Football Picking 201: Second Class Brings Early Lessons Learned

Scott GlesnerCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Javier Arenas #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After picking 15 last week (picks here), the final result was barely above .500 (8-7).  the breakdown is as follows:

A-bets: 1-1

B-bets: 1-2

C-bets: 4-1

D-bets: 2-3

The first lesson learned was that the goals aimed for for each type of bet were drastically too high.  The new goals are as follows:

A-bets: 80 percent

B-bets: 75 percent

C-bets: 70 percent

D-bets: 65 percent

The total goal will be 70 percent correct.  There were quite a few more lessons during this past week's slate of games:

Apparently, ESPN360 does have enough camera angles to cover instant replay (VT-Duke).  Sometimes, a line does look too good to be true (VT-Duke, Cin-Cle).  Also, maybe the best bet is to stay away from MAC games...well, at least the spreads (CMU-Buff).  Finally, Houston does not have a defense (Hou-UTEP).

It was much tougher to select 15 games than last week.  That could be good, because the sure bets last week were not that awesome.  It took a few looks just to select the A-bets.  Here are the 15 picks of the week for the weekend of October 9-11:


Minnesota (H) -3.5 over Purdue

Purdue has been struggling recently, and Minnesota has been playing strong at its new home.  These two components equals at least a touchdown win for the Gophers.

Alabama -5 over Ole Miss (H)

Alabama has been been playing the best ball in the country.  Ole Miss played the best ball in the country until they actually played a decent team.  Alabama continues to roll, even though it is on the road.


Cincinnati/Baltimore over 42

Baltimore's D is stout, just not enough to keep Cinci's O.  However, Baltimore's O is a lot better than the past 10 seasons.  42 should be covered by the third quarter.

Marshall -4 over Tulane (H)

Marshall's slip up last week (which was picked) to ECU has the team re-focused.  Tulane's "big" win is a one-point victory over Army.  Marshall covers in New Orleans.

East Carolina -6.5 over SMU (H)

Another Conference USA game gives us another road favorite to cover.  ECU has been strong since playing tougher opponents than most teams have played so far.  SMU is still looking for a spark to give them a glimpse of the early '80s.


Cincinnati +8.5 over Baltimore (H)

Baltimore will be coming off a tough defeat to the Patriots.  Cincinnati will be over just surviving the Browns.  Cincinnati covers and this should come down to the last minute.

NC State (H) -14 over Duke

Thinking that Duke has played their one great game of the year, NC State should put up some points and not be on a letdown against the Blue Devils.

Georgia +1.5 over Tennessee (H)

Tennessee will lose another close SEC game at home.  Georgia will rebound from the LSU loss.  Georgia even has a point to play with in case there are more celebration fouls called.

Auburn -2.5 over Arkansas (H)

The jury is still out on whether Arkansas is a force to be reckoned with.  Auburn has already proved that they are.  Auburn should cover by a touchdown or two.

LSU (H) +7.5 over Florida

Yes, another SEC game...overall, the thinking is is that if Florida wins, they win late by a couple of points.  The question of Tebow's conditions will affect Florida, and the late game time in Death Valley gives LSU enough to even win this game.


Oakland +15 over NY Giants (H)

Oakland is due for a decent game offensively, and the Giants O should be very conservative with Manning's playing ability this week in question.

Houston +5.5 over Arizona (H)

The initial thought was this should be a pick 'em.  Arizona is playing ok, but have enough mistakes in them to not cover this.  Houston does have enough offense to cover.

Indiana +6.5 over Virginia (H)

Indiana has been playing good teams tough, and Virginia is not playing an opponent named North Carolina.  Indiana could possibly win this out-right, but at worst, could lose this by a last-second FG.

Ball State/Temple under 48.5

Ball State is horrible. Temple would have to cover the over by themselves, and Temple does not have enough explosive power to do it (a MAC game without selecting the spread...learning).

Florida State (H) -3 over Georgia Tech

Which FSU team shows up?  There is enough bad talk about Coach Bowden for the team to rally around him and give the home folks a show.  Georgia Tech is always good for a few turnovers.


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