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My biggest college football bet in October is rare opportunity to
back the better team as a big underdog. There are no locks - but
there is a special thrill to betting with total confidence. You can
join me pounding this play. Don't delay and let the line move
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Free Pick CFB: USC
Free Pick CFB: When a
bye can be bad
Wiseguy Action Report: 13 CFB games hit by
Handicapper Recap: 1200 Words on this
Free Pick: NBA
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Sorry that didn't work out for you, but my strong recommendation is to play all the games and not just one.
bryan leonard had a good post a while ago about how even the best picks only win 66% of the time. so that's 33% that will lose.
cokin has been on fire you cant complain just because he lost one pick
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10/25 12:30 PM CF (121) MISSISSIPPI STATE at
FREE PICK: (122) KENTUCKY +13.5
Let's leave no doubt that I think Mississippi State is
completely legit and the Bulldogs definitely have a realistic
chance of making the inaugural four-team playoff this season. But
even the best teams have bad scheduling spots and I consider this
to be exactly that for Dan Mullen's red hot entry.
This isn't an opinion, it's a fact. About the worst thing that
can happen for an unbeaten team once the midway point of the season
has been reached is a bye week. That might not seem logical on the
surface, but the numbers don't lie, and unbeaten road teams with
rest have a tendency to struggle.
I think there's a rationale for this taking place. First, the
bye week can be a momentum breaker for a red hot team. It's also an
opportunity for the players to enjoy a heavy dose of hero worship
on campus, while also dreaming about that pot of gold that's
waiting at the end of the proverbial rainbow. Don't discount
pressclippingitis as a potential distraction as well.
The aforementioned potholes have gotten the best of teams far
more used to the spotlight than Mississippi State. This is a great
story unfolding in Starkville, but it's also very unexpected and
brand new. So my sense is that as dominant as the Bulldogs have
been, they could be ultra-vulnerable to having their collective
heads in the clouds.
Kentucky got absolutely crushed last Saturday. The Wildcats are
now being looked upon as little more than a formality win for
Mississippi State by virtually all of the TV talking heads. I see
that making Kentucky more dangerous. The no respect angle will be
in play in Lexington all week in practice and off the disaster at
Baton Rouge, this is also a redemption game for the Wildcats.
I can't see Kentucky being quite good enough to pull the upset
here. But I do think they're good enough to make this a very scary
Saturday for the heavy favorite. The Wildcats are 5-0 at home,
including a nice win against South Carolina, and I believe that
should eliminate the intimidation factor. The home team needs to
get last week's misfire out of its heads in a hurry, so a good
start here is important. If Kentucky falls down early they could
get rolled by the Bulldogs.
But the bottom line for me is that there's a clear and
irrefutable track record of big favorites failing in this specific
scenario, and I feel that could well take place here. Kentucky in
the plus two-TD neighborhood is very playable.
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10/25 04:00 PM CF (175) USC at (176)
FREE PICK: (175) USC -1
I see USC/Utah as one of the most intriguing matchups on the
Saturday college slate. I don't think either team is a true Top 20
entry, but each side is knocking on that door and this game is huge
as far as the PAC-12 South race is concerned.
The Trojans have the athletes to give Utah fits in this game,
and I think that's one of the two big keys to this game. USC needs
to do whatever it takes to speed things upland get Utah out of its
comfort zone. The more wide open, the better from USC's vantage
Utah, on the other hand, would prefer trench warfare. The Utes
are in good shape if they can get first down stops. That would
likely enable their outstanding pass rush to at least contain
Trojans QB Cody Kessler.
Kessler is having a great year for USC. He's accurate with his
throws and I've been really impressed with his willingness to not
force bad throws that lead to turnovers. But that could change if
Utah is able to exert its usual pressure. To accomplish that, the
Utes must find a way to limit Javorius Allen, who's rumbling for
more than six yards per pop.
Utah needs to establish its running game to sustain some
productive drives against USC. I think that's something they can
do, as Devontae Booker is running ball very well. QB Travis Wilson
can manage the offense effectively in reasonable yardage
So it's a guessing game of sorts as to how this plays out in
terms of each team accomplishing its main objectives. My take is
that in the end, the athletic superiority of the Trojans will be
the difference. My greatest concern is Kyle Whittingham. The Utah
coach is a terrific game planner and he successfully overcame the
speed disadvantage in an impressive win at UCLA. But the Bruins
were undisciplined with their assignments throughout that game, and
I thought they lost the game more than Utah won it.
With the game being lined where it is, it's probably a good
assumption that this one could go right to the wire. But I'm siding
with the view that Allen can produce enough on the ground to enable
the very talented Kessler to carve up the Utah secondary and lessen
the impact of that Utah pass rush. I'll opt to side with USC as the
winner in what should be one of the day's best games.
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