Every week, I give you some of what I think are my best picks in this column, because I know that many of you out there gamble. Some of you are in harmless office pools and some of you are flat out hardcore gamblers.
For those of you in the latter category, I know the wagering "game" can be stressful. Every week, you're firing off on perhaps dozens of games. You gamble, gamble, and gamble some more, but as irresponsible as you may feel, just know that no wagering weekend you've ever experienced is as big a collective gamble as the one Andrew Bynum just took this week.
Say hello to the hairdo equivalent of "pushing your life savings into the middle of the table:"
I mean....wow. Just....wow.
See, now that six team parlay we're about to fire on almost feels like the responsible thing to do! Let's go to the games:
Oklahoma -11 over WEST VIRGINIA Hard to believe there was a time when Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith was a -400 favorite to win the Heisman and West Virginia was thought to be more than just a dark horse candidate to play for the national title. At that time, I cautioned a collective pumping of the brakes on the Mountaineers. People were selectively forgetting the fact that this was the same team that just one season earlier had gotten housed by Syracuse by 26 on a Friday night and needed three very fortunate wins (by a combined total of 7 points) down the stretch to win the Big East Conference. People were selectively remembering their 70-33 trouncing of Clemson in the Orange Bowl. In short, this was the same core group that basically was a few plays away from going 6-6 last season. Now, after WVU's 5-0 start and then four losses in a row later, I feel slightly vindicated. I like Dana Holgorsen, but Oklahoma is going to roll his team on Saturday. West Virginia is a mess.
CLEMSON -16 1/2 over North Carolina State Speaking of Clemson, the Tigers might be one of the top five teams in the country right now. Since losing to Florida State in Tallahassee in Week Four, they've run off six straight wins by an average margin of 25 points. If this were a road game, I might feel differently (lest we forget it was this Woflpack team that handed Florida State their only loss), but Clemson at home is in a "name the score" mode right now. IPTAY! ALL DAY!!
Wake Forest +23 1/2 over NOTRE DAME I've sat through enough Senior Day's in South Bend to know that the Irish almost always come out slow in that final home game, and with this one celebrating the final home game of Manti Te'o (maybe the most important Notre Dame player since Chris Zorich), it's gonna be an extra special "great googily moogily" tear jerker! The Irish need style points to impress voters to try and close the gap on Oregon and Kansas State in the polls, but I don't think that's in this team's DNA. Feels like a game that Notre Dame wins something like 26-6. (Funny thing on this game, the spread is 23 1/2 and the total is 42. I don't know that I've ever seen a game with that big a spread and that low of a total in the same game.)
Stanford/OREGON OVER 65 1/2 Here's what we know about this game:
1. Oregon WILL score. They always score. They've scored over 42 points in every game this season. The last two seasons, they've hung over 50 on Stanford.
2. Oregon likely controls their own destiny in the BCS, but just in case, style points would come in handy, especially against a team that Notre Dame (one of the other BCS beauty contest contestants) needed a goal line stand to beat in overtime.
3. Oregon is banged up defensively. I think they're one injury away from playing Nike CEO and unabashed Duck supporter Phil Knight on their defensive line. Stanford will score points.
Prediction: Oregon 50-something, Stanford 30-ish
REDSKINS -3 1/2 over Eagles Rookie backup quarterback Nick Foles took the Eagles first team reps this week in practice, and if Michael Vick can't go, he will get the start. A rookie in his first start on the road? No thanks, I like the Redskins. And if Vick starts....well, then I REALLY like the Redskins.
RAMS - 3 1/2 over Jets The Rams are still in their euphoric "we are gonna play hard every week for our first year coach" honeymoon phase. The Jets, meanwhile, have a fifth year head coach who openly wept following last week's loss and anonymous players going to the media specifically to tell them Tim Tebow sucks. Somehow, I don't smell a "rally the troops" performance from the Jets this weekend.
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Last week: 5-1 Season record: 31-28-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.