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Football! This Weekend's Best Bets

It's an SEC kinda week
It's an SEC kinda week

Time for another round of college and NFL friendly wagers.

Are my selection techniques the most textbook, orthodox methods in the world? No. I mean, if I hosted a handicapping show and gave out six games and chose those games because they gave me convenient fodder to talk about the season premieres of TV shows for the fall season, I doubt the show would last very long.

(The second part of my downfall would be my honesty in giving out my actual record on games selected, as opposed to fudging it with "smoke and mirrors" like the pockmarked greaseballs with their "free picks" lines.)

But sometimes it's about the little victories, and I'm feeling I'm on a little bit of a roll right now. Two 4-2 weeks in a row. Let's see if we can keep the profit coming in.

Serious SEC flavor in the college picks this week...

The "rumored SEC target" Clemson -8 over MARYLAND The SEC badly needs a 14th team. The math of a 13 team league is hard enough to figure out in academically stellar parts of the country, but in the SEC this has to pose a mathematical conundrum harder than all of Will Hunting's blackboard math problems combined. If Missouri chooses to stay in the Big 12 (which is the equivalent of spreading a beach towel on a bed of quicksand at this point), then Clemson is rumored to be the logical target (assuming South Carolina would allow it). In the meantime, the undefeated Tigers will have to remain content slapping around a bunch of basketball schools.

Texas Tech pisses off Richie Aprile
Texas Tech pisses off Richie Aprile

The "soon to be SEC school" Baylor/TEXAS A&M over 76 Texas A&M got a little Big 12 going-away present from the Texas Tech faithful last week when a few hooligans decided to smear feces and spray paint hateful epithets drop some fish bait inside of and smudge some shoe polish on the team buses. It'll be interesting to see if any other Big 12 towns decide to up the ante the rest of the way. I don't think they will. I think Texas Tech was trying to impress Texas, and in the process Texas was like "WTF, Red Raiders! WE didn't sanction that hit!" Kind of like when Season 2 of The Sopranos when Matt Bevalaqua and Sean Gismonte tried to whack Chrissy because they thought Richie Aprile wanted Chrissy dead and he would approve. Well, Richie didn't...

An SEC upset MISSISSIPPI STATE +3 over South Carolina This one comes down to simple dynamics:

-- Mississippi State is 0-3 in the SEC. They need this game.

-- Dan Mullen is 0 for forever against LSU, Alabama, Auburn, and Arkansas. South Carolina is none of those schools.

Also, the Gamecocks dismissed Stephen Garcia this week presumably for something involving alcohol (just playing the odds with that assumption), and he presumably washed away his pain with some alcohol (again...odds). If Hoosiers taught us anything it's that having a player or coach, past or current, with alcohol issues can only be a distraction. And while I hope Stephen Garcia gets his issues worked out, I do hope that he gives us a "Shooter stumbles onto the court and interrupts the game" moment before he does.

An SEC ass-kicking LSU -17 over TENNESSEE Coming into the season with a young team, the Tennessee Volunteers were hoping to make some noise and stay relevant in the SEC East. However, they lost their top playmaker, wide receiver Justin Harper, for the year early in the season and last week lost their quarterback Tyler Bray with a hand injury. So now they're laying 17 at home to the top team in the country. You know what that means? Yep, if LSU scores 20, you probably win your bet. I'm guessing they score 20. Twice.

 

LIONS -4 over 49ers Last week, I cited Rice over Memphis as runner-up for the "If I Were Abducted By Aliens In 2005 And Came Back To Earth In 2011, I'd Wonder If This Spread Were A Misprint." Well, go ahead and slap that label on this game, except change 2005 to, say, 2009. Yes, the marquee matchup of the week involves an undefeated Lions team. Down is up, up is down, Sheen is sober. We are living in bizarro world. I'm taking the Lions partially because of gambling rules (Any time a team wins by 28 or more, you fade them the next week; Niners beat the Bucs 48-3 last week) and partially out of hope (A battle of undefeateds on Thanksgiving with the Lions and Packers would be a great game to watch with one hand tucked in my waistband while digesting five pounds of turkey and stuffing.

Panthers +4 over FALCONS Cam Newton has had the Panthers on the cusp against good teams all season long, and eventually, the Panthers are going to break through against a good team. The thing is I don't even think the Falcons are all that good, and they go into this game missing John Abraham, their top pass rusher on defense. He's out for the second week in a row with what was once classified as a hip injury, but now listed as a groin injury. Anyone with a penis knows that the difference between a hip injury and a groin injury is like the difference between a paper cut and an axe wound. If a team can't even classify a groin injury, I'm not trusting them to cover a four point spread.

Last week: 4-2 Season Record: 19-17

Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio and 1560 The Game weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.


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