To those of you who have relied on my picks to pay your mortgage this season (a pretty solid business plan, if you ask me), I apologize for the picks not getting posted last Friday. There was an administrative mix-up, and they didn't get posted. Unfortunately, it was another rock-solid 4-2 week for me, and you are probably now living in a cardboard box.
Here were the unposted picks that would've gone up last Friday. I swear on my gambler's soul, degenerate's honor! (Winners in BOLD)
WEST VIRGINIA -6.5 over Oklahoma State
Miami (FL) +8.5 over FLORIDA STATE
Arkansas/ALABAMA UNDER 49
CHIEFS -9 over Bears
EAGLES -5 over Saints
Patriots -8.5 over COWBOYS
So let's go get that money again this week!
Michigan Stete/MICHIGAN OVER 41
The spread on this game before the season started was Michigan State -4.5. That means, on the strength of Michigan all of a sudden looking like a dark horse playoff team along with Michigan State going 0-6 ATS this season, the line has moved a full 12.5 points. (As of yesterday, it was Wolverines -8.) So the bottom line is none of us know what the hell to expect. I do think that the total is way low on this game. Michigan State should be able to put a few points on the board behind QB Connor Cook, and Michigan's offense has done a nice job of moving the chains this season. This is not the Michigan State defense of the past two seasons. I'm thinking something in the 28-24 range, either way. So we take the over.
Louisville +7.5 over FLORIDA STATE
Every season, there's a team whose spread each week has about four to five too many points baked into it because of hype rollover from the previous season. And Florida State is rolling over hype from the past TWO seasons the same way the schlock in the cubicle next to you rolls over a week of vacation every year. Louisville seems to have rebounded from its shaky start to the season, and as long as this spread stays over a touchdown, I'll take Petrino in this spot.
Arizona State +6.5 over UTAH
Beware of over-ranked teams who are heavily reliant on turnovers and special teams. In other words, beware of Utah! Last Saturday, they forced six turnovers against Cal in a six-point win, including five interceptions by 2016 Texans starting QB Jared Goff. In their three wins over Michigan, Oregon and Cal, the Utes are +8 in turnover margin. We're just looking for a close game here, and if Arizona State can protect the football, they can pull the upset.
TITANS -1 over Dolphins
I can't believe I'm saying this about the Tennessee Titans, but this line feels like stealing. Yeah, both teams are 1-3, but Tennessee could easily be 3-1 if they'd closed out games against the Colts and Bills (two-point loss and a one-point loss, respectively). Plus, add in the fact the Dolphins are breaking in a first-time head coach. The bottom line is the Dolphins are a 1-3 team falling apart at the seams, and the Titans are a 1-3 team that feels like it's on the right track.
VIKINGS -3.5 over Chiefs
Another case of two teams going in opposite directions. The Chiefs lost their best player, RB Jamaal Charles, to a torn ACL last week in a loss to the Bears, so that means that now Alex Smith will be asked to do more on offense, which is a little like asking the janitor at a high school to take over teaching honors trig. The Vikings are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games, so the oddsmakers are still trying to catch up to them in this post-Peterson-suspension world.
Patriots -8 over COLTS
I think the easiest way to express my feelings on this game will be to have you watch this video and pretend that Michael Corleone is some sort of Belichick/Brady hybrid…
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Last Week: 4-2
Season Record: 22-14
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.