Category Archives: Picks

Week 1: National Preview and Gambling Picks


As I said earlier, it’s pretty tough to make predictions for Week 1. We just don’t know a lot. But I’ve made my SEC predictions (both outright and against the spread where applicable), and I’ll also be posting weekly previews of every Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchup. For what it’s worth, if a matchup was covered by the SEC Preview, I’ll be copying and pasting.

If you have the interest, I’m going to track all my SEC and Top 25 match-up picks with The Action App (which is also where I’m getting the lines). You can follow my action here.

Lastly, I will be using the AP Poll for rankings.

 

SATURDAY GAMES

3:30 p.m. #6 Washington vs. #9 Auburn (-2) (in Atlanta) (ABC)

I previewed this game at length with a blog post and a podcast from the perspective of a Washington fan. As I mentioned on the pod, however, my prediction came from my heart not my head. To be clear, I’ll be cheering for Washington in this game, attending with UW alums and even wearing my Washington Jacob Eason jersey. But I think Auburn is going to be too physical for this Washington team. I trust Jarrett Stidham more than I trust Jake Browning in isolation, but I also think Auburn’s front-four will disrupt a very experienced Husky offensive line.

Picks: Auburn straight-up and Auburn -2

 

7:30 p.m. #14 Michigan (-1) at #12 Notre Dame (NBC)

It’s a huge red flag if you’re a major college football program and I say, “I trust Brian Kelly more than I trust your head coach.” But somehow we’re there. I don’t trust Jim Harbaugh as far as I can throw him when it comes to big games. It’s baffling to me that the Wolverines are ranked 14th in the preseason poll despite having five games that seem like they should be losses:

  • At #12 Notre Dame
  • Vs. #4 Wisconsin
  • At #11 Michigan State
  • vs. #10 Penn State
  • At #5 Ohio State

I think there’s this assumption that all these Big Ten teams are about even, but Harbaugh has yet to lead the Wolverines to a finish of better than third in their own division. Further, he’s 1-7 against teams ranked 12th or better. That’s not a good thing for a dude who is about to play on the road against #12 Notre Dame. And I’m not real big on Shea Patterson.

My picks: Notre Dame straight-up and Notre Dame +1

 


SUNDAY GAME

7:30 p.m. #8 Miami vs. #25 LSU (+3.5) (in Dallas) (ABC)

This is a tough one for me. I don’t really trust Coach O and as a Georgia fan, I don’t have a whole lot of inherent confidence in Mark Richt heading into a big game. I think both teams will be fairly nasty on defense and I think this could be one of the worst quarterbacked games of the opening weekend. For some reason, though, I like Miami in an ugly game. Evil Richt is seemingly alive and well in south Florida, and he likes swampy games (even if they’re in Arlington, TX).

Picks: Miami straight-up and Miami -3.5

 


MONDAY GAME

8:00 P.M. #20 Virginia Tech at #19 Florida State (-6.5) (ESPN)

I’m pretty big on this Florida State team and I think Virginia Tech is going to take time to replace lost talent on defense. But 6.5 points is tough here. I think Cam Akers is ultimately the difference maker for Florida State, but this is a game with two teams with a lot to prove, and I’m not real comfortable with either pick (but I refuse to hedge!).

Picks: Florida State straight-up and Florida State -6.5

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

Week 1: SEC Preview and Gambling Picks


I’d like to think this will get better as the season goes on, but part of what I love about college football is that every team changes so much year-to-year. Sure, it matters if your squad returns starters and if there’s continuity in the coaching staff and with the playbook, but at the end of the day 18-22 year-old beasts change a lot in short periods of time. So I’d expect this to be my worst week of predictions. Nevertheless, let’s do this.

Every week I’ll preview every game featuring an SEC squad. I’ll make an outright prediction and a pick against the spread. The lines I’m using come from The Action Network, and I’ll be posting my picks there on a weekly basis. Honestly, the results should be pretty watered down because there’s no way I’d actually bet on every SEC line available every week (and every Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchup), but for the sake of accountability you can follow along here on the app (it’s FREE).

 

THURSDAY GAME

8:30 p.m. Northwestern State at Texas A&M (SEC Network)

Look, this is a football game. That’s about as intriguing as I can make it. Interestingly enough, you can get a ticket for this contest for only $4 from Vivid Seats but I’m not here to tell you what to do with your evening if you’re in College Station. I suppose the intriguing storyline here is that Jimbo Fisher is now in town and in theory that should be worth watching. But Northwestern is not a state and frankly I don’t even care to look up which state is home to Northwestern State. As Chad pointed out on this week’s DudeYouPodcast, Northwestern State doesn’t even have a team page on ESPN.com. Obviously, this game doesn’t have a line. So there’s not much to do here, but Texas A&M will win by an obnoxious margin.

Pick: Texas A&M straight-up


 

SATURDAY GAMES

12:00 p.m. Coastal Carolina at South Carolina (-29.5) (SEC Network)

For the past few seasons, South Carolina football has seemed, in a word, distracted. The 2015 team was so distracted that head coach Steve Spurrier decided to walk away from the team. The 2016 team showed signs of promise (sort of) with wins over divisional foes like then-ranked Tennessee, but looked abysmal in too-close victories over Western Carolina (44-31), UMass (34-28) and East Carolina (20-15). That squad didn’t really care to show up against Clemson either (a 56-7 loss). Last year’s team was discernibly better, but the Gamecocks still found a way to lose at home against Kentucky and on the road to a Texas A&M team that canned its coach. Further, last year’s squad barely squeaked by Louisiana Tech (17-16), a joke of a Tennessee team (15-9) and a miserable Florida squad (28-20). So as wild as it may sound, I actually think this game matters for South Carolina. The Gamecocks will surely win, but a South Carolina team that is going to compete with Georgia in the SEC East needs to quickly and completely destroy Coastal Carolina. This needs to be a 40-point win in order to shake off the reputation of being distracted. I don’t have reason to believe they’ll do that, but I do think they can cover the 29.5 point spread.

Pick: South Carolina straight-up and South Carolina -29.5

 

12:00 p.m. Ole Miss (+2.5) vs. Texas Tech (in Houston) {ESPN)

A few years ago this game was expected to feature two of the brightest names in coaching—Ole Miss’s Hugh Freeze and Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury. Alas, Freeze’s tenure with the Rebels was cut short by a potent cocktail of recruiting violations and hookers and Kingsbury, while flashy, has failed to establish himself as a ready-for-primetime coach. I’m not a huge believer in Kingsbury (I don’t think many folks are) and I’m generally not a big fan of the interim-to-full-time head coach transition (which is what Ole Miss has done with Matt Luke). My gut says that this could be an ugly early-season matchup mired by turnovers, penalties and mishaps, but I do think Ole Miss will have a talent advantage and will be more physical. In a more tactical and cleanly-coached game, those advantages might be somewhat mitigated, but if this is ugly I think Ole Miss stands to benefit. I like the under on the projected 67 point total and I like Ole Miss to cover the 2.5 point spread and win outright.

Picks: Ole Miss straight-up and Ole Miss -2.5

 

3:30 p.m. Georgia vs. Austin Peay (ESPN)

I’ve previewed this as much as I’m going to preview it. There is no line. Georgia cruises. #DawgsOnTop

Pick: Georgia straight-up

 

3:30 p.m. Tennessee vs. West Virginia (-10)  (in Charlotte) (CBS)

Two words: Will. Grier.

He’s my Heisman pick and I can’t abandon him before the season starts.

Pick: West Virginia straight-up and West Virginia -10

 

3:30 p.m. Washington vs. Auburn (-2) (in Atlanta) (ABC)

I previewed this game at length with a blog post and a podcast from the perspective of a Washington fan. As I mentioned on the pod, however, my prediction came from my heart not my head. To be clear, I’ll be cheering for Washington in this game, attending with UW alums and even wearing my Washington Jacob Eason jersey. But I think Auburn is going to be too physical for this Washington team. I trust Jarrett Stidham more than I trust Jake Browning in isolation, but I also think Auburn’s front-four will disrupt a very experienced Husky offensive line.

Picks: Auburn straight-up and Auburn -2

 

3:30 p.m. Central Michigan at Kentucky (-17) ESPNU

Central Michigan is a pretty decent MAC team and ended the 2017 campaign winning five of its last six. The Chippewas also garnered a win over Power 5 Kansas. CMU has big-play potential on offense and they’ve got a pretty underrated running back in Jonathan Ward. I don’t love anything that Kentucky does in football (they recruit with seemingly no roster planning, they give coaches long-term extensions for nothing and they deliver an inconsistent product). So, I have a hard time ever betting on Kentucky.

Picks: Kentucky straight-up but Central Michigan +17

 

4:00 p.m. UT Martin at Missouri (SEC Network)

No spread here, but this will be the first glimpse at what Derek Dooley can do as OC. I stand by my assertion that Mizzou didn’t bring in an offensive coordinator who would destroy what Drew Lock has going on in the passing game. As a refresher, in two years as a full-time starter Lock has thrown for 7,363 yards and 67 TDs. Last year, he was 10th nationally in passing yards, 6th in yards per attempt, first in TD passes and 5th in passer rating. Had the Tigers not started the season so slow (they lost five games in a row from September 9 through October 14), he might have gotten some Heisman hype. So yeah, I just have a hard time believing Mizzou would waste his senior year on a bad OC hire. Dooley sucked as a head coach at Tennessee, but that was the Volunteer administration’s fault as much as anyone’s. When Lane Kiffin left, they went after the anti-Kiffin and they honestly got him. They found a head coach with little-to-no track record, with no charisma and no chance to succeed. But that was when Dooley was the head coach. He might actually be a decent OC.

Pick: Missouri straight-up

 

4:00 p.m. Eastern Illinois at Arkansas (SEC Network)

The Chad Morris experience begins for Arkansas, but you’re a degenerate if you watch this game.

Pick: Arkansas straight-up

 

7:30 p.m. Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State (ESPNU)

I’m not a believer in this Mississippi State team, but gratification in that take will be delayed. Undoubtedly the Bulldogs will crush SFA in a game that has no spread.

Pick: Mississippi State straight-up

 

7:30 p.m. Charleston Southern at Florida (SEC Network)

Mississippi State’s old coach, Dan Mullen, will begin his tenure at the Swamp simultaneously. I’m really interested to see what he does with this Florida program and will get a bit of a better peak against Kentucky next week, but this won’t tell us much.

Pick: Florida straight-up

 

7:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee State at Vanderbilt (-3) (SEC Network)

Has anyone taken a surprisingly good thing and ruined it faster than Derek Mason? James Franklin won 24 games in three seasons coaching Vanderbilt. Mason has won six fewer games despite coaching one more season than Franklin. We don’t talk enough about that because we expect Vandy to be a bottom-feeder, but this team might need to look for another direction if it experiences another sub-.500 campaign in 2018. I do think this Vandy team has some potential in the passing game, and I’m oddly big on quarterback Kyle Shurmur. I think they’re going to get some big plays against the Blue Raiders.

Pick: Vanderbilt straight-up and Vanderbilt -3

 

8:00 p.m. Louisville vs. Alabama (-24) (in Orlando) (ABC)

Alabama is going to win this game convincingly. Make no mistake about it. But a 24-point margin seems large for an early-season game given that Alabama is restocking in the secondary and Bobby Petrino loves to score points. Note that I do think Bama is restocking as opposed to reloading in the secondary, because it’s going to take time (as in a few games). Jawon Pass, Louisville’s QB, is an all-time Great Name Guy and was offered by everyone and their mama coming out of Carver High School in Columbus, GA. As a back-up last year he connected on 70% of his 33 passes and threw for 2 TDs, 0 INTs and 238 yards. He’s got decent mobility too, but the sample size for that at the collegiate level is small (13 carries for 62 yards and a score last year). I think this will be closer than the spread.

Picks: Alabama straight-up but Louisville +24


SUNDAY GAME

7:30 p.m. Miami vs. LSU (+3.5) (in Dallas) (ABC)

This is a tough one for me. I don’t really trust Coach O and as a Georgia fan, I don’t have a whole lot of inherent confidence in Mark Richt heading into a big game. I think both teams will be fairly nasty on defense and I think this could be one of the worst quarterbacked games of the opening weekend. For some reason, though, I like Miami in an ugly game. Evil Richt is seemingly alive and well in south Florida, and he likes swampy games (even if they’re in Arlington, TX).

Picks: Miami straight-up and Miami -3.5

QUICK WEEK 6 PREVIEW


We don’t know if these games will happen, we won’t know when these kick times (or locations) are accurate, and I’m missing them all for a wedding anyway! 

This has happened since I pulled up the ole WordPress to post this:

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Word to the wise: don’t believe any scheduling tweets til Brett McMurphy or someone posts them, although UGA Special Teams has never let us down before…

What should you be watching for this weekend?

Definitely Watch This

Image result for charlie strong golden hat

  • Texas vs. #20 Oklahoma, noon, FS1: BRING BACK THE GOLDEN HAT! This should be a 55-45 game, so naturally it’ll be a low-scoring and weird affair at the Texas Fairgrounds.
  • LSU at #18 Florida, noon, ESPN: COACH O……nope.  (see above)
  • #9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M, 3:30, CBS: Step 1: listen to the DudeYouPodcast. Step 2: build up the Tennessee hate. Step 3: GIGEM
  • #25 Virginia Tech at #17 UNC, 3:30, ABC/ESPN2: Va Tech is still very sneaky good, UNC has Mitch Trubisky and no defense, and this game will be played in a monsoon (as of now).
  • #5 Washington at Oregon, 7:30, FOX: Oregon has won 11 straight in the series, and has a chance to end the Pac-12’s CFP hopes before the weather gets consistently below 80 degrees. And, Washington is good.
  • #23 Florida State at #10 Miami, 8, ABC: Big game Mark Richt. We’ll see. This is your appointment watch of the day– either as a self-hating Georgia fan or a curious Georgia fan.

Maybe Keep an Eye On It

  • #3 Clemson at Boston College (Friday), 7:30, ESPN: If Deshaun Watson keeps turning it over, this could get…weird?
  • Indiana at #2 Ohio State, 3:30, ESPN: Indiana, as #teamchaos, beat Michigan State on a “leaping” penalty last week. They had a reasonable shot at both OSU and Michigan last year. Ohio State hasn’t been challenged. Just sayin’, keep an eye on it.
  • #1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas, 7, ESPN: Am I the only one who thinks Arkansas is WAY overrated? Here’s hoping not!
  • Georgia at South Carolina, 7:30, SECN: May or may not be played as of the time of this posting, but a monsoon bowl guarantees a 7-2 win on a botched shotgun snap for somebody.

Other things of note

#21 Colorado visits USC in a weird game of “is Colorado legit/is USC shit”–played on the impossible-to-get Pac-12 network.

Purdue and Illinois both lost to Western Michigan (do NOT watch this), and  Vanderbilt and Kentucky play the SEC’s version of that exact game at 4 on SECN (do NOT watch this either).

#6 Houston has a tough task at Navy if you get CBSSN.

Your late-night #PACtion special? A good one, as Washington State travels to #15 Stanford in a game of COMPLETELY 180-degree contrasting styles.

Georgia Football Knee Jerk Reactions: Tech Edition


So, how was your Sunday?

We’ll get to the news of the day later on, but first let’s talk about the big medium win over Tech. Despite the protestations of some on this here site, I stand by Hall and I’s assertion over the years that this is not a rivalry. Part of me realized this when toe met leather, and I realized I had watched exactly zero plays of this Jackets team all season. No matter what the #THWG crowd will tell you, this is the story of big brother reminding little brother of their place, 13 of the last 15 seasons. The Tech game is an annual pantsing that occasionally goes wrong. This year it went right, as it so often does.

The Good:

– Frisky passing game? FRISKY PASSING GAME. Sure, these aren’t the numbers that forced UGA fans to lie to themselves about the ability under center after week 3, but the passing attack acquitted itself nicely Saturday. A great day out of Terry Godwin should give all of us hope about returning talent on the outside. Special shout out to Malcolm Mitchell, who continues to be a joy to watch catching and blocking. He’ll be a great value pick for someone looking for a solid WR on Sundays.

– Aggressive running attack? Check. Sony Michel and Keith Marshall looked confident, smart, and solid all day. With Sony cracking the 1000 yard barrier, he and returning Nick Chubb next year will be continuing the tradition of tailback U in Athens.

– Dominant defense? Mah gawd, you wouldn’t think we only won by 6 the way Pruitt’s boys played all day Saturday. They kept the Tech ‘quarterback’ under duress and running for his life, and stifled the vaunted high school offense rushing attack all day.

The Bad:

– This was the perfect picture of an 80-20 offense; great for 80 yards, downright putrid in the red zone. Opportunities to score are usually few and far between, but the players put themselves in position to be successful, and I think everyone – coaches, players, water boys – caught a slight case of the lemon booty when it came time to score points.

– Speaking of lemon booty, Marshall Morgan, what happened man? Ever since the boating…incident last year, Mr. Automatic has turned into Mr. Maybe. Make no mistake, I’m going to miss watching him line up to boot them through the uprights. But I will not miss the last two years of misses.

The Ugly:

– There’s quitting on a coach and then there’s whatever is happening at Tech. I haven’t watched them all year, but all I’ve heard from my Tech fan friends and my Tech football alumni friends, getting rid of PJ is the number one concern for Tech faithful going forward. Not a good scene.

There’s much already written, and much to be written, about the recent vacancy at the head job at UGA. I’ll say this before adding much more than my 2 cents tomorrow:

Doing something twice (THRICE!) in a row makes it a tradition right? Well, allow me to indulge myself with my annual tip of the cap to the Columbia Football Class of 2007. We got the chance to end our careers at home with a win, and the next week, we all hung up the pads after beating Brown on a last second field goal. I know that no one else cares, but as long as Andrew (Chad now, I guess) lets me write for this site, I’m gonna care loudly at least once a year.

Go Dawgs, and Roar Lion Roar.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.

IMPORTANT AUBURN POST


This has been an important Auburn post.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air.

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