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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IS BRANDON MARSHALL TROLLING OR CHEERING FOR JAY CUTLER?

During the second quarter of tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup between Chicago and San Diego, fans were treated to a Smokin’ Jay special – otherwise known as the quarter-yearly Jay Cutler INT-for-touchdown.

Okay, fine.  That’s the Jay we all know and love. No one said the life of a gunslinger was a safe one. It’s definitely not the easiest route to a Lombardi, but, unlike a certain quarterback who resembles my big toe, Jay is a born risk taker. He wouldn’t hesitate to spit in Papa John’s face if given the chance. Some men just need to unleash the laser rocket arm. Phil knows

Anyways. After the Charger’s touchdown, Jay modeled his patented Cutlerface. Thus, blocked out were the haters.

cutty

I have to imagine that every turnover reminds Jay of his now-infamous bathroom incident.

“Jay, your team is down and you just threw a second quarter interc-”

“Doooooooooonnnnnn’tt caaaaarreee.”

To be fair, there’s a lot of game left and – unlike most Bears fans – I appreciate Jay’s “prep school quarterback handling adversity” aloofness. He’s the most important player on the field for a bad team in rebuild mode. Every game, the only chance of a Chicago victory rests on Jay’s shoulders. Cutler knows he can’t allow himself to be taken out of the game – physically or mentally – so he gets ready for the next possession by activating the too cool defense mechanism. Best defense in the league ten years running.

The pick-6  produced a more animated reaction from Cutty’s counterpart.

Just sayin, Philip’s liable to catch one in the ear hole next time he steps to the plate.

Cutler and Rivers are famous rivals dating back to Cutler’s days in Denver.  I expected Rivers to get fired up. The guy’s an absolute maniac, after all.  What I wasn’t anticipating, though, was our dear friend and former Cutler confidant, Brandon Marshall, to come flying in from the turnbuckle with what, at first glance, appeared to be some well-timed subtweeting.

Cutler and Marshall were a high-powered tandem during the pair’s early days in Denver (2006-2009), and they picked up right where they left off when the Bears traded for Marsh prior to the 2012 season. Marshall became the first receiver in Chicago franchise history to have multiple 100-catch seasons, and he and Cutler were reportedly the best of buds.  Alas – like most flamboyant star wideouts in the NFL – when the team started losing games, Marshall became more of a headache than the organization felt was worthwhile. He was traded after last season and both he and Cutler have acknowledged that the two have not spoken.

So, what do we think?  Was Marshall subtweeting his ex-QB or actually showing support for his old teammate?

Luckily for Cutty, Chicagoans, and ESPN’s Neilsen ratings, the pick-six came early enough that we still have a one-possession ballgame. Plenty of time to make a comeback and then do this all again with a minute left.

Speaking of a comeback… No less than five minutes later Cutler marched the Bears downfield, capping the drive with a franchise record-setting 2-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett.

And B-Marsh ended any prospective controversy a concise tweet of support.

My apologies for doubting your intentions, Brandon.  I am a lover scorned.

UPDATE: CUUUTTTTYYYYYYYY DOES IT. Again. Mr. Fourth Quarter putting the Bears on his back, per usual. I’ll never be able to shake you, will I, Jay?

Not a bad snag for Zach Miller’s first TD since 2011.

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.

Water’s Wet, The World Is Round, And Andrew Luck Compliments Opponents After Getting Sacked

2011 NCAA Football - 2011 Pacific-12 Conference Media Day - July 26, 2011

ESPN – Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has started to confound pass rushers not by his impressive play, but by congratulating defenders for hard hits… Luck has become known to dole out “nice play, buddy” and “good hit” kudos almost as often as he finds wide receivers open down the field.

“In all the years I’ve played football I have never heard anything like it,”Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan told the Wall Street Journal. “Nothing even close.”

“I’m like ‘what’s going on? Aren’t you supposed to be mad?’ ” Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Nolan Carroll told the newspaper. “So then I’m the one who gets ticked off because an upbeat attitude isn’t something you see.”

Just the most perfect, predictable news of all time. Andrew Luck is Peyton Manning meets Ishmael Boorg with a well-to-do father named Oliver.  Just a nerd of epic proportions who gets his jollies off playing the game “the right way,” giving it 110%, and treating others the way he wants to be treated.  ESPN posted this story tonight but I easily could have told you this back in his Stanford days.  On a night where America had to suffer through the embarrassing, obvious decay of Smoking Jay and the Chicago Bears organization, the World Wide Leader snuck this little tidbit onto the main page to remind everyone how a real winner conducts himself. Gotta push that agenda.  Andrew Luck congratulates JJ Watt after a sack and thanks his Creator for the chance to continue competing. That’s why he’s Peyton Manning Reincarnate and Jay Cutler is nothing more than an overpaid beer league captain.  If you think there’s any other way to win one world championship against Rex Grossman & Co, you’re badly fucking fooled, my friend.

But seriously, Andrew, be less Pennsylvania Dutch.  Drink a few beers on your off day, say a curse word, maybe even yell at a teammate when he sucks.  Do a little more Tom Brady. Now that’s a man’s man. Or just continue living the most boring rumspringa in the history of sports. Never gonna win championships (plural) and see frosted nipples (plural) without dialing up the thermostat. Get angry, talk some trash, dance with the devil, make sex to women, hoist trophies. That’s a little thing called a playbook for ya, Andy.

P.S. – How much does Luck hate Any Given Sunday?  Probably tried to quit Pop Warner because the harsh language made him want to be a surgeon instead. Such a dork.