The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 14, 2013

PiRate Picks For November 14-18, 2013

We are going with 7 strong plays this week, sticking with what works.

 

Our college Money Line Parlays keep winning for us, and our NFL 13-point Teasers do so as well, so let’s just stick with those two options until it runs its course.

 

1. Money Line Parlay @ -117

Florida Atlantic over Southern Miss.

SMU over Connecticut

San Diego St. over Hawaii

 

2. Money Line Parlay @ -113

Central Florida over Temple

Akron over Massachusetts

Kansas St. over TCU

 

3. Money Line Parlay @ -112

Marshall over Tulsa

Boston College over North Carolina St.

South Carolina over Florida

 

4. Money Line Parlay @ -101

Clemson over Georgia Tech

Navy over South Alabama

Arizona over Washington St.

 

5. 13-point Teaser

Indianapolis +10 vs. Tennessee

Tampa Bay +14 ½ vs. Atlanta

NY Jets +14 vs. Buffalo

Pittsburgh +15 ½ vs. Detroit

 

6. 13-point Teaser

Detroit + 10 ½ vs. Pittsburgh

Washington +17 ½ vs. Philadelphia

San Diego + 11 ½ vs. Miami

Baltimore +16 vs. Chicago

 

7. 13-point Teaser

Cleveland +19 vs. Cincinnati

Oakland +20 vs. Houston

Seattle Pk. vs. Minnesota

New England +15 ½ vs. Carolina

October 24, 2013

PiRate Picks For October 24-28, 2013

Keep Doing What Works

 

After a couple of topsy-turvy weeks that brought us some decent results, we are going to continue with what seems to be working best for us this year—teasers and money line parlays.  We are going to throw in a trio of 10-point teasers to go along with our specialty 13-point teasers, and we have a for the fun of it 15-team, 20-point teaser to throw in as a lark for those of you who know something about these special monster teasers.

 

COLLEGE

1. 13-point Teaser

Mississippi St. +2 vs. Kentucky

Middle Tennessee +22 ½ vs. Marshall

Ball St. +3 vs. Akron

Buffalo +13 vs. Kent St.

 

2. 13-point Teaser

Western Michigan +16 vs. Massachusetts

Boston College +20 vs. North Carolina

Virginia Tech – ½ vs. Duke

SMU – ½ vs. Temple

 

3. 13-point Teaser

Arizona -1 vs. Colorado

Auburn -11 vs. Florida Atlantic

Tulane +15 ½ vs. Tulsa

Michigan St. Pk. vs. Illinois

 

4. 13-point Teaser

Iowa +9 vs. Northwestern

UNLV +19 ½ vs. Nevada

Oregon St. +16 ½ vs. Stanford

Notre Dame -7 vs. Air Force

 

5. 13-point Teaser

North Texas +1 ½ vs. Southern Miss.

Missouri +10 ½ vs. South Carolina

Oklahoma St. Pk. vs. Iowa St.

Nebraska +2 ½ vs. Minnesota

 

6. Money Line Parlay @ -117

Ball St. over Akron

Virginia Tech over Duke

Arizona over Colorado

Notre Dame over Air Force

 

N F L

7. 10-point Teaser

Carolina + 3 ½ vs. Tampa Bay

San Francisco -6 ½ vs. Jacksonville

NY Giants +15 ½ vs. Philadelphia

 

8. 10-point Teaser

New Orleans -1 vs. Buffalo

New England +3 ½ vs. Miami

Pittsburgh +7 ½ vs. Oakland

 

9. 10-point Teaser

Denver -2 ½ vs. Washington

Atlanta + 11 ½ vs. Arizona

Seattle -1 vs. St. Louis

 

10. 13-point Teaser

Detroit +10 vs. Dallas

Kansas City + 5 ½ vs. Cleveland

NY Jets +19 ½ vs. Cincinnati

Minnesota +23 vs. Green Bay

 

11. 13-point Teaser

New Orleans & Buffalo OVER 36

Pittsburgh & Oakland OVER 27

Atlanta & Arizona OVER 32

Minnesota & Green Bay OVER 34

 

——————————————————

All in Good Fun 20-Point Monster Teaser (15-team parlay)

Ball St. +10 vs. Akron

Buffalo +20 vs. Kent St.

Western Michigan +20 vs. Massachusetts

Auburn -4 vs. Florida Atlantic

Tulane +22 ½ vs. Tulsa

UNLV +26 ½ vs. Nevada

Notre Dame Pk. vs. Air Force

North Texas +8 ½ vs. Southern Miss.

Oklahoma St. +7 vs. Iowa St.

Nebraska +9 ½ vs. Minnesota

Boston College +27 vs. North Carolina

Missouri +17 ½ vs. South Carolina

Mississippi St. +9 vs. Kentucky

Middle Tennessee +29 ½ vs. Marshall

Arizona +6 vs. Colorado

December 30, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–December 30, 2011-January 6, 2012

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:40 pm

Week 17 in the NFL Can Be Feast or Famine

With a lot of bowls and week 17 in the NFL, this time of year can be tough to prognosticate.  We have no love affairs with any of the coming week’s bowl games.  We cannot form any lovable teasers or money line parlays.

 

We are going with five straight plays, all from the NFL, as our suggestions for the week.

 

1. Oakland -3 vs. San Diego

The Chargers stopped caring about the 2011 season about midway through the second quarter of last week’s game.  Detroit kept playing, while the Bolts’ players began plotting their itineraries home for the winter.

 

This game means a lot to the Raiders.  They are still alive in the playoff hunt, and we believe they have a better chance at getting into the playoffs than any other team they are competing against.  Additionally, they are playing this game for Al.  Al Davis was a Chargers’ assistant when he took over as head coach of the Raiders almost five decades ago.  He made it a habit of beating up on his former team, both as coach and later as owner of the silver and black.  To qualify for the playoffs in this season would be a special gift for their former owner.  Look for Oakland to win big.

 

2. New York Giants -3 vs. Dallas

A couple weeks ago, Tom Coughlin looked like a lame duck coach, and the Cowboys looked like sure winners in the NFC East.  Now, the opposite looks true.  Jason Garrett looks like he has lost control of the team, and Jerry Jones looks to be exerting more control over how they Cowboys will play.  The Giants look playoff ready, and even though they are not world beaters at home, we believe they will enjoy the best home field advantage they have enjoyed in a long time, maybe even like they were playing at old Yankee Stadium once again.

 

We believe the boys from the Gotham will win this game by double digits, much like they did last week against their hometown rival.

 

3. New York Jets +3 vs. Miami

This is our contrarian pick of the week.  Everybody assumes the Jets are done for the year.  They have been 8-7 before and on the outside looking in.  Sure, Miami has looked more like a playoff-caliber team as of late, but the Dolphins have nothing real to play for in this game, and many of their players will already be looking forward to the off-season with no desire to risk injury. 

 

We believe LaDainian Tomlinson has one more big game in his legs.  We believe the Jets’ defense has one heroic effort left to display.  We believe the Jets have one more rabbit to pull out of their hats.  We’ll go with Rex Ryan’s rambunctious roughriders to win this game by a touchdown or more.

 

4. Cleveland +7 vs. Pittsburgh

This is a huge rivalry game, and the Browns know how to play their nemesis from just up the road.  Cleveland stayed within contention on a Thursday night at Heinz field last month, and we believe they are waiting in ambush to send the Steelers to the wildcard round of the playoffs.

 

The crowd will turn out on New Year’s Day to really support their Browns, making the entire field a dog pound.  We believe Cleveland will send them home happy, or at least disappointed following a narrow loss.  We’ll take that touchdown and go with the underdog.

 

5. Baltimore -2 vs. Cincinnati

This is the game of the week, better than the Giants-Cowboys game.  Cincinnati faces elimination with a loss, but they can still back into the playoffs at 9-7.  Baltimore earns a playoff bye with a win, and they have a small shot at the top seed.

 

The Ravens have not fared all that well on the road this year, but we believe they are ready to remedy that ailment this week.  This game will be a surprise sellout thanks to a 2 for 1 ticket giveaway, but we believe Baltimore will spoil the party with a defensive win.

December 23, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–December 23-29, 2011

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:18 pm

Have Yourself A Merry Little Windfall, But Not From These Picks

Oh, what a festive weekend!  Even in these trying times for many, we all have something to be thankful for.  For us here at the PiRate Ratings, we are so thankful for our families and friends, of which there are many. 

 

Now, of course, if there is some secret Santa out there, we wouldn’t mind a really excellent closing to our NFL football ratings’ season.  By excellent, we are not talking about a particular team.  The PiRate Ratings have moved up to number two in the overall against the spread comparison in The Prediction Tracker, just a slice of a percentage behind number one.  Never mind, Santa.  You have a lot more to do in the next couple of days. We’ll have to try to reach your female friend, Lady Luck.

 

Okay, here are our merry picks this week.

 

1. 13-point Teaser

Independence Bowl: Missouri +8 vs. North Carolina

Belk Bowl: Louisville +14 ½ vs. North Carolina State

Holiday Bowl: Texas +10 vs. California

Champ Sports Bowl: Florida State +10 vs. Notre Dame

 

2. 10-point Teaser

Oakland +12 ½ vs. Kansas City

Denver +7 vs. Buffalo

New England + ½ vs. Miami

 

3. 10-point Teaser

Baltimore – 2 ½ vs. Cleveland

Washington +3 ½ vs. Minnesota

Green Bay -2 vs. Chicago

 

4. 13-point Teaser

Tennessee +5 ½ vs. Jacksonville

Cincinnati +9 vs. Arizona

Giants +16 vs. Jets

Pittsburgh -1 vs. St. Louis

 

5. 13-point Teaser

Oakland & Kansas City OVER 29

Jacksonville & Tennessee OVER 27

Cincinnati & Arizona OVER 28

Cleveland & Baltimore OVER 25 ½

December 16, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–December 16-22, 2011

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:19 pm

We Won’t Get Bowled Over With Too Many Selections

The bowl season commences Saturday with the New Mexico, Famous Idaho Potato, and New Orleans Bowl.  The Beef O’Brady’s, Poinsettia, and MAACO Bowls will be played in the next seven days, giving us a chance to play a troika of college selections.

 

We are going to throw a pair of NFL 13-point teasers to give us five quality selections for the week.

 

1. New Mexico Bowl: Wyoming +7 vs. Temple

This should be an exciting, hard-fought game won in the trenches.  Temple will attempt to grind it out in three yards and a cloud of dust running, while Wyoming will try to spread the field and force the Owls to defend 53 yards wide.  The Cowboy blocking corps will be pressed to protect their QB, and it will provide the viewer with an excellent contrast in styles.  We believe this game will be close, but Wyoming will be able to strike quickly with a cheap score.  We cannot see that happening for Temple, so we will take the underdogs and get a TD straight up.

 

2. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State -1 vs. Ohio U

Utah State had some rough outings early in the season, but the Aggies rebounded to win big down the stretch.  Truth be told, USU just might be the best team in the WAC right now.

 

When Ohio punter Paul Hershey tweeted his dislike for going to Boise for a bowl, it got a lot of press, but not many sports media writers read between the lines.  Hershey obviously was relaying his teammates reaction when they were overlooked for the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl.  We seriously question the desire of the Bobcats in this game, while Utah State is very happy to be playing at the blue field.

 

3. 13-point teaser

New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette +18 vs. San Diego St.

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl: Marshall +17 vs. Florida International

Poinsettia Bowl: T C U +3 vs. Louisiana Tech

MAACO Bowl: Boise State -1 vs. Arizona State.

 

4. 13-point NFL teaser

Green Bay – ½ vs. Kansas City

New Orleans +6 ½ vs. Minnesota

Seattle & Chicago OVER 22 ½

Tennessee +6 ½ vs. Indianapolis

 

5. 13-point NFL teaser

Cincinnati & St. Louis OVER 27

Detroit +12 vs. Oakland

New England +5 ½ vs. Denver

Arizona +6 ½ vs. Cleveland

December 8, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–December 8-12, 2011

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:18 pm

NFL Only This Week

With the Army-Navy game being the only college game this week, we have no play on that one.  So, we are stocking up with seven NFL selections, including tonight’s game at Heinz Field.

 

1. 10-point teaser

Baltimore -6 ½ vs. Indianapolis

Green Bay -1 vs. Oakland

Green Bay & Oakland OVER 41 ½

 

2. 10-point teaser

Detroit +2 vs. Minnesota

New York Jets Pk vs. Kansas City

Denver +6 ½ vs. Chicago

 

3. 13-point teaser

Pittsburgh -1 vs. Cleveland

Pittsburgh & Cleveland OVER 27

Baltimore & Indianapolis OVER 28

Cincinnati +10 vs. Houston

 

4. 13-point teaser

New York Jets & Kansas City OVER 23 ½

New England +5 vs. Washington

New England & Washington UNDER 61

Jacksonville +14 vs. Tampa Bay

 

5. 13-point teaser

Detroit & Minnesota OVER 36 ½

Tennessee +16 ½ vs. New Orleans

Miami +10 vs. Philadelphia

Miami & Philadelphia OVER 32

 

6. 13-point teaser

Carolina +16 vs. Atlanta

Carolina & Atlanta OVER 34

Arizona & San Francisco OVER 27

Chicago & Denver OVER 22 ½

 

7. 13-point teaser

San Diego +6 vs. Buffalo

Dallas +9 ½ vs. New York Giants

New York Giants +16 ½ vs. Dallas

New York Giants & Dallas OVER 36

December 2, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–December 2-5, 2011

This is the last week of regular season college games, so beginning next week, we will limit our selections until the bowls kick off.  For this college regular season finale, we are going to rely on three money line parlays, since they have been successful for us this year.  We will add one 13-point teaser to the mix.

 

As far as the NFL goes, we cleaned up on the 13-point teasers last week, and we will go with two more in addition to a 10-point teaser.

 

1. Money Line Parlay (4 teams @ -104)

Pittsburgh over Syracuse

Nevada over Idaho

B Y U over Hawaii

Arkansas State over Troy

 

It appears to us as though Syracuse ran out of steam at the end of October.  As for Pitt, the Panthers either win this game or stay home for the holidays.  We see Coach Graham getting his troops motivated to get the job done.

 

Nevada has limped home in November, but the Wolfpack get a relative patsy for senior day in Reno.  Nevada’s pistol offense should fire into the end zone several times.

 

We are going against the chalk in Honolulu.  Hawaii must win to become bowl eligible, while BYU has already accepted their bowl invitation.  However, we believe the Cougars will dominate this game with superior talent and depth.

 

 

2. Money Line Parlay (3 teams @ -130)

Houston over Southern Mississippi

Oregon over U C L A

Wyoming over Colorado State

 

Houston benefits from hosting the CUSA Championship Game.  All eyes will be on Case Keenum, as he contends for the Heisman Trophy.  A Houston win more than likely sends the Cougars to the Sugar Bowl if LSU beats Georgia.  While Cougar coach Kevin Sumlin is probably headed to greener pastures after this season, we do not expect it to play a major role in this game; Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora is in the same boat; he could become the next coach at Ole Miss or somewhere else, so the coaching rumors are a wash.

 

UCLA would be expected to play inspired ball and send Coach Rick Neuheisel out of Westwood with a Rose Bowl Game.  However, there is too much superior Duck talent to overcome.  We expect the Bruins to play their best game of the year, but they will come up short.

 

To those outside of the Rockies, you may not appreciate the rivalry between Colorado State and Wyoming.  I’ve seen these two go at it in football and basketball, and in its own way, this rivalry is as fierce as the Red Sox and Yankees, Duke and North Carolina basketball, and the Iron Bowl.  Wyoming is bowl-bound, while CSU could be coach-hunting.  The Rams will be fired up to try to save Coach Steve Fairchild’s job, but like UCLA, they just don’t have the talent to pull it off.

 

3. Money Line Parlay (3 teams @ -114)

L S U over Georgia

North Texas over Middle Tennessee

Nevada over Idaho

 

The big talk all week in the South and elsewhere has been about Georgia upsetting LSU to earn the SEC three BCS Bowl bids.  The Bulldogs would earn the automatic bid to the Sugar Bowl, while Alabama moves to first and LSU falls to second, forcing them to play in the National Championship Game.  Well, we just don’t see it happening, even if the Bulldogs get to play this game in their de facto home of Atlanta.  L S U is at least 14-25 points better than Georgia, and we would not be surprised if the Tigers decided to make a statement and run up the score.

 

North Texas was close to returning to respectability this season.  The Mean Green were not that far away from winning six or seven games this year.  As for Middle Tennessee, their season went downhill after they blew the opening game at Purdue, a game they should have won.  They have failed to show up in their November games, and we expect them to mail this one in.

 

We are using Nevada in a second parlay only to bring the odds down under -130, since we only play money line parlays at the same or better odds than a 13-point, 4-team teaser.  We consider it our safe game.

 

4. 13-point Teaser

Northern Illinois & Ohio U UNDER 84

Connecticut +22 ½ vs. Cincinnati

Oklahoma +16 vs. Oklahoma State

Boise State & New Mexico OVER 49

 

Ohio has played 12 games this season, and in none of them were the total points over 80.  While Northern Illinois is probably the best offensive team the Bobcats will have faced, we believe both teams will be a little tight for the first 15 to 25 minutes of this game.  We see this one ending in the 35-24 range, which is 25 points under 84.

 

Cincinnati no longer has BCS bowl hopes, with West Virginia eliminating the Bearcats last night.  The Bearcats will more than likely replace CUSA champion Houston in the Liberty Bowl, and the results of this game will not matter.  Connecticut is playing for bowl eligibility, and the Huskies will keep this game close and even have a chance to win outright.

 

The Sooners have the opportunity to do something very few OU teams have ever done—sneak up on their rivals from Stillwater.  It has been a foregone conclusion this week in the national media that Oklahoma State still has a chance to earn a trip to the National Championship Game if they really do a number on the Sooners.  Well, Oklahoma isn’t exactly chopped liver!  We have a sneaky suspicion that they will shock the Cowboys and pull off the upset.  Even if they don’t, we see OU staying within 14 points.

 

This final pick may look odd to you.  This is our reasoning.  Boise is actually favored by 48 ½ points, so the oddsmakers believe they will score 48 or 49 points minimum.  Because Coach Chris Petersen will empty the bench and let a lot of senior reserves and other reserves play a good chunk of the second half, we expect the Lobos to score at least 10 to 14 points in this game.  So, if Boise scores just 42 points and gives up 10, it suffices for us.

 

5. 10-point NFL Teaser

Tennessee & Buffalo OVER 33

Atlanta +7 vs. Houston

Denver +11 ½ vs. Minnesota

 

The Bills and Titans are two run-of-the-mill, average teams.  Neither team’s offense will set the woods on fire, but neither team’s defense will shut down the other’s offense.  We are looking at a typical, average NFL game with a 24-21 outcome, or 12 points more than 33.

 

Even with a healthy Matt Schaub or Matt Leinart, Houston and Atlanta would be a tossup game.  Without either quarterback, we cannot see the Texans earning their ninth win of the season.  They have a two-game lead in their division, while Atlanta is basically in a must-win situation the rest of the way.  Look for a Falcons road win this week.

 

How can a hapless Vikings team defeat the invincible Superman Tim Tebow and do it without Adrian Peterson?  How can they do it by 12 points?  ‘nuf ced.

 

6. 13-point NFL Teaser

Tenneessee +14 ½ vs. Buffalo

Kansas City +20 vs. Chicago

Miami +10 vs. Oakland

Miami & Oakland OVER 30

 

Read above for why we are going with the Titans at +14 ½ against the Bills.  We believe that these teams could play 10 times and none of the outcomes would be by that many points.

 

Chicago should beat Kansas City, even without Jay Cutler, but the Bears will play more conservatively and keep the score down.  Add possible inclement weather, and we see the Bears winning 24-14.

 

If the Season had begun three weeks ago, Miami might have been the odds-on favorite to earn a Wildcard bid.  However, their 0-7 start made that a moot point.  Nevertheless, playing at home, the Dolphins are good enough to beat Oakland 75% of the time, and of the 25% losses, we see 95% of those would be by single digits.  That’s good enough for us.  We believe this game will see both teams top 17 points, with the winner probably topping 24, so we love the totals as well.

 

7. 13-point NFL Teaser

New York Jets +10 vs. Washington

New Orleans +4 vs. Detroit

San Francisco – ½ vs. St. Louis

New England -7 vs. Indianapolis

 

Washington is the type of team Rex Ryan loves to play against.  His defense can bully the Redskins, while his offense keeps it close to the vest and grinds out enough yards to come up with 20-24 points.  The Jets should win by a score similar to 23-10.

 

New Orleans and Detroit are teams headed in opposite directions.  The Saints may be strong enough at the present time to upend Green Bay, while Detroit discovered that the Packers are their daddy.  Look for the Saints to Stomp on the Lions this week.

 

We love teasing a double-digit favorite to ½ point, because it only requires them to win the game.  A one-point win on a last-second field goal is adequate enough.  We see no chance for the Rams to win on the road this week.

 

Normally, we would never tease a 20-point favorite to a touchdown.  It goes against all logical teaser strategies.  However, we are talking about the best team in the AFC against the worst team in all of North American professional football.  Every CFL team could beat this year’s Colts, so the best team in the AFC should be expected to beat them by at least eight points.  They could win 59-7!

November 24, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–November 24-28, 2011

Let’s Talk Turkey And Gobble Up Some Gravy

The last few weeks have been mediocre, so it’s time we take advantage of our festive mood and a rash of rivalry games to seek value in the underdog.  This week’s teaser picks are all about underdogs.  Our moneyline picks will isolate on favorites that we believe should be favored by more than they are due to the public’s incorrect perception of those games.

 

1. Moneyline Parlay (2 teams @ -115)

South Carolina over Clemson

L S U over Arkansas

 

2. Moneyline Parlay (2 teams @ -115)

Nebraska over Iowa

Georgia over Georgia Tech

 

3. Moneyline Parlay (2 teams @ -118)

Purdue over Indiana

West Virginia over Pittsburgh

 

4. Moneyline Parlay (5 teams @ -119)

Michigan State over Northwestern

Northern Illinois over Eastern Michigan

Utah over Colorado

Missouri over Kansas

Alabama over Auburn

 

5. Moneyline Parlay (2 teams @ -119)

Michigan over Ohio State

Tennessee over Kentucky

 

6. 13-point Teaser

Texas +21 vs. Texas A&M

Kent State +30 vs. Temple

Ball State +27 vs. Toledo

Tulsa +16 vs. Houston

 

7. 13-point Teaser

Boston College +27 ½ vs. Miami (Fl)

U T E P +23 vs. Central Florida

Arizona State +7 vs. California

Ohio State +20 ½ vs. Michigan

 

8. 13-point Teaser

Minnesota +23 ½ vs. Illinois

North Carolina State +1 vs. Maryland

Wyoming +46 vs. Boise State

Virginia +17 vs. Virginia Tech

 

9. 13-point Teaser

Florida State + 11 ½ vs. Florida

Marshall +14 vs. East Carolina

Ole Miss +30 vs. Mississippi State

Western Kentucky + 7 ½ vs. Troy

 

10. NFL 13-point Teaser

Detroit +19 ½ vs. Green Bay

Arizona +16 vs. St. Louis

New York Jets +4 vs. Buffalo

Cleveland +20 ½ vs. Cincinnati

 

11. NFL 13-point Teaser

Carolina +10 vs. Indianapolis

Tennessee +9 ½ vs. Tampa Bay

Atlanta +3 ½ vs. Minnesota

Oakland +9 vs. Chicago

 

12. NFL 13-point Teaser

Seattle +9 ½ vs. Washington

Philadelphia +16 vs. New England

Denver +19 vs. San Diego

Pittsburgh +2 ½ vs. Kansas City

 

13. NFL 13-point Teaser

Cleveland & Cincinnati OVER 24 ½

Houston & Jacksonville OVER 24 ½

Washington & Seattle OVER 24

Carolina & Indianapolis UNDER 58 ½

November 18, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–November 19-21, 2011

Time To Play Conservatively

We tend to isolate on fewer selections as we approach Thanksgiving.  Colder temperatures and more windy conditions begin to affect games.  Injuries that have piled up affect teams lacking depth.  Healthy teams under new systems begin to gel.  Some teams change personnel and find a more effective way to move the ball or stop movement by the opponents.

 

We really like to take advantage of the sweetheart teasers this time of year.  We try to find games where we can tease a game underdog or short favorite to get double digit odds.  Beginning this week, we will try to isolate those games where we believe this strategy is valid.

 

1. 13-point Teaser

Louisville +14 vs. Connecticut

Virginia +30 ½ vs. Florida State

Akron +24 ½ vs. Buffalo

Tennessee +14 ½ vs. Vanderbilt

 

Connecticut has a hard time scoring touchdowns, while Louisville’s defense is better than average.  We see the Huskies scoring no more than 21 points, so Louisville should cover with just one TD; we actually believe the Cards can win outright.

 

Virginia is good enough to beat Florida State.  The Seminoles have about a 60% chance of winning, so we just cannot see any reason why not to take more than four touchdowns and the Cavaliers.

 

Buffalo may have difficulty scoring 24 points.  The Bulls are little better than Akron, and we see this game remaining close to the end.

 

Tennessee welcomes back the return of Tyler Bray this week, so the Volunteers should finally move the ball and score points.  This Vanderbilt team may be better than the bowl team of 2008, but that team lost to a mediocre Volunteer squad.  The last time Vanderbilt won by double digits in this series was 1959, so we cannot see the Commodores winning by two touchdowns in this 50-50 tossup game.

 

2. 13-point Teaser

Rice -1 vs. Tulane

Rutgers +16 vs. Cincinnati

Kansas State +21 ½ vs. Texas

Arkansas Pk. vs. Mississippi State

 

Tulane may be the weakest team in the nation at this point of the season.  The Green Wave is little better than Florida Atlantic at this point.  While Rice is not much to shout about, the Owls should hoot against the Olive Green and Sky Blue boys from New Orleans.  Rich Rodriguez could be interested in the TU job, so Green Wave fans may have something to cheer about.

 

We love the Rutgers pick here.  The Scarlet Knights could easily win this game in the ever-balanced Big East.

 

We love Kansas State for two reasons this week.  The Wildcats are good enough to win this game, and we love the 21 ½ points we get.  If Texas wins 42-21, we cover.

 

Arkansas may be due for a letdown this week.  Mississippi State could be an upset possibility, but we feel the Razorbacks will find a way to come up with the win.  Arkansas has too much riding on this game to let it slip away.

 

3. Money Line Parlay (5 teams @ -112)

Georgia Tech over Duke

Wake Forest over Maryland

Oklahoma over Baylor

B Y U over New Mexico State

Wyoming over New Mexico

 

Duke’s defense does not have the lateral speed as a whole to consistently stop Georgia Tech’s offense, and thus the Yellow Jackets should accumulate 400-500 total yards and 35-45 points.  Duke may score 25-30 in this game, but we feel Tech will win by 7-17 points.

 

Wake Forest needs this win to become bowl eligible, while Maryland is just playing out the season as an also-ran.  The Demon Deacons should win by double digits.

 

Oklahoma better not overlook Baylor, because the Bears are good enough to end any chances for the Sooners to move back to number two in the BCS.  We believe the Sooners will bring their A-game this week and easily dispose of Iowa State next week to set up the big game in Stillwater on December 3.

 

As for the other two games in this parlay, these were put here to bring the money line odds down to a manageable number.  Both of these games should be blowouts.

 

4. Money Line Parlay (3 teams @ -121)

Tulsa over U T E P

U C L A over Colorado

Utah State over Idaho

 

Tulsa is being overlooked in the CUSA West.  With Houston and Case Keenum rolling over opponents week after week, few people realize the Hurricane are still undefeated in conference play with losses only to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State.  UTEP is one of those teams that can pull off an upset one week and lose by 35 the next.  We believe TU will clear the final hurdle prior to their big game next week at home with Houston.

 

Rick Neuheisel may be in serious jeopardy of losing his job, although his Bruins look more like the Green Bay Packers when compared to Ben Howland’s basketball team.  UCLA needs to win a big game to keep their slim Pac-12 South title aspirations alive.  If they lose this game to CU, Neuheisel is as good as gone.  We believe his players will rally around him and gain bowl eligibility.

 

Utah State could still win the WAC.  The Aggies have been on the losing end of multiple close games, but they are beginning to play 60 minutes of good football week after week.  Idaho is always tough at the Kibbie Dome, but the Vandals are not as good as Coach Robb Akey’s previous two squads.  Look for USU to win this game to set up a big one at home against Nevada next week.

 

5. NFL 13-point Teaser

Atlanta +7 vs. Tennessee

Buffalo +15 vs. Miami

Minnesota +14 vs. Oakland

Green Bay -1 vs. Tampa Bay

 

The Falcons may be down, but they are not out.  With seven games to play , they can still earn a wildcard bid to the playoffs.  They are good enough to run the table (but they won’t), and they are certainly good enough to knock off Tennessee at home.  The Titans are an 8-8 team; they can destroy the teams that will have a top 10 pick in next year’s draft, but they do not compete on the road against good teams.

 

Buffalo is being discounted a bit too much and Miami is being credited with a bit too much.  We’ll gladly take 15 points and the 5-4 Bills.

 

Minnesota is nowhere as good as Buffalo, while Oakland is better than Miami.  However, we still like the Vikings in this part of the parlay.  We look for a much closer game with the purple people eaters capable of pulling off the upset.

 

We do not see the Packers running the table this year, but we do not believe the Bucs are the team that will end the winning streak.

 

6. NFL 13-point Teaser

Washington +20 ½ vs. Dallas

St. Louis +10 vs. Seattle

Chicago +9 ½ vs. San Diego

New England -2 vs. Kansas City

 

The Redskins are sinking fast in the NFC East, but this is their big rivalry game.  Dallas may be much better than Washington, but we’re getting more than 20 points in this game.

 

St. Louis and Seattle should be a tossup game at the Edward Jones Dome.  If the Seahawks win, we can only see it being by single digits.

 

Chicago is now playing as competently as last year, when the Bears came within a few points of going to the Super Bowl.  San Diego could still win the AFC West (at 8-8), but the Chargers are misfiring on half their cylinders this season.  We believe “da Bears” will win “da game.”

 

Kansas City could stay within striking distance of New England into the second half, but the Patriots should win by more than a touchdown.

 

7. NFL 13-point Teaser

Baltimore +6 vs. Cincinnati

Jacksonville +14 vs. Cleveland

Detroit +6 vs. Carolina

Philadelphia +17 ½ vs. New York Giants

 

This is our favorite teaser of the week.  We believe all four of these underdogs have an excellent chance of winning outright, so we gladly accept the points we are given with each part of the parlay.

 

At Home, Baltimore is as good as Green Bay.  Cincinnati should hold on to a wildcard spot in the AFC, but the Bengals are clearly in over their head playing at the Ravens.

 

Cleveland may not score 14 points in this game, yet they could still win.  Jacksonville is even weaker than the Browns on offense.  14 points are like 24 in almost any other game this week.

 

Detroit cannot afford to slip up this week with the Green Bay game Thursday.  The Lions could be a full game behind three or four others in the hunt for a wildcard if they lose this week and on Thanksgiving.  Carolina could not move the ball against Tennessee, and Detroit’s defense is a better version of the Titans’ defense.

 

Philadelphia may have to rely on Vince Young at quarterback this week, but Michael Vick has not been an asset this year.  Maybe Young can work some of his magic.  We have a feeling that Philly will play their best game of the year and either scare the Giants or knock them into a tie with Dallas.

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