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Friday, 29 November 2013

College Football Week 14 Picks 2013 (November 29-30)

This is the final week of the regular season for most teams now and either schools will be looking forward to Bowl games or they can begin to focus on the basketball team and what they can achieve. It has been another fun season in College Football with a lot of good games that have been played and we should also see an exciting end to the season with Championship Games and the big BCS Bowl games to be played in the next six weeks.

There have also been some real disappointments in the form of schools not achieving what was expected of them, either through a gluttony of injuries or bad form. That was represented by what happened in Florida Gators last game, another loss, last week.

I don't understand how those two players didn't realise they were blocking each other, despite being on the same team, and sums up what has happened to some teams that have underachieved.

The picks had a better week last time out, although it could have been a lot better if not for a couple of poor second halves. Hopefully the regular season can end in strong fashion before the Conference Championship Games are played next week.

Iowa Hawkeyes @ Nebraska Cornhuskers Pick: Neither team will be playing for the Big Ten Championship this season, but both will be elevated to Bowl status so a win could potentially improve their position there.

This has all the making of a close game and it is no surprise that the layers have separated them by the usual points for a home team, but I am surprised that the spread is under the key number of 3 for the game.

Iowa will probably get a little more out of their passing game, while Nebraska will likely get a little more out of their running game and the difference will be which of the Defensive unit steps up the most. I will say that the Cornhuskers can get a decent pass rush going and that may give them a chance to get drives stalled for the Hawkeyes. With a small spread like this, that could prove to be the difference and I like the home team to cover in a close win.

Texas State Bobcats @ Troy Trojans Pick: Both teams are coming in off a losing streak, but there has to be more motivation for the home side to reach the 6 win mark that will make them Bowl eligible compared with Texas State who have already won 6 games.

The Trojans should be able to run the ball and pass the ball with sustained success and the question will be whether Texas State can find enough through the air to punish a Troy Secondary that has struggled all season.

Texas State should stay in third and manageable situations with their ability to run the ball, but they are only passing for 151 yards per game this season and they will have to make plays through the air to make this a game.

With the Troy Secondary giving up big plays, I think they will concede points, but I expect the Trojans Offense to be strong enough to pull away with a 10-14 point lead.

Fresno State Bulldogs @ San Jose State Spartans Pick: The Fresno State Bulldogs will look to remain unbeaten and become one of the BCS buster teams. They will be playing in the Mountain West Championship Game next week regardless of the result in this game, but they want to get invited to a big Bowl game and that means winning out.

The home team also has enough motivation as a win would give them a chance to become Bowl eligible too, but they have lost 3 in a row and are running out of chances.

Both teams will have success passing the ball, but the difference is that Fresno State can find a little more balance with their running game and that could prove to be the difference. San Jose State have averaged 335 yards per game through the air, but they have given up a fair few sacks and have also been guilty of throwing Interceptions.

Those extra possessions should give Fresno State the chance to cover the spread even as that has gone above the key number of 7. I expect a high scoring game, but one that the Bulldogs pull out by double digits.

Washington State Cougars @ Washington Huskies Pick: Washington will want to get revenge on their Washington State rivals after losing to them in overtime last season and both teams will be coming in with decent form behind them and Bowl eligibility already confirmed.

The Pac-12 North has been a tough Division all season with 5 of the 6 teams having at least a 0.500 record in the Conference.

Both teams should move the chains in this one, although I do think Washington are the more likely winners as the Huskies have a better balance in their Offense compared with Washington State. However, the Huskies Quarter Back situation is yet to be cleared up and that may give the Cougars a bit more of a chance in this one.

I am concerned with some of the turnover issues Washington State have had on Offense which has seen them blown out a few times this season, but their Defense has also been capable on getting the ball back to the Offense and I just see this being a game decided by between 7-14 points. Therefore, getting the 16.5 point headstart looks the way to go.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Connecticut Huskies Pick: Gary Nova will have to play a lot of mistake free football in this game to give his Defense a chance to at least get enough rest and make plays themselves.

If Nova is guilty of turning the ball over in his own territory, Connecticut may be able to make enough plays to double their win totals.

However, I do think the Rutgers team has more talent and they may be able to take advantage of a Connecticut team that doesn't have a lot to play for and may have celebrated too much in winning last week. Gary Nova should make enough plays against the Secondary to keep the Scarlet Knights moving and I believe he can have the bigger impact compared with Casey Cochran and help lead Rutgers to a win.

Ohio State Buckeyes @ Michigan Wolverines Pick: There is little doubt in my mind that Michigan have circled this game for a month or so once it became clear that they will definitely not be playing in the Big Ten Championship Game and they would like nothing more than to spoil Ohio State's season.

I would have given them half a chance six weeks ago, but Devin Gardner makes too many mistakes to really trust Michigan to cause a surprise and the lack of a running game means the Quarter Back may push himself to do too much.

Ohio State should have considerably more success moving the chains and as long as Braxton Miller can avoid mistakes in turning the ball over, the Buckeyes may record a huge win in the Big House.

The emotional effort that Michigan put in is going to be tough to deal with, but the Buckeyes know they don't have a lot of time to impress voters to get into the National Championship Game. It will be close for a while, but the Buckeyes should pull away for the win.

Kansas State Wildcats @ Kansas Jayhawks Pick: It has been another long, tough season for Charlie Weis and the Kansas Jayhawks and I think it won't be ending in any positive manner against their local rivals, the Kansas State Wildcats.

The difference in the Offensive and Defensive units favours Kansas State heavily and the only way this game is close is if the Wildcats are sloppy in the manner they approach it.

I can see Jake Walters having a big game from the Quarter Back position, especially with an established running game and I do think Kansas State will find a way to win this game and cover the spread.

Baylor Bears @ TCU Horned Frogs Pick: This is likely to be a closer game than I initially thought with the emotional investment that Baylor had in their game last week which saw their National Championship ambitions go up in smoke. Baylor still have a lot to play for in the remaining two weeks of the season, but the emotional impact of last week's loss is not to be underestimated.

On the other hand, TCU have lost 4 of their last 5 games to fall out of Bowl eligibility and that may see them have a let down performance against a powerful Baylor team.

Both Defenses are tough units, but Baylor's Offense should have the more success of the two Offenses that take the field. As long as Bryce Petty can afford turning the ball over, I can see the Baylor Defense winning the field position which should give them every chance to cover the spread.

Baylor have to have revenge on their mind for last season against TCU too and having more to play for should give them the mental edge to win this game and cover the spread.

Clemson Tigers @ South Carolina Gamecocks Pick: This game has the making of a shoot-out and Clemson have the chance to beat THREE SEC teams in a row if they can knock off the Gamecocks. The Tigers beat LSU in a Bowl game last season and then beat Georgia to open this campaign.

Playing South Carolina hasn't ended well for Clemson in recent seasons, but they have a team that can certainly match them for points this time around.

Turnovers are going to be critical and it was those mistakes that cost Clemson the game against Florida State as they were in a big hole early in that game. Out of the two Defenses, I think there is a little more upside for Clemson as far as I am concerned but it is a shame that they have been so heavily backed this week that their points have gone from + 5 to + 3 as the week moved on.

I still think Clemson are worth chancing with the points behind them here, especially if South Carolina hear Missouri are losing and they may just take their foot off the gas with a game against the SEC West winners next week.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Stanford Cardinal Pick: This is going to be a tough, physical game for both teams and I do think it is going to be a lot closer than the layers seem to believe.

Notre Dame should have enough success throwing the ball to at least make this a competitive game, while Stanford will likely bleed the clock with long sustained drives on the ground.

That makes the 15.5 points being given to the Fighting Irish look a little on the high side as far as I am concerned and I'll back them to at least cover.

MY PICKS: Nebraska Cornhuskers - 2.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Troy Trojans - 7 Points @ 2.05 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Fresno State Bulldogs - 8.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Washington State Cougars + 16.5 Points @ 2.00 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - 2.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Ohio State Buckeyes - 15.5 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
Kansas State Wildcats - 17.5 Points @ 2.00 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Baylor Bears - 13.5 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Clemson Tigers + 3 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish + 15.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

Week 13: 5-3, + 1.77 Units (8 Units Staked, + 22.13% Yield)
Week 122-6, - 4 Units (8 Units Staked, - 50% Yield)
Week 117-2, + 4.59 Units (9 Units Staked, + 51% Yield)
Week 106-3-1, + 2.69 Units (10 Units Staked, + 26.9% Yield)
Week 94-4, - 0.23 Units (8 Units Staked, - 2.86% Yield)
Week 86-2, + 3.58 Units (8 Units Staked, + 44.75% Yield)
Week 73-6, - 3.26 Units (9 Units Staked, - 36.22% Yield)
Week 63-5, - 2.08 Units (8 Units Staked, - 26% Yield)
Week 56-2, + 3.66 Units (8 Units Staked, + 45.75% Yield)
Week 42-6, - 4.08 Units (8 Units Staked, - 51% Yield)
Week 35-2-1, + 2.77 Units (8 Units Staked, + 34.63% Yield)
Week 26-2, + 3.55 Units (8 Units Staked, + 44.38% Yield)
Week 14-3, + 0.74 Units (7 Units Staked, + 10.57% Yield)

Season 201357-40-2, + 9.70 Units (107 Units Staked, + 9.07% Yield)

Season 201254-59-1 - 7.11 Units (114 Units Staked, - 6.24% Yield)
Season 201163-36, + 23.25 Units (99 Units Staked, + 23.5% Yield)

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