeye. You know that spot, about two inches off the bone.  Pink, juicy, still a little bit of fat so your knife cuts through like butter. It’s incredible.  The first bites of the season were killer because you hadn’t tasted football in a while. Still, you have to work around a bit of char and grizzled fat, pretending not to be a viscous degenerate as you mistakenly bet the over in a Pac-12 nightcap between Washington and the Vernon Davis-led Oregon Ducks. The football is still tasty, for sure, but by Week 7 there’s a bit of a lull and you begin debating the pros and cons of a doggy bag request.

Well, folks, prepare to hit your second wind.  The College Football Playoff rankings are out (more on that below), #MACtion has returned to provide true gambling addicts sloppy midweek football over which to obsess, the NFL is rolling, and Fred Hoiberg’s Chicago Bulls are letting Niko Mirotic rain treys all over the UC. What’s better than this, Coach??

November is amazing, and that’s not just due to flannels, turkey, yoga pants, and whiskey.  We’ve got major sports every night – college football Tuesday through Saturday! – which means countless opportunities to build that bank account and finally afford a Christmas gift that won’t cause your girlfriend to reassess her life choices.

In summary, if Bowl Season is desert and March Madness is that night last summer when all you ate was ecstasy, then the November sports schedule is the year’s best bite of steak.  Let’s make sure we can afford to wash it down with a 50-year Single Malt.

Joe, Tunechi, tell em how we feel!

  • Wednesday, 8:00pm – Ohio @ Bowling Green -21.

In keeping with the Degenerate’s Paradise theme, let’s kick things off with a Wednesday night MAC matchup. I don’t know much about Bowling Green, and I know less about Ohio, but I did have a helluva scare betting on Tennessee Week 1 vs BGSU.  The Vols ended up pulling away, but it was evident that Bowling Green’s QB Matt Johnson is a legit talent.

One look at these team’s respective schedules tells two completely different tales. Bowling Green (6-2) has proven it can play with the big boys, averaging 39 points through the first 4 games against two ranked squads (UT and undefeated Memphis), and two B10 foes. BGSU beat Maryland and Purdue, and since losing by a field goal to Memphis, the Falcons have rolled, winning five straight while outscoring opponents 232-98.

Conversely, the Bobcats have gotten thwacked by MAC opponents the last two weeks, their best win is Week 1 over a bad Idaho team, and their “best loss” was by three to Minnesota.  U of Buffalo, who BG beat by six, crushed Ohio.  I like Bowling Green to do the same.  Make me proud, Falcons.

  • Thursday, 9:00pm –  #20 Mississippi State -8 @ Missouri.  LOCK.

This is one of those lines that seems too good to be true – like Vegas is having an A Christmas Carol moment and decided to spot all the Tiny Tim’s and Jimmy Junkies out there a handful of free points.  Normally, if a line seems too easy I tend to stay away, but sometimes you catch one that you have to jump all over.  Notre Dame -9 vs Texas was one of those lines. This is another.

Plain and simple, Missouri is horrible.  This team CAN NOT score.  Maty Mauk is gone for the remainder of the season, the freshman QB stinks, and the best thing to say about the Tigers’ run game is that it’s mediocre. Missouri’s defense is stout, only allowing 12.5ppg. This will obviously be key on Thursday, but I don’t see them hanging within 10 of Dak Prescott and MSU.

Then you have MSU. The Bulldogs score 35ppg and allow 17.  Dak Prescott is an animal and will probably run for 3 scores while throwing for 1 more in this game. The dude is like a Bullmastiff at the doggy park with a bunch of terriers. Dak has thrown 14 touchdowns to 1 INT, so don’t expect him to give Missouri any extra chances.

Missouri is reeling; they mustered up just 3 points against Vanderbilt last week. There’s no way Mizzou hangs close against the best opponent since Florida. I like MSU to win 28-10.

Sidenote: Is Maty Mauk the dumbest dude on Earth?  He finishes serving a four-game suspension, is set to come back for a huge game with his team having lost three straight, and then he gets in another “late-night drunken confrontation” at a pub? Maty, on behalf of Mizzou fans everywhere, please just smoke some weed and play Halo 5.  No more booze for you, goddamn maniac.

  • Friday, 8:00pm – #22 Temple -13 @ SMU

Looks like I’m going favorites this week.  Fine by me. If the books keep giving ’em, I’ll keep taking ’em.

The Owls looked much better than I expected last week in the College Gameday matchup with Notre Dame. Temple lost by four but hung around until the end and ruined my weekend by covering the second half. In two weeks prior to the ND game, Temple looked a little sloppy, playing down to their inferior opponents (UCF and ECU). I’m guessing that Vegas is looking at this as a “trap game,” anticipating a letdown after an emotionally draining Notre Dame week.

I’ll call Vegas’ bluff. I like the Owls to come out determined to prove their worth after taking their first L and almost falling out of the top-25.  Maybe that’s why I’m the sucker.  Either way, SMU is fucking horrific.  The Mustangs are 1-7 and allow 45ppg.  Watch for Jahad Thomas to run rampant for Temple.  Givin’ 13 all day.  Great game to include in some teasers, as well.

  • Saturday, Noon – Duke +8 @ UNC

A battle for supremacy in the ACC Coastal! I’m taking Duke solely because of how hard they got jobbed last week in the “loss” to Miami.  That kick return was the best finish that I’ve seen in a long, looooong time, but Duke should have won that game. Alas, the Blue Devils were defeated. Now Duke’s back is against the wall and any hope of reaching a big bowl game depends on them beating UNC and shaking up the rest of the ACC.  UNC can score with anyone in the country, but the Tar Heels are also prone to turnovers (Marquise Williams 7INTs) and will allow a lot of yards. I like Duke’s defense and rushing attack to give the Blue Devils a good chance to win. Gimme those points.

  • Saturday, 7:00pm – Navy @ #13 Memphis -8

Not only does Paxton Lynch have the best name in college football, he’s also got a laser rocket arm and has displayed pinpoint accuracy.  Lynch has thrown for over 2,000 yards with 18TDs to just 1INT.  Navy is a good team, but Memphis can light up the scoreboard.  Watch the Tigers win this game by double digits and continue to wreak havoc as an unbeaten non-Power 5 team in the College Football Playoff picture.

Speaking of the CFP, the Selection Committee released its first rankings of the season this evening.  Here’s our current CFP top-10:

1. Clemson (8-0)
2. LSU (7-0)
3. Ohio State (8-0)
4. Alabama (7-1)
5. Notre Dame (7-1)
6. Baylor (7-0)
7. Michigan State (8-0)
8. TCU (8-0)
9. Iowa (8-0)
10. Florida (7-1)

Given the current outlook, Notre Dame and Baylor would be the first two teams left out of January’s playoff.  We don’t have to wait long for a guaranteed shake-up, however, as #8 TCU takes on #14 Oklahoma State and – more importantly – #2 LSU visits #4 Bama this weekend.  Which reminds me…

Teaser Alert:

Saturday, 3:30pm – #8 TCU -5 @ #14 OKST

Looks like I found my teaser match with Temple.  If pressed, I would also take TCU -5, but I love the tease in this game.  Take the 5 down to what essentially becomes a pick ’em.  TCU is not losing this game.

If it weren’t for LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Trevone Boykin might be leading the Heisman conversation.  He is absolutely lighting it up with almost 3,000 yards and 28 TDs.  The Cowboys have looked good thus far, but they’re due for a loss.  This is a classic OK State “good” team.  They rack up wins against sub-par opponents, but then some Brandon Weeden 2.0 faces the meat of the Big12 and OK State finishes at a respectable 10-2.  Don’t be surprised to see the Cowboys drop two or three games this November.  Take TCU -5 and for godsakes TEASE ‘EM!

  •  Saturday, 8:00pm – #2 LSU +6 @ #4 Alabama

This line tells me the powers that be expect Alabama to win by a touchdown.  I’ll take my chances on that.  People love to say you should “pick a storyline when betting a game.” My storyline for this heavyweight bout is that Fournette and Bama’s Derrick Henry will both run for 100+, Jacob Coker will throw two touchdowns for Alabama but also turn the ball over twice, leading to at least one defensive score for LSU.  Brandon Harris will do what Brandon Harris does: manage the game, avoid turnovers, and give Les Miles’ squad a chance to win. I like Harris a lot and expect him to outplay Coker. Miles will probably do something weird like go for a 2pt conversion in the first half. In the end, I think this game is decided by a field goal.  LSU wins 25-23.

Locks of the Week:

BH – Northwestern -2.5 vs Penn State

Bud deBurgh Baylor -17.5 @ Kansas State

Matty Fudge –  Mississippi State -8 @ Missouri

Upset Alert:

BHtbd

BudArkansas over Ole Miss

Matty FudgeWashington over #12 Utah

DFS Picks To Pound with Bud deBurgh – Week 8

Okay guys and gals, let’s get into some of my favorite Daily Fantasy Sports plays the weekend. Like any good DFS junky, I play both DraftKings and FanDuel, looking for opportunities to capitalize on pricing gaps and “mistakes” between the sites. I will go over some guys who are priced right/wrong on both sites. Enjoy.

QB:  Phillip Rivers ($6600 DraftKings)

Gotta love Rivers on DK this week, as the 8th most expensive QB. I’m completely fading him on FanDuel (too expensive) but was shocked when I saw his price on DK.

A few reasons to love Rivers this week:

  1. Baltimore is AWFUL at stopping the pass. Their secondary has been a joke, and it’s wise to play QB/WR vs them each week.
  2. SD can’t run the ball. Gordon has been a bust so far, and Rivers has averaged 57(!!!!) throws per game the past 3 weeks. Even if they are leading they do a lot of dink in dunk rather than running the ball between the tackles. It doesn’t hurt having a guy like Woodhead to catch the ball out of the backfield, either.
  3. Price! The key to making money in DFS is finding value in price. He will meet his value without a doubt.

QB: Teddy Bridgewater ($6900 on Fanduel, $5100 on DK)

Another guy I think is priced below his value. On Fanduel they have him in the low-middle of the pack, but DK he is way too cheap. They have him below Landry Jones and Zach Mettenberger. Dafuq?

With Stefon Diggs catching fire, I don’t have any issue with him meeting his value. Feel free to stack those 2, and load the rest of your lineup with studs. If Bridgewater comes in between 13-20 points, you can cash in big with him.

QB: Jameis Winston ($6600 on Fanduel, $5200 on DK)

Feel free to roll him out vs Atlanta on FD. He will have a low usage-rate, but he’s put up solid numbers (17.44 ppg) in the last 3 games. There is obvious risk with him, but I think he’s worth a flier in some tournament lineups.

RB: Justin Forsett ($6900 on Fanduel, $6100 on Draftkings)

Have to like the Baltimore/SD game with over/under at 51. Much like Rivers vs the Ravens pass D, I love Forsett against the leaky Chargers run defense. Forsett may be low owned due to his stinker last week, but in the 3 games prior he gathered over 100 total yards. The Raiders (5 ypc), Packers (7.8 ypc), and Steelers (5.7 ypc) ran all over San Diego and I expect that trend to continue. Forsett is a very strong option this week.

RB: Todd Gurley ($8100 on FD (6th highest), $6300 on DK (8th highest)

I like Gurley more on DK this week – due to price – but feel free to play him on either site. The guy has been on a rampage since taking the reigns against Arizona and has a juicy matchup this week. The Niners suck on both sides of the ball so it makes sense to trust the most talented guy on the field (Gurley). The only thing that worries me is that if this game gets out of hand (STL is an 8 point favorite) Gurley will be on the sidelines while his backups take carries away. I’m still going to roll him out a lot this week and expect a big outing.

RB: Jonathan Stewart (Sleeper pick, $4100 on DK)

Stewart has put together two solid games vs Seattle and Philly; he should be priced higher. DK has him priced at or below: Joseph Randle, CJ Anderson, Andre Ellington, James Starks, Shane Vereen, Arian Foster (update your rosters, DraftKings). I value him above all of those guys. He could be a sneaky tournament play in your flex. If you can stack him and someone like Teddy B, you can essentially load the rest of your roster with stars.

WR: Mike Evans ($7800 Fanduel $6800 on DK)

Watch for a big week from Evans. I think his price is about right, but the fact that VJax is out bodes well for anyone playing Evans. He completely took over the game last week vs Washington catching 8 of 12 targets and I fully expect him to demand even more targets this Sunday against Atlanta. Evans will be moderately owned, but he’s definitely a nice guy to build your lineup around this week.

WR: Antonio Brown ($8400 on Fanduel, $7800 on DK)

Y’all musta forgot!!! Big Ben is back this week which means it’s a good time to revist Mr. Consistent aka Mr. Steal Yo Girl aka Mr. Brown aka Dahntahn Tony Brown.

Listen, I’m a Pittsburgh homer, that much is sure.  That being said, this is the week to cash in on my man #84. His numbers have been way down with the jerk-off QBs the Steelers have been rolling out, but I expect a big week out of AB with Ben behind center.

He’s listed below Dez on DK (Cassell/Dez vs Seattle D) which I think is a big mistake. In two games last season, Brown torched the Bengals for 245 yards and added a return touchdown to boot. I think people might be sleeping on him, which makes him a great tourney play. Look for Brown to be a top 3 WR option this week.

WR: Michael Floyd (Sleeper pick 4900FanDuel 3500 Draftkings)

Floyd has been relatively quiet this year but this could be the week for him to break out. If John Brown is out, Floyd will benefit from more targets. I’m picking Arizona to blow the doors off of Cleveland, so hopefully Floyd will be a part of that. If Brown plays I’m much less bullish on MF, but if he’s out, you can really sneak Floyd in there with some monsters.

His last two games have been so-so (3/59/1, 5/50/1) but it’s worth noting that without a real heavy TE presence Floyd is able to get plenty of redzone targets.

TE: Ladarius Green ($5300 Fanduel, $3000 Draftkings)

His pricing is ridiculously cheap. This is a guy who has hit double digit numbers every week besides when he played the Steelers. With Gates out he is a no brainer to roll out in a lot of lineups. If you can stack him, Rivers, Michael Floyd and Stewart you’ll have a ton of room to load your roster with studs of your choosing.

Gary Barnridge ($6300 Fanduel, $4700 Draftkings)

Barnridge was initially discovered by my roommate (shouts to Kashen) prior to the Browns matchup with Oakland. He put him in EVERY lineup and cashed out big. Since then, Barnridge has hit double-digit points in every week and emerged as a very reliable TE option.

In my opinion, he’s priced accordingly on FD but is way too cheap on DK. Despite a tough matchup with Arizona, I expect Cleveland to throw the ball a lot this week. I’ll be using him in a lot of lineups on DraftKings and will put him in cash-game lineups on Fanduel.

Week 8 NFL Picks To Pound with Bud deBurgh

Alright boobs. After a 3-0 Week 6, the Kid took a beating missing all 3 of my preferred bets last week. Shit happens, if I was right all the time I wouldn’t be writing this blog while my boss is in a meeting, nawmean?

Feeling good about Week 8, ready to bounce back. Here are my favorite picks of the week:

Detroit (+3.5) vs KC

London game! The conversion rate is 1.55 USD/GBP for all the readers heading across the pond to catch this barn-burner in person.

KC coming off a win vs a Big Ben-less Steelers may have people thinking they are good, but they most certainly are not.

Simply put, both teams suck and neither has a home field advantage. Detroit could potentially be in shambles after firing OC Joe Lombardi this week, but I think this will allow for Stafford to air the ball out to Calvin/Tate/Ebron and company. KC has issues stopping the pass; I like Detroit to win and cover in a sloppy game.

Arizona (-6) at Cleveland

If you read last weeks preview you know that I was all in on the Cardinals giving nine points to Baltimore. Arizona won that game handily and was in position to cover before allowing the Ravens through the backdoor with a late touchdown. I’m still high on the Cards.

I also picked Cleveland last week to keep it close vs STL, but they got beat down. I expect the Browns to catch another butt-whooping. AZ will move the ball at will and force turnovers en route to a blowout win.

Minnesota (essentially between -1 and +1 so call it a pick ’em) at Chicago

The Vikings are 4-2, yet no one seems to notice. Since a weird Week 1 Monday Night game, they have gone 4-1 with double digit wins over Detroit (twice) and San Diego, and a 6 point victory versus the Chiefs.

Chicago is better than most expected, but they still have some bad losses. Last week’s never-ending slopfest against the Lions is the most recent example.

The emergence of Stefon Diggs gives Teddy Bridgewater a weapon (not named Mike Wallace) to spread the field. In addition to those two wideouts and AP, Minnesota has a very stout defense and a sharp coach in Mike Zimmer.

I fully expect the Vikings to slide into the playoffs as a wild card team. Look for Minnesota to win on Sunday.

Week 7 NFL Picks To Pound with Bud deBurgh

After a 3-0 week for the kid last week I’m looking to keep it rollin’. Below are my favorite lines for this weeks NFL action.

Atlanta (-4) at Tennessee

Easy pick for me here. Almost too tasty. Titans got slaughtered last week and may be without QB1 Mariota on Sunday. Atlanta is on a long break after losing to New Orleans last Thursday and historically play poor versus the Saints. Look for them to bounce back in a big way and take it to the hapless Titans.

Cleveland (+6) at St Louis

This line seemed a bit weird to me. Both teams are definitely subpar, but Cleveland has kept it close most games. St. Louis, on the other hand, has garnered 2 wins by a combined 5 points. In other words, the Rams are damn close to being winless. The only thing that worries me is that Todd Gurley is a budding star.  The man looks like a surefire bet to break out, but I still like Cleveland to keep it close. I’ll definitely be teasing the Browns down in a few parlays, but I like this line straight up, too.

Arizona (-8.5) vs Baltimore

People might be sleeping on Arizona after my Steelers beat that ass last week, but I love this line. Last week’s game had some questionable officiating, and historically it’s tough for west coast teams to travel east. Expect Arizona to bounce back in a big way. After their first loss against the Rams they beat the Detroit by 25.

Looking at the numbers, the Cardinals have won by 12, 25, 40, 25 in their 4 victories.  Simply put: when they win, they win BIG. Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and the boys smells blood in the water and pour it on.

Baltimore is falling apart. I foresee the Arizona defense giving Flacco hell all night. Expect a blowout win for Arizona.

Week 6 NFL Picks to Pound with Bud deBurgh

Vikings -4 vs KC

Coming off a bye week, the Vikings are 2-2.  After getting beat down by SF week 1 – a loss that now seems like it occurred ages ago – they’ve been solid, grabbing double digit wins vs Detroit and SD and losing by 3 to Denver.

Kansas City, on the other hand, is 1-4 and was struggling to move the ball before losing their best player for the season. I think Minnesota wins this game comfortably by at least a touchdown. I’d suggest parlaying this with the Jets moneyline.

Cinci (-3) @ Buffalo

Have to ride the red hot Bengals here. The Bills are will end up starting E.J. Manuel alongside a hurt Shady McCoy. The Bills have a highly touted defense, but in reality they aren’t great versus the pass, just very stingy against the run. I love Andy Dalton ($5700) in daily fantasy leagues, and think it’s a smart move to rotate AJ, Eifert, Marvin Jones in your stacks with Dalton.

Carolina (+7) @ Seattle

Clearly the odds-makers are taking the fact that the Seahawks are 4-0 vs the Panthers into consideration here. However, the general attitude/makeup of the Seahawks has changed. This is no longer the “Legion of Boom” that we’ve grown accustomed to.

I’m a Russell Wilson fan, but it appears as if some people in the locker room are not invested in him, leading to a bit of a mutiny. I mean, come on, guy, you’re dating one of pop music’s biggest sex symbols. Have some coitus. Earn some respect.

Last weeks loss will either wake these guys up, or be a complete kick in their balls. Either way, I’ll bet on “Analytical Ron” to keep this one close.

I like Carolina off a bye to control the clock and keep this one close. They are also a nice moneyline if you’re looking for an upset, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to put together a juicy parlay.

College Football Week 7 – Picks To Pound

Picks to Pound is our regular handicapping feature here at Elbow Deep. I’ll be picking winners for Saturday College Football, Sunday NFL, NBA, College Hoops, and any other lines that spark intrigue throughout the week.  All lines via Bovada.

Joe, Tunechi, tell ’em how we feel.

fat joe tunechi

Tough week last week finishing at 2-4.  Michigan State continued to win in incredibly underwhelming fashion. The Spartans failed to cover 13 against lowly Rutgers, pushing their record against the spread this year to 0-6.  In an act of complete and utter disrespect, Vegas set Sparty as 8 point underdogs heading to Ann Arbor this weekend.  Will their first game as dogs help the Spartans buck the trend and cover? Find out below.

As for the rest of last week’s picks, Notre Dame and Florida took care of business, Georgia looked lost without Nick Chubb, Northwestern got emasculated (I’m ready to admit that Michigan is for real), and TCU failed to cover – and lost BH’s first half LOTW – while grinding out a 4th quarter comeback win.   Overall a pretty poopoo week for Fudge.

That’s enough of the past, let’s get into the Week 7 picks. We’ll start it off with a good one, the Thursday Night Pac-12 game, UCLA at Stanford.

  • Thursday, 10:30pm – #18 UCLA at #15 Stanford.  The pick is UCLA +7. 

There is so much parity in the Pac-12 (and across the country, really) this season.  Tonight we have two very different teams as the Bruins are led by the young gunslinger in freshman QB Josh Rosen and a Stanford team that focuses on defense and the run game. Cardinal fifth year senior QB Kevin Hogan will limit mistakes, capitalize on big shots when the run game lulls defenses to sleep, and use his plus athleticism to get out of trouble.

The only way this game becomes a blowout is if Rosen turns the ball over numerous times and Hogan lights up the scoreboard. One of those things might happen  (Rosen INTs) but not both.  Through six games, Rosen has thrown 9 toudys with 5 INTs, but 3 of those picks game against BYU in a game that the Bruins still won.  Hogan, on the other hand, will protect the football but he’s not leading any aerial assaults.  Hogan’s a smart game manager with a solid arm, but even when he’s rolling coach David Shaw’s conservative play-calling prevent him from running people out of the building.

UCLA’s defense is just as tough as Stanford. The Cardinal will move the ball on the ground, but don’t look for Hogan to beat the Bruins himself. This will be a hard-hitting game with the clock ticking and some big runs.  I’m betting on the Bruins to protect Rosen in the pocket (UCLA is 13th in D1 in sacks allowed) and keep it close on defense.  Smells like a 35-32 UCLA victory to me.

UPDATE: The Cardinal won big, 56-35. UCLA had no answer for the Stanford running attack. Maybe I should have included a caveat that if Christian McCaffrey turns into The Snowpeircer it could also be a blowout.  McCaffrey had a career day to the tune of 243 yards and 4 touchdowns. What are they feeding the white, Irish running backs in Palo Alto?

Kevin Hogan, just as I thought, did not beat the Bruins but he didn’t need to.  Hogan was efficient throwing for 131 yards and adding 3 touchdowns on the back of his run game.   Josh Rosen threw for +300 yards and added 3 scores for UCLA, but with 2 INTs and 20 incompletions he couldn’t do enough to keep the Bruins in the game.  At the end of the day, this loss is on the Bruins’ defense all the way. 0-1 to start the week. Just means we’re due come Saturday. Shooters shoot.

  • Saturday, 12:00pm – Purdue at Wisconsin.  The pick is Purdue +24. The line is 23.5, I’m buying a half point.

This one is a degenerate special, folks.  Both of these teams STINK.  Wisco is 4-2 but they are awful.  Purdue is even worse – the Boilermakers still haven’t recovered from Kyle Orton’s departure – but they hung tough against Michigan State and put up 24 against Virginia Tech. I’ll bet against Wisconsin QB Joel “My Hair Looks Great But I’ve Got The Yips” Stave all day, at least to win by less then 24.  I mean, come on, the kid’s name is Joel. You can’t bet on a guy named Joel. Or Cody. Speaking of which…

  • 7:30pm – Southern Cal at #14 Notre Dame.  The pick is Notre Dame -7 (moved to ND -5 before kickoff).

One question: When picking a quarterback, do you want a man named DeShone over a boy named Cody?  Yeah, me too. Give me DeShone every day of the week and twice on Saturday. Cody? Grow up, guy.

Look, USC QB Cody Kessler has some serious skills. I’m picking on Kessler (disclaimer: I root for the Irish) because he’s a Cali brah with a truly terrible first name, but he is actually very talented.  Kessler was in a lot of preseason Heisman conversation and USC was a popular pick to make the playoff because of him. But both Kessler and his squad have performed well below expectations and shouldn’t count on turning things around against ND.  Some people might want to pick USC to pull off the “win one for the Gipper!” upset.  Sure, it’s enticing to think that Sark’s troubles could spark turnaround – it would make for a great story – but I’m not buying it.  Their now ex-coach is a drunk who left them “high and dry,” the Trojan offense just put up a meager 12 points at home against Washington, and the defense has zero depth.  What’s more, they’re headed to South Bend to face an Irish team featuring a dynamic offense and an experienced, athletic defense.   Notre Dame is looking to go on a run and make the 4-team playoff.  USC is about to go into a tailspin.  Notre Dame by 25.

  • 12:00pm, #13 Ole Miss at Memphis.  The pick is Mississippi -8 (moved to Ole Miss -10.5 before kickoff).

Big game for the Memphis Tigers. Unfortunately for my Beale Street kin, the Rebels are about to put a hurtin’ on ’em.  This is exactly the type of game that Ole Miss always runs up the score.  Under the radar game for the Rebels, at least on a national scale.  Florida stopped them in their tracks two weeks ago, everyone turned their attention elsewhere in the SEC, and now it’s time to blow up a few lesser opponents.  New Mexico State got a taste last week and now it’s Memphis’ turn.  The Tigers aren’t horrible, though. They’ll go on to win Conference-USA and Memphis QB Paxton Lynch (great QB name) can hang with anyone. Look for Memphis to stick around for the first twenty minutes, but Ole Miss will pull away heading into halftime.

Ole Miss is Chad Kelly. Chad Kelly is Ole Miss. They won’t get it done when it counts but they’ll rap their tails off and beat down non-conference opponents during noon games on WatchESPN.  Ole Miss 48, Memphis 30.

TOUCHDOOOOOOWWWN, CHAD KELLY

  • 3:30pm #7 Michigan State at #12 Michigan.  The pick is Michigan State +7.5.

I was shocked when I saw this line. Totally stunned.  I understand that these are two teams trending in opposite directions.  MSU started the season #2 and has gone 0-6 against the spread thus far, playing down to their opponents and looking less and less like the team we all thought they were.  Most recently, they got away with one against Rutgers.  They need to turn it around before Rich Homie Quan finds a new sideline to support.

Then we’ve got Michigan. Big Brother looking to regain control of the state.  Michigan was not supposed to be this good this fast.  We all new Coach Harbaugh would get the Wolverine defense in order, but what he has done with QB Jake Rudock is nothing short of remarkable. Rudock couldn’t beat out CJ Beathard at Iowa, a school that was desperate for decent quarterback play.  He’s a complete bum.  If we’re being polite, he leaves A LOT to be desired. Yet, Harbaugh has taken that bum and molded him into a solid game manager.  Rudock has lead the Wolverines to a 5-0 record and a combined score of 160-14 since losing to now #4 Utah in Week 1.  Rudock threw 3 picks at Utah and has thrown 3 more since. On the season, he’s thrown 5 touchdowns against 6 INTs.  The kid is not a good quarterback, but that shows how good Harbaugh, the run game, and this defense have been. That trio has managed to demolish every opponent the last five weeks with a Zero at QB.

As good as Michigan has been lately, the Spartans are still the best team they will have seen since Utah.  MSU QB Connor Cook needs to have a great game against this Wolverine defense (#2 defense in the nation) and the Spartans need to get their shit together.  Michigan State has looked very underwhelming this season, but the Spartans have still won every game.  At times this team just looks bored.  That’s a good way to get upset, which could certainly happen Saturday at the Big House, but a team led by Jake Rudock is not beating Michigan State by more than a touchdown.  Connor Cook has thrown for 12 touchdowns and only 2 picks.  Running back LJ Scott is still a monster. As good as Michigan’s defense has been playing, they’ve been doing it against teams with garbage offenses.  Watch for both sides to regress to the mean. Cook will avoid turnovers against the Michigan blitz  and punch in a few more scores than the Wolverines have allowed all year. MSU will play better and UM will look a little worse.

I like this game to go down to the wire with a score in the mid-high 20s.  The Spartans have played crap competition all season. Oregon was a big game at the time, but this is MSU’s first true test of the year.  Mark Dantonio will have them fired up, and while they haven’t covered a single game as the favorites I LOVE them as the dogs.  Michigan State 28, Michigan 20.

  • 3:30pm – #10 Alabama at #9 Texas A&M.  The pick is Alabama -4.

This one’s pretty simple in my eyes.  Alabama already got embarrassed by Ole Miss a few weeks ago.  They’ve got their backs against the wall and know another loss before the halfway mark essentially ends their season.  With LSU coming up in two weeks, the Tide can not lose this game.

A&M has been playing well but is yet to be seriously tested.  The SEC is so deep this season, I don’t see TAMU making it through without 2 losses.  This will be the first.  Bama 42, A&M 33

  • 9:00pm – Arizona at Colorado.  This pick is Arizona -8.

Arizona abuses bad teams.  Colorado is most definitely a bad team.  They’re like the Jake Rudock of teams. Colorado cannot be trusted.  Arizona 38, Colorado 23.

LATE ADDITION BET:  This post went up around 9:30 on Thursday night. The Friday night late addition is South Carolina -3 at home against Vandy.  I like what I’m seeing from Gamecocks interim coach Sean Elliot. His vibe screams “twice divorced father of 4 (3 girls) and high school Athletic Director with an affinity for whiskey.”  That’s the type of interim coach guys will go to war for.  Very Ed Orgeron-esque.  Exactly what USC needs with Spurrier’s departure. Oh, and Vandy stinks.

Locks of the Week:

BH – Notre Dame -7 vs Southern Cal

Bud deBurgh Its a Bud deBurgh 2-for-1 Special! Bama -4 at TAMU; MSU +8 at Michigan.

Matty FudgeTexas Tech -32.5 at Kansas 

Upset Alert:

BHKansas State over Oklahoma

BudPittsburgh over Georgia Tech

Matty Fudge – Does Michigan State count?  If so, Sparty over Mich is the pick, but let’s look elsewhere….  Cincinatti over BYU is the move.