Peter from Cleveland Frowns brings us this week's picks. Get them in quickly, because your bookie is going to Venezuela "for the weekend" and may not make it back "for a while." #extradition
It doesn't always happen this way, but last week's big hit with South Carolina helped create circumstances that call for another large play this Saturday.
It probably takes a place like the sports book to really show us the power of love and what a beautiful thing Stockholm Syndrome is, at bottom. It also shows what a brutal business this can be that a part of us will have miss the BCS when it's gone. Because what will go away along with the oppresive regime is so much of the wishful thinking it necessitates, such thinking being an increasingly influential factor in the point spreads for the biggest games as the season unfolds.
Alabama having fallen last week opens the floodgates. Ding-dong WOO! Anything can happen now! All the better because look who's taken up at the top of the polls in the Tide's place, who also happens to be playing their next biggest game of the season this Saturday ...
Ohio State -4 over Wisconsin (10 units), 7:05 ET, ESPN: It's not just the hope created by the Tide having been deposed, but a much more comfortable target has taken Alabama's place. It's a Badger Nation this week.
K.C. Joyner writes that "Terrelle Pryor is vastly overrrated" and does ten times the facebook numbers he did with his column of the week before. Stories on the Buckeye's projected #5 BCS ranking are burning up the web as well. We've been hearing all week about how Wisconsin outgained Ohio State by some 200 yards in last season's matchup, but nothing about how this played right into Tressel's hands. It takes *time* to gain all those yards. It's amazing what folks will talk themselves into. Anyway, I'm 10-1 picking Buckeye football games against the spread in print going back to the first week of last season. I don't do it every week. This is a good one.
Oklahoma State +3 over Texas Tech (4 units), 3:30 ET, FOX PLUS: With the midseason hair power rankings having just been released, this one couldn't come at a better time.
Grass really doesn't grow on busy roads. It doesn't grow on 2000+ teraflop computers or nuclear reactors either. Dana Holgorsen served as offensive coordinator at under Mike Leach at Texas Tech for seven seasons. It's not such a fine line between wishful thinking and doing the right thing.
Texas +10 over Nebraska (4 units), 3:35 ET, ABC: It's understood that Nebraska's defense might be able to cover this by itself, but Texas wants to win at least one big one this season. They've seen a pistol offense once already (remember, it's important to have seen it once). Let's assume they're coming along at least a bit. The Washington Huskies' is the best defense that T-Magic's ever been made on. It's the Big 12. For the last time! Show Me ten points isn't too many here.
Auburn -3.5 over Arkansas (3 units), 3:35 ET, CBS: The wishful thinking angle probably plays here too with respect to Auburn, one of two undefeated teams remaining in the SEC. And of course there's Malzahn. Mostly though, I just won't wager on Ryan Mallett in a big game without a good reason and I can't find one here. The Tigers' ugly numbers against the pass aren't flying under the radar.
Mississippi State +7.5 over Florida (3 units), 7:05 ET, ESPN: The spread was 17.5 for this one last season in Starkville. Let's ride this out with Firehorse.
Which wraps up this week's slate. LSU/McNeese State is the one that got away (only because my book won't take action on it*). Hope everyone enjoys. Your feedback on these and the rest is necessary as always. Thanks.
(I'm 12-14-4 (+4 units) picking this season against the spread so far here and 15-14-4 (+8 units) counting the additional picks published at Cleveland Frowns).