NCAAF Conf. Champ week, NFL week 14
updated 12/5 6:30 pm et
3 selections for this weekend
MISSOURI (+2) over AUBURN
Sometimes in college sports its a good idea to go against a team after a huge win. Auburn is now coming off two huge wins and two miracles. You know those kids drank and partied and celebrated all night (as they should have) and are still high from the amazing win over Alabama. Of course coach Malzahn is preaching about focus and taking it one game at a time and all of that, but these are still 20 and 22 year old kids. How high would you be if you were an Auburn starter right now? Would you even be able to sleep? Missouri has the same type of mobile QB Auburn does and they proved they can stop such opposition by defeating and out gaining Texas A&M. Obviously Auburn proved much of the same by beating Alabama and passing the physicality test, but again, after two miracles in a row, it's smarter to look the other way for a game against a similar caliber opponent. This is a fairly even game on paper and the teams are about the same in power rankings, but after a pair of games like Auburn just had, one must wonder how much gas they'll have left in the tank for this one- both emotionally and physically.
This game has huge implications because the winner could possibly move up to the #2 spot if Florida State or Ohio State lose. But an Auburn loss should still land them in a BCS bowl game and a huge payout especially if Northern Illinois or Central Florida lose this weekend and open up a spot. If not, a Missouri loss might have them out of BCS bowl contention. So this game means more to Missouri from a dollar standpoint.
Not to take anything away from Auburn because they have had a great season but coming off two emotional roller coaster wins, the last being monumental, the hangover might just spill over to this weekend. Missouri, on the other hand, has quietly won all of its games by at least a touchdown.
Missouri 27, Auburn 21
Play on: MISSOURI
SAN FRANCISCO (-2.5) over SEATTLE
The NFC game of the week is the Niners' game to win as this is a must win situation at home with revenge. Seattle wants to win as well to lock up home field, but they have the tiebreaker with New Orleans and Carolina, so the urgency lies with the Niners who are fighting for a home wild card game. Seattle is a physical team, maybe the most in the league, but so are the Niners and that's the kind of team who can beat them right now. With Crabtree back, Kaepernick will have a huge boost to his receiving arsenal, one that he didn't have the first time these teams faced. Seattle lost at Indy, which was the best road team they played. Otherwise they have proved they can win on the road this season but look who they faced. Carolina in game 1 before they got hot. At Atlanta in a dome. At Arizona in a warm dome. At St. Louis in a dome. At Houston in a dome, and they escaped in overtime. Will they have the same luck at San Francisco in December outdoors on turf? I like this 2.5 or 3-point home favorite paired up with Philly for a probable 1-1 split but a better chance of going 2-0 than 0-2.
The Niners were (-4) in TO margin in their loss at Seattle earlier in the season, and will have a 2nd chance as a small favorite. Don't expect a good team like the Niners to lose twice in a season to the same team, when the 2nd game is at home.
San Fran 23, Seattle 17
Play on: SAN FRANCISCO
PHILADELPHIA (-2.5) over DETROIT
Last week the Eagles were my lone NFL pick out of the special Thanksgiving pay picks and the reasoning is a bit of the same here. Arizona was coming east for an early game in the cold after playing home games and an easy one at Jacksonville. But there was a lot more to like about the Eagles. After the Redskins game, Eagles defensive players said they knew what plays were coming with RG3 and the Redskins offense before the ball was snapped because of diligent film study. Also, Chip Kelly had them arriving one night before road games instead of two nights. This is HUGE, because it cuts down on any late night antics by the players in the hotel (call girls, sneaking up to the penthouse, etc) and that kind of stuff breaks concentration, even the next day. No wonder the Eagles are 4-0 both SU and ATS in their last four road games. This is a concentrated and focused team right now, and they owe their fans some home wins after a huge home losing streak. Nick Foles has yet to throw an interception and while this won't last forever, I like the Eagles for just one more game playing Detroit outside, and in the cold where the ball is harder to catch and throw than in a dome. Calving Johnson is the best WR in the game, but playing outside in December is different than in the dome. Also true is the Lions defesne looking good after flexing their muscles on national TV on Thanksgiving Day. The last 8 times the Lions gave up one or zero TDs a game, they allowed an average of 30 points in the next game. And the last 9 times they scored 40, they scored an average of 17 in the next. In conclusion, another little thing that makes a big difference is Chip Kelly implicated a healthy diet for the players consisting of fruits, vegetables, proteins etc. and the results might finally be paying off. This stuff makes a huge positive difference in your body when done consistently for a few weeks. Compare that to JaMarcus Russell who was seen at McDonalds numerous times during football season, ordering not three but four Big Macs.
From diet to discipline to film study to performance, there's a lot to like about the Eagles right now. There's even more to like as a small favorite against a road weary Lions team that has lost 88% of their games outdoors, in the northern half of the country, in November and December since the late '90s.
Philadelphia 28, Detroit 24
Play on: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
no current pay picks
Pay picks are 26-11-a few ties for the life of the site. A summary of the last 20 pay picks, in order from most recent:
"Thanksgiving with TFM 2013 including the 'Fab 5' "
Alabama and Rutgers started the day on a sour note by losing outright, and the Eagles, favored by 3 or 3.5, won by three. But the remaining selections for Saturday, five special college underdogs, all covered the spread and three won outright (Southern Miss, Iowa State and Temple). The Pay picks go 5-2-1 or 5-3.
"Rookies vs. Veterans"
It was Aaron Rodgers getting points and Matt Ryan favored by small points against two rookies, and I said both rookies would not come away with the win in the same weekend. I was right about that, except Atlanta missed the spread by a half point, making this double pay pick a very unfortunate loss.
"Third time a charm"
Mon tee Ball, James White and the rest of the seniors were playing in their third straight Rose Bowl and after losing the first two, Wisconsin (+6.5) was the top play for the bowls. Had to get the play in before New Years Eve though, as the spread went down during the final 24 hours.
"Thanksgiving with TFM 2012"
Four college selections. Marshall and Purdue had to win. Purdue won, Marshall covered. Colorado was getting 23 at home to 7-loss Utah, who was favored by way to many points for just losing a bowl berth. Illinois was the 4th pick and failed to cover, so the 2012 Thanksgiving selections go 3-1 after going 4-0 last Thanksgiving.
"Passion, Ego and Double Revenge"
Combining Bill Belichick's ego, Tom Brady's passion and the team's revenge, New England was the Super Bowl selection and although the defense did a decent job against the Giants for most of the game, a Wes Welker dropped pass likely prevented the spread cover as the Pats could not overcome the Giants in the trenches. The first Super Bowl pay pick loss.
"2012 Bowl Selections"
There were just two. Wisconsin (+6) was the first selection, with the thinking they were about equal to Oregon but getting a nice amount of points. They just missed the spread, but the second selection and top play, Alabama, was totally dominant over LSU for a split selection.
"Thanksgiving with TFM 2011"
The top play for the weekend was the Ravens (-3.5) vs. the Niners who wouldn't win their 5th east coast game in 11 tries, and the Packers (-6) weren't favored by nearly enough over Detroit. On Black Friday, 2 teams HAD to win to secure a possible BCS bowl and $$$, Houston (-3) and Louisville as an underdog. Favorable low spreads for a pair of must win teams. The selections went 4-0 for the best pay pick ever on this site so far.
"Saturday Knight Selection"
Boston College over UCF, the ACC team off a bowl game was getting points, but was 25-0 ATS against non-BCS conf teams setting a hypo of +7.5 like the spread was here, and UCF was 0-26. That streak came to an end when UCF won and covered with a 21 point 4th quarter.
"On the Road Again"
In NBA action this past winter in 2011, Golden State was coming off a win at Cleveland and was favored at New Jersey, but they never win 2 road games in a row. Nets were the pick, and won.
"No sense of Urgency"
Easy call with Oklahoma St. in the Big 12 second round game in NCAA basketball
that featured a team that didn't need to win (Kansas) favored by 14 points.
This was a dual selection for Saturday in the NCAAB conference tournaments. Kentucky didn't need to win over Alabama but they did and covered the spread as Bama was the pick. But the night cap and day's top selection was San Diego State over BYU as Jimmer wouldn't get 52 points again or beat the Aztecs 3x in a row, especially without their power forward. Selection Split.
"No sense of Urgency, Part II"
OSU didn't need to win but were favored by 10.5 points over Penn State in the Big 10 NCAAB conference tourney. They won by 11 points, but Penn State made the tournament anyway. Pay picks are 20-8 now for the life of the site, and 4 of the last 6 losses have come by a half of a point (including Akron +29.5 over Temple in October and TCU -2.5 over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl).
"A Heat-ed Revenge"
The Miami Heat (-4.5) over the Spurs in the rematch where Miami lost by 30 at San Antonio. This time they won by 30. I also said to take the UNDER, as the Spurs wouldn't hit 18 shots from 3-pt range again and that Miami would step up the defense at home after getting very embarrassed the first time, which also hit.
Round 1 NCAA Tourney Picks
Wofford and Wisconsin were the round 1 pay picks. BYU was a bit overrated without their leading rebounder and taking on a slew of seniors from Wofford, who covered by a half point. Belmont had 30 wins but none over a quality opponent, and 24 of their 30 wins came over teams void of a winning record. Wisconsin was the better team and not favored by enough. Both selections covered.
The 2010-11 Bowl selections:
There were 3 bowl selections for the end of 2010 as 1 package, with Tulsa and UTEP splitting. That left it all up to TCU, who I promised would beat Wisconsin, but they missed the spread by a point.
Thanksgiving with TFM 2010:
I did a teaser and guaranteed the open end (Alabama) would hit, which it did, barely. However, the Arizona Cardinals, the 2nd part of the teaser, laid an egg on Monday Night Football.
Akron was a +29.5 at Temple and coming off 2 consecutive MAC blowouts (28+ point losses) but MAC teams never lose 3 conference games in a row by that margin, until Akron lost by 30 at Temple. When my pay picks do lose, they are close, as this one was by a half point after a 6-0 halftime deficit.
"A SUPER letdown"
49ers (+5) over Saints
The Saints were coming in 1-0 ATS, but no SB winner had ever started 2-0 ATS except for one (including the 2008 Pats instead of the Giants). To compound the situation was the fact the Niners were a home dog coming off a blowout.
SF Giants over Wash Nationals You had to go back to the 60's to find the Giants perform worse than they did in a 3 game series at Oakland from May 21-23. Hosting the Nats, from the East Coast, as almost even money, they were a lock to win that game after scoring just 1 run over the 3 game series.
"Walking the Plank"
Pirates (+1.5) over Astros The Pirates were coming off losses of 8-1, 8-0 and 20-0 and were almost a shoe-in to get some hits/runs and cover 1.5 runs at Houston, which they did in a 4-3 loss on April 23rd.
"NBA Playoff Double Trouble"
Perhaps the greatest Pay Selection I've ever had. Up until this point, I hadn't seen a pair of games cross such good parameters as the Lakers (vs. OKC) and the Mavs (vs. Spurs) in game 5 for both teams. Lakers gave (literally) game 4 to OKC, and they were 17-0 at home in game 5's, and were coming off dual losses at OKC but were 9-0 at home off consec. losses (avg. win 10 pts) and 9-1 off a double digit loss with Gasol, and OKC hadn't beat a playoff team 3x in a row all season. The Mavs, playing earlier that night and losers or 3 straight to the Spurs coming home facing elimination, hadn't lost 4 consec games in 135 tries, playing the Spurs who hadn't beat a playoff team 4x in a row in 2 years. Selection won easily.
"Game 3 double trouble"
This selection did not win, but it was close. Real close. Utah missed a tip-in at the buzzer which would have given them the win, and the selection a split since Atlanta failed to cover the first game. I made a huge case of why both game 3 home teams would not lose- Atlanta ATS and Utah outright. I was an inch away from being right.
"In the spirit of good ole Tim Donoghy" Oregon St (+9) over Washington
A Tim D. themed selection in March 2009 where I detailed why the Beavers would cover the spread in their conf. tourney, detailed and listed how they got favorable calls all season compared to other Pac 10 teams (due to coach?) and how Wash didn't often win 3 consec games by double digits. Also, the Beavers didn't lose consec games by d.d. all season, and they were playing a team they just lost to by d.d, in the conference tourney, and keeping in mind they won the CBI the season before as Obama's brother in law became coach. Beavers lost the game, but covered.
$15 (either button)
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