My picks column debuted last week with a 3-3 mark. Missouri, Georgia Tech and Houston (thanks to line changing) were winners, while Michigan, Miami and an Arkansas and over parlay were losers. Every time I miss a pick, I like to learn a lesson. I was flat out wrong about Indiana, I told you Alabama would score 35 points and was hoping Arkansas could score enough to hit side and total and I said every fundamental pointed to Virginia Tech, but I bought the Miami hype. Let's study the Hokies win last week and think about home underdogs. They old saying is you give 3 points for home field. In college, you can give 10-14. South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Georgia Tech, almost Mississippi State - teams that had no business either winning or being close, all were very impressive last week. I believe Clemson was only home underdog (or a favorite, like Ga Tech, just because they were home) that did not get the check mark last weekend. So let's go find some more.
Louisville +6.5 over Pittsburgh - This should be an easy win to start the week (unless you hit WVU tonight, which I like but doesn't fit what I'm going for). Pitt won three very easy game to start season and lost to NC State in first road test (and I'm stretching to call Pack a test). Louisville is a great ESPN night team and had two tough road losses to Utah and Kentucky. Why the Cardinals aren't giving 3 as opposed to getting points is beyond my comprehension? Take your points or go for money line.
Miami- +6- Last week, I told you that Georgia Tech was a good fundamental play and Miami was bad because of how different the teams looked the previous week. Same rationale applies here. If Miami beats Va Tech, this is a pick em or a -3 for the Canes. College kids are going to have a bad week. I don't care who is quarterbacking the Sooners (though it may affect the line), only the rain can slow down the Canes offense.
California +5 - Repeat Miami analysis. Cal is a favorite if given a bye last week (as opposed to taking a bye against Oregon). Back at home with a big bounce back this week.
Arkansas -0 - This is a neutral site game but Arkansas has been in there with much stiffer competition and should have no problems with the Aggies, who will pay for the easy cupcake schedule.
Tennessee- -2 - Yes, the Vols are the "favorite" but would have been an underdog on neutral site so still fit my home dog theory. You know Tennessee is going to win some big games this year and an untested Auburn team is a nice place to start. This will be Auburn's first road game and I'm guessing the energy will be pretty high as Tennessee fans see the progress of their new coach.
Mississippi State and Michigan State fit what I'm looking for but all teams in those two games are very difficult to call on a week-to-week basis so let's go with
Indiana +17 - Unlike the other five, I don't believe the Hoosiers can win this game but I do expect them to have the ball late with at least a chance to make it interesting. Ohio State always seems to struggle for a quarter or two on the road and Indiana is good enough to keep it close for three quarters.
My goal is 5-1 with 2 outright wins, so take you points but don't be afraid to play a little on those money lines.