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Saturday, 11 October 2014

College Football Week 7 Picks 2014 (October 11)

Week 6 of the 2014 College Football season will live long in the memory of those who enjoyed the full day of coverage as highly Ranked team after highly Ranked team were not just struggling to cover spreads, but were being beaten.

It all began on a Thursday after the Oregon Ducks were stunned for a second season in a row by the Arizona Wildcats, but the Saturday proved to be even more difficult for those teams that many thought would be fighting it out for the Play Off places on offer.

The Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma Sooners, UCLA Bruins and Texas A&M Aggies were other top 10 teams that were beaten, while the Stanford Cardinal and LSU Tigers can at least say they were beaten by other Ranked teams. That wasn't the case for the USC Trojans nor the Wisconsin Badgers as a brutal day for the so-called best teams in the nation left carnage every where you turned.

It didn't help my cause with some of my picks going down in extremely unfortunate situations that made it a very poor week. The Oklahoma State Cowboys gave up a late Touchdown to miss the cover by point, the West Virginia Mountaineers fumbled inside the Kansas 20 yard line and then gave up a punt return for a Touchdown for a 14 point swing in the final quarter of that game to win by 19 and all in all it was a terrible week.

College Football has proven to be a difficult task for the picks, but there is time to turn things back in a positive direction and I will be hoping for better from the picks made for Week 7, all of which will be played on Saturday 11th October.

Rice Owls @ Army Black Knights Pick: Two teams that haven't had a great start to the 2014 season will be hoping they have turned something of a corner after the Rice Owls won consecutive games and the Army Black Knights beat Ball State last weekend.

Rice have won the last two times they have played Army, although the last of those games came back in 2008 and I do like the Owls to make it three wins in a row for the season. The Owls should be able to move the ball effectively when they have it in their hands, but the key to the game could be how the Defense copes with the Army triple option that everyone in the nation knows the will be running.

The triple option can be a surprise to teams that haven't seen that system much and that would be a concern for Rice, but I think Army are perhaps a touch over-rated after their win over Ball State last week. I can't ignore that this team lost to Yale and I think the Black Knights are going to have a hard time slowing down Rice which should help the road team win this game.

Cincinnati Bearcats @ Miami Hurricanes Pick: The Miami Hurricanes had a disappointing loss at Georgia Tech last week, but I can see them bouncing back against the Cincinnati Bearcats who have been horrific Defensively and now miss Gunner Kiel for this game.

I don't know what happened to the Bearcats last week, but they imploded after taking a Touchdown lead against the Memphis Tigers as they made critical mistakes by turning the ball over and couldn't get off the field Defensively. The injury to Kiel stifled the Offense in the second half and his absence is going to be a tough one to overcome.

The Miami Defense has also played pretty well for the majority of the season and really have turned things on when they have played at home. If they can continue playing the rush as hard as they have, the Hurricanes might be able to make enough plays by using pressure up front to prevent Munchie Legaux making enough plays with his arm.

On the other hand, the Bearcats have really struggled Defensively all season and Miami should have a strong day running and throwing the ball. However, their Freshman Quarter Back Brad Kaaya has to try and steer clear of the Interceptions that he has thrown this season if the Hurricanes are to pull away for the big win, although he also has the potential to have his biggest game of his career.

Miami struggled after a loss last season, but outside of going 0-3 against the spread in that spot in 2013, the Hurricanes are 10-2 against the loss off a straight loss under Al Holden including covering twice already this season.

Florida State Seminoles @ Syracuse Orange Pick: The Florida State Seminoles should have had a week talking about how easy it is for a team to slip up if they are not completely focused and I expect that to help them to create a fairly comfortable victory on Saturday, even on the road. The Syracuse Orange are missing their first choice Quarter Back and the inexperience leading the Offense could see drives stall as well as crucial turnovers playing a real part in this ACC game.

Jameis Winston has not been as error free as last season which could see mistakes made from the Florida State Offense too, especially as they are missing a couple of big name players on that side of the ball. However, the extra focus that Jimbo Fisher should have been demanding can play its part and help the Seminoles move clear.

There is no way the game finishes as wide as last season, but the Seminoles should still prove too strong for a Syracuse team that have struggled to put points on the board over the last three games.

It is still a big spread considering how close a lot of the Florida State games have been this season, but Notre Dame and Louisville have both come here and won convincingly in the last couple of games and I expect the Seminoles to follow suit. The Fighting Irish are the next team on the schedule for Florida State, but Week 6 will have shown that they can't dare overlook any game at the moment and I will back the Seminoles to win this one big.

Duke Blue Devils @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Pick: If you like pound it down the middle football, this could be the game for you this weekend as both the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Duke Blue Devils are expected to be able to move the chains on the ground for much of the afternoon.

The triple option that the Yellow Jackets run makes that less of a surprise, but their Defense hasn't been able to stop the run themselves and Duke can take full advantage of that fact. They will need to as well because Anthony Boone has just been making a few mistakes of late that have cost Duke and this Georgia Tech Secondary have been very good at turning the ball over.

It is those turnovers that could prove to be a pivotal reason why the team that prevails does do so and to that regard you would have to favour the Yellow Jackets to make those plays. They also have a lot of history on their side with the 10 straight wins in the series and it is clear that the Duke Blue Devils are not so good when travelling.

Last season was an exception to that rule, but the Blue Devils have already been seen off in Miami this season and they are playing a Georgia Tech team that is 14-5-1 against the spread as the home favourite.

Duke won the ACC Coastal Division last season which will keep Georgia Tech focused on the task at hand and I think they will win this one by more than a Field Goal thanks to a couple of late turnovers as the Blue Devils push to get back into the game.

Buffalo Bulls @ Eastern Michigan Eagles Pick: This is a big number for the Buffalo Bulls to cover considering they are on the road, but I think they are the right team in this one against the Eastern Michigan Eagles and I do think they win this one going away.

Buffalo haven't won a lot of games easily and were a surprisingly easy loser at the Army Black Knights, while they have also lost three in a row on the road at Eastern Michigan.

However, the Bulls have an Offense that should have plenty of success against this Eagles Defense whether they choose to run the ball or pass the ball and that means the pressure will be on the Eagles when they have the ball to try and keep up.

Eastern Michigan haven't scored more than 14 points in any of their last 7 games against FBS schools and their Offense has been lacklustre to say the least. They might find a little more room to move the ball in this one, but it could be a struggle, especially if they are chasing a large deficit which should open the chance for the Bulls pass rush to attack this Offensive Line and lead to the win and cover. The Eagles are also just 6-13 against the spread as the home underdog over the last few seasons and could suffer another loss this week.

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick: With a game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Florida State Seminoles, it would be easy for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to overlook the meat in the sandwich, particularly as North Carolina have not been as good as many expected.

However, the Fighting Irish are not in the one of the power Conferences and a loss to the Tar Heels would make it extremely unlikely that they are invited into the Play Off at the end of the season.

The game against Florida State is obviously one that could propel Notre Dame into the top four if they win it, but they can't take this one lightly and the match up looks one they can take advantage of. Everett Golson has every chance of promoting his Heisman credentials in the game where he should be able to pick up yards on the ground as well as racking them up through the air.

The pressure will be on the North Carolina Tar Heels and Marquise Williams to keep up, but he is unlikely to be backed by much support on the ground and Notre Dame could make hay in third and long Defense. The Tar Heels will need their Offense at their best to keep this close, but the Fighting Irish haven't given up much in terms of points and could move clear in this one unless taking their eye of the ball in anticipation of the visit to Florida State.

Notre Dame have improved to 6-3-1 against the spread as the home favourite with Everett Golson under Center, while the Tar Heels have failed to cover in all 6 road games where they are the underdog since Larry Fedora took over.

Auburn Tigers @ Mississippi State Bulldogs Pick: When two of the top three Ranked teams in the nation meet one another, there is no doubt that it is going to be the game of the week. That is even more so when both teams are in the same Division with wide-reaching Play Off implications from the result of the game and both the Auburn Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will feel they can go into their bye week unbeaten.

These teams have produced very similar numbers of when it comes to running the ball and defending against the run, while both the Tigers and Bulldogs have a couple of top dual-threat Quarter Backs. That could help cause some problems for the Defenses that have to slow them down, but the key is likely going to be which of Nick Marshall or Dak Prescott avoid mistakes and hit the big throws.

While the Auburn Secondary have not given up too many big plays, Mississippi State's Secondary have given up a over 300 yards per game through the air and that may prove to be the difference in the game. Nick Marshall's Offensive Line may also offer a little more in pass protection than Dak Prescott's and that time to throw could be the key for Auburn, the team that lost in the National Championship last season, remaining unbeaten after this difficult road game.

Auburn are 4-2 against the spread in their last 6 games as the road favourite and I do think they are the better team, but there was some magic in the state of Mississippi in Week 6 that is my only concern.

TCU Horned Frogs @ Baylor Bears Pick: I am a big fan of Phil Steele and his College Football preview and he had stated the TCU Horned Frogs were his Number 1 team on the Most Improved List for the season. They had shown they were a better team than the 2013 version, but underlined that with an impressive win over the Oklahoma Sooners last weekend.

That was a very good win, but Trevor Knight made some real mistakes that I won't be expecting of Bryce Petty and that might be the main reason that the Baylor Bears don't go the same way as the last team favoured to win the Big 12.

The Sooners showed you can move the ball against the TCU Defense as long as you play a fairly clean game and that is what Baylor will be looking to bring at home where they haven't lost since TCU last visited.

I am expecting TCU to make this competitive after the way they played last week, but they also have the mental burden of picking themselves up after a big win for another huge game, this time on the road. The Baylor Defense is under-rated, although the loss of Jamal Palmer will affect how much of a pass rush they can generate.

TCU made some critical mistakes late in their game with Oklahoma which would cost them against a better team like Baylor. The Bears are also 15-2 against the spread as the home favourite, although one of those failures to cover was against the Horned Frogs. I expect that to keep them focused this time and come away with a big win to put Baylor in command of the Big 12 Conference.

Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Kansas Jayhawks Pick: Another big road spread, but I do think the Oklahoma State Cowboys can get the better of the Kansas Jayhawks who were fortunate to 'only' lose by 19 in their last game against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The Cowboys have blown out Kansas in 3 of their last 4 games in the series, although their last game here was much closer than they would have liked. With the game against TCU next on slate, some may think Oklahoma State look ahead, but I don't think they played well enough last week to overlook Kansas.

Even without JW Walsh, Oklahoma State should be able to move the ball consistently against Kansas, while the Defense looks like it will get a lot of pressure on the Kansas Offensive Line which will stall drives on that front and give the Cowboys every chance to secure another big win over this school.

Oklahoma State started slowly last week, but I expect a better performance from their Offense which should lead to a clearance of this spread.

East Carolina Pirates @ South Florida Bulls Pick: Last week, East Carolina didn't get close to covering the 41 points they were being asked to against the SMU Mustangs and much of that was because of the Defense and the inability to get off the field in fourth down spots. The Mustangs were 5/6 in fourth down conversions last week and that is an area the Pirates will be looking to improve, especially as they are likely to build a big lead in this one too.

Shane Carden has been playing at a very high level and figures to be well supported by Breon Allen on the ground and the feeling is that East Carolina will be able to move the ball fairly effectively all evening. The one concern would be the ability of the South Florida Bulls to create turnovers, but East Carolina may also return that favour against an Offense that is struggling to score points.

The two week bye will have given South Florida a lot of time to prepare for this game, but they might be asking a bit much of Mike White to take advantage of some of the issues the Pirates have had in the Secondary. White might be asked to do a lot more than normal if East Carolina continue playing the run as hard as they have and he has thrown more Interceptions than Touchdown passes so far.

South Florida are just 2-5 against the spread as the home underdog over the last fourteen months since Willie Taggert took over as Head Coach and I think they will have a hard time improving those numbers this week.

USC Trojans @ Arizona Wildcats Pick: The USC Trojans were beaten by a Hail Mary pass last week by the Arizona State Sun Devils and that might be it as far as it goes for this team in the Pac-12 South. Another loss this week would essentially confirm that, but I am still surprised the Trojans are favoured to win on the road at the Arizona Wildcats.

The home team surprised the Oregon Ducks in Week 6, the second season in a row they have knocked off Oregon, and the Wildcats are unbeaten and perhaps dreaming of getting themselves in the Play Off mix for the National Championship.

Arizona have struggled to defend the pass which is an area that USC can take advantage, but I like the Wildcats chances of controlling the clock which may prove to be a key to this game. They will also have a chance to throw against USC so I do expect this to be a very close and competitive game.

The Wildcats are 3-0 against the spread in their home games as an underdog under Rich Rodriguez, while the Trojans are 1-8 against the spread in their last 9 games as the road favourite. There is the mental let down concern for the home team, but they have had a couple of extra days to recover from the win over Oregon and I like taking the points.

MY PICKS: Rice Owls @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Miami Hurricanes - 16.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Florida State Seminoles - 24 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - 3.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Buffalo Bulls - 14.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 16.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Auburn Tigers - 2.5 Points @ 1.85 Coral (1 Unit)
Baylor Bears - 8 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Oklahoma State Cowboys - 21 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
East Carolina Pirates - 17 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Arizona Wildcats + 3 Points @ 1.85 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)

Week 6: 2-7, - 5.13 Units (9 Units Staked, - 57% Yield)
Week 54-5, - 1.13 Units (9 Units Staked, - 12.56% Yield)
Week 46-5, + 0.58 Units (11 Units Staked, + 5.27% Yield)
Week 33-7-1, - 4.18 Units (11 Units Staked, - 38% Yield)
Week 25-6, - 1.18 Units (11 Units Staked, - 10.72% Yield)
Week 16-4, + 1.77 Units (10 Units Staked, + 11.7% Yield)

Season 201426-34-1, - 9.27 Units (61 Units Staked, - 15.20% Yield)
Season 201365-49-2, + 8.49 Units (124 Units Staked, + 6.85% 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)

1 comment:

  1. I love to play football wherever I get time. I have a great interest to know everything about football teams. Do you have a list
    of big 12 teams? If you can share here the list then it will be great for me.