Recapping last weeks results, we were 3-2 in the colleges and pros, along with honorable mention picks going 2-1. This puts us at a solid 6-2 on the year in college preferred picks or 75%. The NFL stands at 3-2, right at our money making and desired goal of 60%. For those who like lots of action, the honorable mention picks brings the overall percentage to 69% or 11-5 overall. Not too shabby so far.
In the colleges, Army rolled as predicted over the out-manned ULM Warhawks. Coastal Carolina toasted Kansas as an underdog. Syracuse deserved a better fate, barely trailing 10-6 entering the 4th quarter only to surrender 3 TD's. South Alabama led the entire game, but as forecast, Tulane scored with 3 minutes to go eking out a victory. We were just flat out wrong on Western Kentucky and the final two TD margin did not reflect the Cardinal's true dominance of that game. We came very close to sweeping the honorable mention picks, if not for a late Miami score against UAB. Arkansas State and Louisiana won outright as double digit underdogs at Power 5 Big Twelve schools Kansas State and Iowa State.
In the NFL, we were completely wrong on the Tampa Bay selection, as Tom Brady looked like a reincarnation of Famous Jameous Winston's turnover circus. Philadelphia was the big disappointment after having complete control at Washington, turning a 17-0 dominating performance into 27 straight points for their opponent after getting greedy. Right before the half, they should have run clock being up 17 and dominating with all the momentum, but instead turned it over deep in their territory. This allowed Washington to score in the waning moments right before the half. Momentum lost, and Washington took out the frustration of 6 straight losses to the Eagles. Pittsburgh, Arizona and Denver came through with flying colors for a solid 60% for the NFL lid-lifting week. With that being said:
on with the show...
Baylor -6 vs Houston
We like ex-Mountaineer Coach Dana Holgerson and the Cougars here with 19 returning starters and EIGHT spring practices to Baylor's ZERO spring practices and 9 returning starters. With only 2 returning starters on defense and a new head coach in Dave Aranda, its one of the least experienced teams in the country. We look for Houston to keep it close and just maybe come away with the outright victory over the Bears in Waco! Houston +6
Marshall + 3 1/2 vs Appalachian State
The junior Mountaineers out of Boone, North Carolina look to stampede the Thundering Herd in Huntington. Coach Shawn Clark leads a veteran team with ELEVEN spring practices headed by QB Zac Thomas, a deep stable of running backs and solid offensive line against a Marshall team with only 4 returning starters on defense and ZERO spring practices. Add to the fact that Coach Clark comes back to his home stomping grounds, having played his high school ball in Charleston, and there is an added sense of importance to this game for the junior Mountaineers. We respect Coach Doc Holliday's program, but freshman QB Grant Wells is NOT playing Eastern Kentucky this week and takes a giant step up in competition. In fact, we think the Thundering Herd may be wishing they had played the WVU Mountaineers after this one is over! Appalachian State -3 1/2
Georgia Southern + 5 1/2 vs Florida Atlantic
The Owls of FAU were only returning 9 starters and have lost 4 of those, including stud QB Chris Robeson. Add in the fact they have a new head coach that is one of the most overrated in the country, Willie Taggart (he of the losing career record), along with brand new schemes on both sides of the ball, and we feel the odds-makers are over reacting to last week's score. The huge comeback and narrow victory by the Eagles over FCS perennial playoff contender Campbell last week, 27-26, was deceiving. They had TEN starters out against the Camels and 33 players missing due to Covid for that game. Taking everything into consideration, we like the Eagles with a game under their belt (GUB) advantage already, against the inexperienced and poorly coached Owls of FAU! Georgia Southern outright + ANY available points
Middle Tennessee + 3 1/2 vs Troy
We like Coach Rick Stockstill and the Blue Raiders to bounce back at home versus the Trojans here. Troy is replacing their all-conference QB, while Middle has a two-headed monster at QB with Chase Cunningham and Asher O'Hara. After being embarrassed by Army (as we predicted on opening week) 42-0, they are coming off a bye week with a GUB advantage over Troy. In addition, Middle Tennessee is 26-9 under Stockstill in their last 35 home games, and they are getting points here.
Middle Tennessee + 3 1/2
Tulane - 7 1/2 vs Navy
Look for the proud Midshipmen to play like their hair is on fire vs a stout Green Wave defense this week. Suffering the programs worst defeat under coach Ken Niumatalolo, Navy went back to full scale hitting and tackling in the weeks since. Their first since last year, after BYU put a woodshed whupping on them 55-3. Tulane trailed the whole game against South Alabama last week pulling it out in the last 3 minutes. Their veteran defense did not look good until the 4th quarter (have never played well against the Navy option game), and they are lacking firepower on offense, as most of the play-makers graduated last year. We look for a bounce back kamikaze effort from Navy this week! Navy + 7 1/2
None this week
Chicago - 6 vs New York
Although we picked Pittsburgh last week over the Giants, we came away impressed with QB Daniel Jones improvement under former Dallas head coach and new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. If not for a costly turnover on the last of a NINETEEN play drive, who knows if the Giants might have knocked off the Steelers. As for the Bears, they are a uncontested dropped pass by the Lions with seconds to go, from losing. Does lightning strike twice for the Bears this week, as they had to score THREE TD's in the 4th quarter to beat the Lions, and really had to receive a miracle dropped lob pass to secure the victory. We think Mitch Trubisky of the first three quarters against the Lions reappears, and Saquon Barkley gets untracked this week against a vastly inferior defense to what he faced with the Steelers. No way Mr. Barkley is held to SIX rushing yards on 15 totes of the rock this week. New York Giants + 6
New York Jets + 6 vs San Francisco
Heeding our warning about the previous year's Super Bowl loser would have been wise, as the Arizona Cardinals beat the 49ers outright getting a TD head start last week. Look for San Fran to right the ship this week against the woebegone Jets who are now without Le'Veon Bell on IR. The Niner's stellar D does not struggle against immoble QB's of which Sam Darnold IS and Kyler Murray last week is NOT! San Francisco - 6
Seattle - 4 1/2 vs New England
We love Pete Carroll's coaching, Russel Wilson and the Seahawks, but how can one go against coach Belichick in an underdog role. Since the loudest stadium in the NFL will be Covid-silent, we have to take the new look Patriots and coach Hoodie with his 12-3 record the last 15 times as an underdog. Many of those were without Tom Brady at the helm. The Patriots also have the superior defense here too. New England + 4 1/2
Pittsburgh - 6 1/2 vs Denver
We like the Steelers here against Denver off a short week of travel and playing and losing the late Monday night game. That makes the week even shorter for them. Pittsburgh on defense should have an immense advantage going up against the green Drew Lock for the Broncos. Not only that, but Big Ben finally seemed to knock off the rust in the second half against the Giants making some big-time plays in the second half to stretch a comfortable and winning lead. Look for more of the same at home against the continuing theme of last season, namely, atrocious clock management of Denver head coach Vic Fangio! Pittsburgh - 6 1/2
Philadelphia Even vs Los Angeles
Very disappointing performance from the Eagles last week versus Washington, but now they turn around to face the Rams. Not only that, but after SEVEN sacks of Carson Wentz, they are now down two O-linemen to boot. Not a good look when you are going up against Aaron Donald and the stout Ram D. All the professional handicappers will point to the early body clock start time for the west coast Rams, but there is an offsetting factor. The last six times LA has traveled east, they have covered the spread in that dreaded 10 a.m. west coast body clock start. Not only that, but the road warrior Rams are 9-3 against the spread their last 12 away games. Something seems off with Wentz and Philadelphia, as they have now dropped 13 of their last 17 against the Vegas number. Injuries on the O-line does not help here as well. L A Rams to win in a pick-em game
Your fearless forecaster