After Week 8 and my 10-3 record against the spread on my strongest rated picks, I'm ready to get started on week 9.
This week also starts my game picking contest. While I haven't picked which games will be included and which games the pickers will get to choose from, the early lines are out; though these will more than likely not be the exact lines by the time I send out the entry letter anyway.
We have a lot of really great match ups this week, and if the past weeks are any indication, we're going to see line moves all over the map.
While many of the pickers did extremely well during the first part of the season, I have stated all along that I pick the later games better and if Week 8 was any indication, history is repeating itself big time.
While I have been picking games in my newsletter for over 10 years, I never picked as many games each week as I do this season using the blog and videos, and my overall record was suffering, though it was still a winning record over all.
I tinkered with different weighting systems, saying which games I'm picking just to let everyone know who I think will win and which I think are actually strong plays. It took about half of a season to find one that works but at least we found it.
We'll be using it the rest of the way and hopefully for many seasons to come unless a better one comes along. While we can't use it yet this week because I haven't done one bit of homework about any games, we do know what the opening lines are, so let's take a quick look.
On Tuesday, Temple is giving four points to visiting Ohio. Temple has been very good at covering the number this year, though the majority of the time they have been the underdog.
On Thursday night, we have two games: West Virginia is a three-point favorite against visiting Auburn. Air Force is a six-point favorite over visiting New Mexico (+6).
Friday night's game should be a pretty good one, as San Jose State hosts Boise State, who are giving 7 1/2 points to the home team in a game which goes a long way in deciding the WAC title.
Then we move on to my favorite day of the week during the fall, and everyone knows that it's Saturday.
Army finds itself favored by 1 1/2 over Louisiana Tech. As I said earlier this week, I didn't think the Black Knights would win a game this year. I guess I was wrong again.
North Carolina State is +11 1/2 at Maryland. We just never know what we'll see from week to week from the Terrapins.
Wake Forest is +2 1/2 at Miami. I don't think we would have dreamed of this line a month ago, and it will be interesting to watch how it moves.
Northwestern is -9 for their trip to Indiana. Northwestern still only has one loss and the Hoosiers haven't covered all year.
Minnesota is -1 at Purdue. Something smells fishy.
Boston College is +3 at North Carolina. BC comes off a big win, the Tar Heels off a tough loss in OT.
Cincinnati is +1 1/2 at Connecticut. This is a big game for both teams and will mean a lot in bowl placement.
Illinois is -1 at Wisconsin. The Illini are Jekyll and Hyde and Wisky can't seem to right the ship.
Rutgers is +9 1/2 at Pittsburgh. The Panthers have been on a roll, while Rutgers finally got a good win last week.
Iowa State is -3 against visiting Texas A&M. Both of these teams are playing for next year and beyond.
Kentucky is +23 at Florida. The Gators are back in action after their big win against LSU two weeks ago, while the Cats had a nice comeback win this past weekend.
Ole Miss is +4 at Arkansas. Both of these teams lost heartbreakers last week in games they could have won.
Eastern Michigan is +24 at Ball State. This line may go to 40.
UNLV is +23 1/2 at BYU. It will be interesting to see how BYU bounces back from last week's beat down in Ft. Worth.
Duke is +10 at Vandy. The IQ's of both of these teams is several times that number.
Fresno State is -17 at Utah State. The Bulldogs should be well rested after the bye week.
SMU is + 12 1/2 at Navy. Passing team takes on the running team, should be interesting.
Alabama is -5 1/2 at Tennessee. Obviously, Las Vegas has a lot more faith in the Vols than a lot of other people.
Click here to see the rest of the Week 9 opening lines and point spreads