College and NFL Football: This Weekend's Best Bets
Well, that unraveled quickly. Just a few weeks ago, nobody was giving you more winners on the internet than I was. I was like an ATM machine with no password (or at the very least, a password of "1234"), just spewing money all over the place for all of you to stockpile to buy those holiday gifts.
And now, sadly, I'm under 50 percent winners for the year. As Gary Kubiak used to say (before he became the next Vince Lombardi in Denver), "That's on me. I've got to go back and look at the film and get that corrected, John." (Kubes always answered to John McClain when he was here.)
So let's get this thing corrected and try to get 6-0, or at least 5-1….
LSU/ALABAMA UNDER 49
The spread on this game is Alabama -6.5, and if I had a gun to my head, I'd probably take the points, despite the fact that LSU has not played particularly well against Alabama over the last few years. But why pick a side when I can just bet on both of these defenses smacking the opposing offenses in the face for sixty minutes? In their last five games against Alabama, LSU is averaging 11 points per game. I'm thinking something like Alabama, 23-20, and we still get the UNDER comfortably. (Truth be told, I think if the game goes to overtime, they should just let Leonard Fournette and Derrick Henry have a "trial by combat" to decide who wins the game.)
Florida State +12 at CLEMSON
So the first College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and look who's at number one! CLEMSON! This game was circled early in the season as a de facto elimination game for the loser. With FSU having lost to Georgia Tech two weeks ago, that is certainly the case for the Noles. For Clemson, that number one ranking certainly adds some juice to this game, and probably puts a bigger chip on the Noles' collective shoulder. We are still waiting to see if Everett Golson has recovered from the concussion and starts, but I'll roll the dice that he does. He's played in a lot of big games, enough to where I think he keeps this within a dozen.
Cincinnati +9 over HOUSTON
I am putting this pick out with a staunch track record of being a homer for the Tom Herman-coached version of the Coogs. I love Herman. He's one of those guys that feels like he'd be successful at anything you hired him to do. I think the Coogs will win this game, but there are WAY too many people talking about Memphis coming to town on November 14. Classic lookahead game against a Cincy team that has a quarterback in Gunner Kiel who can hang in a shootout with Greg Ward, Jr.
Rams -2.5 over VIKINGS
We are going to keep riding the Gurley Train, and let ol' TG3 go get his weekly 150 yards. The problem for the Vikings is this St. Louis defense, which is the only defense in the NFL to rank in the top five in both rushing defense and passing defense in the Football Outsiders' DVOA stats. The Vikings have played over their heads this season, and the Rams are just the team to bring them back down to earth. (Also, I'm cool with Gurley and Adrian Peterson going "trial by combat" for overtime in this game, too.)
BILLS -3 over Dolphins
It appears the sugar high of Dan Campbell's bluster and Oklahoma drills has finally worn off. It took two weeks and one game against the Patriots for is to learn that, when they're not playing the Titans or Texans, the Dolphins are still basically the Dolphins. I think the Bills front seven will torment the ever loving hell out of Ryan Tannehill, who is no better now than he was under Joe Philbin. (DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE BOX SCORE OF THE TEXANS GAME.) The slide back into the Philbin Zone continues on Sunday.
Broncos -4.5 at COLTS
So the defense that made 2015 Aaron Rodgers look like 2015 Andrew Luck last Sunday now gets to go against the actual 2015 Andrew Luck? Well, give me all of that! Gary Kubiak gets to experience something he never did as the Texans' head coach — a win IN Indianapolis!
Last Week: 1-4-1
Season Record: 26-27-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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