photo courtesy VegasParlay.com
by Lisa Horne
Updated 9/10/2014, 10:28 am PT: Correction was made on Maryland line. West Virginia is getting three points, not giving three points. This correction does not affect the pick since I had picked West Virginia to begin with.
In week 1 I went 3-of-4 winning 75 percent of my games. Last week I hit 4-of-6—that is 66 percent. After two weeks, I have hit 7-of-10 for a 70 percent winning average.
This week there are 10 games which look intriguing. As always, the lines are subject to change leading up to game time.
Obligatory disclaimer: Pigskin Grind is not a tout service. These recommendations are for entertainment purposes only.
Arkansas +2 v Texas Tech
Texas Tech has struggled against inferior teams and is 0-1 against the spread. The offense racks up a lot of yardage but it struggled in the red zone against Central Arkansas. The Razorbacks walloped Nicholls State 73-7 last week and in week 1 scored 21 points on Auburn. I like Arkansas to win straight up in a shootout.
Take the points and Arkansas
Central Florida +9.5 v Missouri
Missouri has not faced a very good defense yet—Central Florida will be its first big test. The Knights have had an extra week to prepare for the Tigers after losing a heartbreaker to Penn State in Dublin, Ireland on August 30. Missouri should be on mild upset alert.
Take the points and Central Florida
Pittsburgh – 26 v Florida International
Pitt should have the cover by halftime. FIU lost to Bethune-Cookman 14-12 and beat Wagner 34-3. The Golden Panthers may have a lot of experience with 10 starters on its offense, but those same 10 players were part of a 1-11 team last year.
Lay the points, Pittsburgh covers big
Old Dominion -17 v Eastern Michigan
This line opened up at 11.5 but has jumped because gamblers realize how poorly Eastern Michigan has performed so far. The Eagles barely beat Morgan State and got hammered by Florida, 65-0. Old Dominion was a tough opponent for one Power 5 team—North Carolina State beat Old Dominion 46-34 last Saturday. The Monarchs have the second-best passing offense in CUSA. Eastern Michigan has the second-worst passing defense in the MAC.
Lay the points and take Old Dominion
Penn State -3.5 v Rutgers
Penn State is now eligible to play in the postseason which means the Big Ten Championship and a bowl berth are back on the table for the Nittany Lions. How pumped up is this team right now? Rutgers surprised the experts when it upset Washington State on the road in week 1 but Nevada also beat Washington State. Last week Rutgers struggled with Howard before finally winning 35-28.
Lay the points and take Penn State
Georgia Southern +20 v Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech has beaten Wofford 38-19 and Tulane 38-21. If we assume the Yellow Jackets score 38 points against Georgia Southern, the Eagles will need to score 19 points to cover. If Wofford can score 19 on Georgia Tech, so can Georgia Southern—it has already scored 23 points on NC State and 83 on Savannah State. This looks like a big upset alert.
Take the points and Georgia Southern
South Alabama +14.5 v Mississippi State
South Alabama beat Kent State on the road 23-13. Mississippi State hosted Alabama-Birmingham and struggled to win 47-34. This is a trap game for Mississippi State. South Alabama is the Bulldogs' first road test and they may get caught looking ahead to LSU the following week.
Take the points and South Alabama
Baylor -31 v Buffalo
The Buffaloes' defense is porous. It allowed Duquesne to score 28 points and Army 47. Baylor is on the road but the Bears' offense may get the cover by mid-second quarter.
Lay the big points and take Baylor
West Virginia +3 v Maryland
Maryland has not impressed thus far. The Terrapins have committed seven turnovers in two games playing mediocre teams. West Virginia has committed one turnover in two games including one contest against Alabama. The Mountaineers are the Big 12's second-best in avoiding penalties while Maryland is the Big Ten's fifth. I will take the more disciplined team every time.
Take the points and West Virginia
Georgia -5.5 v South Carolina
Last year Georgia beat a much better South Carolina team 41-30. While both teams have lost some key players, Georgia seems to have reloaded better. The last time Georgia won in South Carolina was in 2008. The road team has struggled in this series. Still, Georgia looks like a much more confident team than South Carolina.
Lay the points and take Georgia