Football Picking 201: Third Class Learns Everyone Makes Mistakes

Scott GlesnerCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2009

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tyler Palko #3 of the Pittsburgh Panthers loses control of the ball as he is hit by defensive end Adam Carriker #90 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 17, 2005 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The play was ruled an incomplete pass, and Nebraska won 7-6.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Class...that was a rough weekend (last week's picks here ). If this was baseball hitting, .333 does not look bad. In selecting football games, it is horrible in more ways than one.

After starting 8-7, the follow-up resulted in a 5-10 mark. The break-down was as follows:

A-bets: 2-0 (3-1 for season)

B-bets: 1-2 (2-4 for season)

C-bets: 1-4 (5-5 for season)

D-bets: 1-4 (3-7 for season)

Overall: 5-10 (13-17 for season)

The lessons learned was that maybe we do not know the SEC as much as we thought (1-3). Florida State and Oakland are still bad. Duke is actually better than usual. Finally, Houston Texas knows how to mess around with a line, and still not cover.

This week's selections seemed a little easier to come up with. Selecting which two should be under A-bets is another issue.


Pittsburgh -3.5 over Rutgers (H)

Pitt is looking stronger, while Rutgers still has many question marks. This is Rutgers first real test since a home loss to Cincinnati in Week One. Pitt covered last time with a huge second-half rally against Louisville.

Ohio State -14 over Purdue (H)

Once again, Purdue appears under the A-bets, and like last week, they are picked to not cover. Ohio State is in its mid-season form of rolling over Big Ten opponents.


Carolina -3 over Tampa Bay (H)

Carolina is playing Tampa Bay, and only has to cover three points...Tampa Bay. Enough said...

Houston/Cincinnati over 45

The loser will probably be in the mid-20s. The same choice would have been taken if the over was 52.

Mississippi State -5 over Middle Tenn. St. (H)

SEC versus the Sun Belt. That alone should be worth at least seven points.


Oklahoma/Texas over 51

The Red River Shootout will definitely live up to its name. Sixty points could be a possibility.

Central Michigan -6.5 over Western Michigan (H)

Yes class, sometimes you must break your own rules and choose a MAC game again. Central Michigan is in a class by itself in the MAC, and that will continue after this weekend.

Marshall +21 over West Virginia (H)

Marshall will probably lose, but the margin should be in the 10-14 point range. Marshall will not have a replay of what happened in Blacksburg a few weeks ago.

Miami, FL -14.5 over Central Florida (H)

This is the third of four Florida schools the hurricanes will face (luckily, one is not the Gators). The offense should have enough firepower to cover this midway through the second quarter.

Navy -8 over SMU (H)

SMU surprised us with a win over East Carolina. Fool us once, shame on you...fool us twice...well, it will not happen as Navy rolls.


NY Giants/New Orleans over 47

The real surprise is the line is not in the mid-50s. The defenses will probably help give 14 points themselves.

Minnesota/Penn State under 50

The Nor'easter will claim its amount of points as weather limits the scoring into the 30s combined. The prop bet could have been points scored versus game-time temperature.

USC/Notre Dame over 48.5

USC could cover this by themselves if Notre Dame's normal defense shows up. Notre Dame should be good for at least 20 points on its side of the scoreboard.

Washington +6.5 over Arizona State (H)

We will ride Washington's screw cover last week, and try some magic again. The game should come down to a late FG. Yes, we noticed that no home teams were selected in this week's picks. Class, sometimes you have to go with your gut.

Arkansas/Florida over 54.5

Florida will get its fair share of points. The thinking is that the Arkansas offense will pull out all stops to get into the 20s.


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