Recap on the season to date... 15-7 overall with the NFL week 1 being en fuego coming out of the gates 5-0. This column lost 3 college games in the last minute and won one on the last play of the game in Week 4. All our NFL games played out exactly as predicted, with the exception of Buffalo turning the ball over 4 times in the first half and having to fight back from a 16-0 deficit to win, all while getting the points as an underdog.
As previously stated, the goal in this column is 60%, so 68% to date is more than acceptable and ringing the cash register for us!
now on with the show...
NAVY - 7 over East Carolina The Midshipmen open their conference season in Annapolis against the Pirates and the view from here is Navy's a much improved team off a bye week. Word is some spread principles have been added to the offensive arsenal and they actually passed the ball eight times in their season opener two weeks ago. They are 11 - 6 as recent home favorites, while East Carolina is a dismal 1-21 in their last 22 road games as an underdog. Ride the Naval wave here!
Air Force + 4 1/2 vs Colorado Staying with the Service Academy theme, Air Force is an experienced Service Academy with 14 starters back. Colorado beat us last week versus Nebraska scoring a TD with 26 seconds to go, but I'm not afraid to go against them one more time as their offense has not stopped anyone. Colorado State and Nebraska ran up and down the field on them, and now they get an opponent unlike the gassed Nebraska team in the second half last week, who plays in altitude as well. Take the generous points here with the Falcons catching the Buffs off two straight very emotional rivalry games!
Michigan State - 13 over Arizona State The Spartans are playing with revenge as the Sun Devils finally took the lead and beat them on the last play of the game last year with a field goal as time expired. Sparty has one of the nastiest defenses in the nation and Arizona State comes across country with a freshman QB at the helm, and single digit starters returning. Spartans fry the Sun Devils this week!
BYU + 5 vs USC Granted, the Trojans beat a Stanford team without their starting QB at home last week, but now they are going on the road in ALTITUDE at Provo Utah. The Cougars are coming off a huge victory predicted here last week over the Tennessee Volunteers. They were getting points as an underdog in Neyland Stadium last week. Head coach Clay Helton for USC is a dismal 7-15 when the Trojans are favored and this column likes the BYU Cougars once again as underdogs playing in altitude at home vs the true freshman QB led Trojans. The BYU vs Utah game was much closer than the final in the opening game of the year and do not look for the Cougars to turn it over 4 times to USC, like in their opener. This is a veteran BYU team that can match USC in the trenches on the offensive and defensive lines.
Virginia - 7 over FSU This is the first time in history that a Cavalier team has been favored over the Seminoles, but this column sees two teams going in different directions and the Wahoos are justifiably favored here. Bryce Perkins is a do-all QB for Virginia and Bronco Mendenhall is a much better coach than Willie Taggert. The real question in Tallahassee is whether Taggart will last another season for the Seminoles. Look for Virginia to put another nail in the coffin this week!
Southern Mississippi + 3 vs Troy The Golden Eagles let us down last week in the last minute with a pick-6 that beat us against Mississippi State, but let's ride them one more time as underdogs versus the Neal Brown-less led Trojans. Brown coached Troy to three straight 10 win seasons, along with parlaying that into the WVU head coaching job, and regression is predicted for the Troy program. Take the points with the Golden Eagles this week once again!
Eastern Michigan + 8 vs Illinois Could the Fighting Illini be peaking ahead to their Big Ten opener vs Nebraska next week? Regardless, we like the Eagles out of the disrespected MAC to continue their road warrior ways. If not for Kentucky scoring with 56 seconds to go last week, the Eagles would be a sparkling 16 - 1 ATS as an underdog on the road. Remember, this is the same team, one year older and better, that went into Purdue last year and upset the Boilermakers in West Lafayette! Take the points
Almost making the cut... Ohio, Army, Central Florida, Northern Illinois and UCLA
Baltimore - 13 over Arizona Baltimore manhandled the Dolphins last week as predicted in this column! Although, taking a double digit favorite in the NFL is frowned upon, they are 13-7 ATS the last 20 times that has occurred. Not afraid to ride the Raven machine one more week, as rookie QB and Heisman winner Kyler Murray is now facing a Ravens defense that will not wear down in 100 degree desert heat like the Lions did last week. They melted away an 18 point lead in the 4th quarter in more ways than one in allowing Arizona to come back and tie them. Baltimore says our Heisman winning QB is bigger, faster and better, so look for the Ravens to hammer the Cardinals!
Green Bay - 2 1/2 over Minnesota The Vikings took care of business last week as predicted here vs the Falcons, but passing the ball only TEN times against the Falcons!? Cmon man with Diggs and Thielen...that will not get it done here against the Packers. A fully healthy Aaron Rodgers will lead the Packers to a somewhat comfortable victory over a suspect Kirk Cousins led Minnesota crew at Lambeau Field!
Pittsburgh - 3 over Seattle The Seahawks were out gained 2-1 by Cincinnati last week and by all rights should have lost outright. Now they travel cross-country and face a Steeler defense tailor made to stop their running game. Add to the fact, the dreaded 10:00 am body clock start time for the Pacific-Coasters, and we have the recipe for a Steeler redemptive win. In addition, Seattle is 1-12-1 ATS in road openers. Take Pittsburgh
Houston -8 over Jacksonville As foretold in this column, the Texans gave the Saints all they wanted and then some in falling short on a 58 yard FG as time expired in a wild shoot out. Now the Texans face a Jaguars team without their starting QB, as Nick Foles suffered a broken collar bone. Rookie QB Gardner Minshew out of Washington State guides the Jags into Relient Stadium to face a Houston defense which held them to single digits in BOTH games last year! Take the Texans to roll once again!
Oakland + 7 1/2 vs Kansas City This is a different Raiders team as the cancerous Antonio Brown was let go days before their opener. Money poured in on Denver before their opener, but guess what...the Raiders said Antonio WHO? They rolled on offense looking better than they have in the past two years. QB David Carr looked poised and confident in year two of coach John Gruden's offense. Kansas City on the other hand, pulled away from Jacksonville after QB Foles went down. The Chiefs had their own HUGE loss in wide-out Tyreek Hill being out for 4-6 weeks. Look for the Raiders to take away Sammy Watkins this week, and the jury is still out on whether rookie sensation Hardeman out of Georgia can fill the void. Too many points in this NFL ancient fierce rivalry. Take the Raiders at home as underdogs once again and the generous points!
Just missing the cut... Chicago with an unheard of 4 extra days prep time versus Denver, Atlanta with QB Matt Ryan's home opening win record, LA Rams taking into consideration the Saints early season starts alluded to last week in this column, and NY Jets as the hype failed surrounding the Browns as we wrote about last week...why are they favored once again on the road facing a defensive coordinator that was their head coach for 3 years?