Photo credit vegasparlay.com
by Lisa Horne
I told you I loved my picks last week and the proof was in the pudding—I went 8-of-10. Totals for the season are a respectable 24-of-40. This week I have a surprise. I am adding an NFL pick.
Because, why not?
Arizona +22.5 at Oregon
The Oregon Ducks look beatable. That does not mean I think the Wildcats will beat them at Autzen Stadium. I just think the Ducks' defense is highly suspect and that translates to closer-than-expected games. There is one more factor that influenced my picking Arizona. Rich Rodriguez has more head coaching experience in big game settings than Mark Helfrich. The Ducks should win this game but the Wildcats will cover.
Take the points and Arizona.
East Carolina -39.5 v SMU
I know, those are a lot of points. But SMU has scored one touchdown this season. The Mustangs have the second-worst total defense and the worst scoring defense out of 128 teams. East Carolina's offense is ranked No. 13 among FBS schools. The Pirates may cover the spread by halftime because SMU is a hot mess and ECU is just plain hot.
Lay the points and take East Carolina.
UTEP +12.5 at Louisiana Tech
The Miners got spanked by Kansas State last week but they did score 21 points in the fourth quarter to make the eventual 58-28 score more respectable. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, have started an alarming losing streak including a loss to FCS school Northwestern State. I like Skip Holtz as a coach and Louisiana Tech should win but I do not think it will by double digits.
Take the points and UTEP.
Kansas State -14.5 v Texas Tech
The Red Raiders may be without quarterback Davis Webb, according to a USAToday report. The report states:
"Webb was scrambling up the middle when he landed awkwardly on his non-throwing forearm. Webb was replaced by true freshman Patrick Mahomes, who fumbled and threw an interception on his first full drive."
Yep, Kansas State at home looks like a safe pick.
Lay the points and take Kansas State.
Baylor -16.5 at Texas
When has Baylor not covered the spread? Moreover, the Longhorns are without quarterback David Ash and struggled against lowly Kansas last week. Last year Baylor won by 20 points and this Texas team is not as good as last year's 8-5 team.
Lay the points and take Baylor.
Iowa State +16.5 at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys played out of their minds against Florida State but since then, the defense has not looked very good. Iowa State is known for its stout defense but this year the Cyclones' defense is last in the conference. The Cowboys have the edge in offense but quarterback Daxx Garman, who replaced injured J.W. Walsh, has only played against Missouri State and UTSA. Iowa State is a different animal.
Take the points and Iowa State.
Toledo -5.5 at Western Michigan
Who doesn't love MACtion? The Toledo Rockets are looking for their third conference win in a row. Western Michigan has already improved upon last year's 1-11 record but those wins came against Idaho and Murray State. Bottom line: Toledo looks like the best team in Mid-American Conference.
Lay the points and take Toledo.
Nevada +2.5 v Boise State
The Broncos are not the same without head coach Chris Petersen. On the flip side, Nevada looks like a real threat in the Mountain West. Quarterback Cody Fajardo is a fantastic dual-threat quarterback. This game will be the second consecutive game on the road for the Broncos, who dropped a game against Air Force last Saturday.
Take the points and Nevada.
Akron -21.5 v Eastern Michigan
It's not that I'm sold on Akron, it's that betting against Eastern Michigan is almost a lock. The Eagles were 40-plus dogs to Michigan State and lost 73-14. Yeah, this is one of two teams—SMU is the other—that you should be betting against every week. The weather doesn't look good for this game so check the forecast before plunking down some cash on the Zips.
Lay the points and take Akron.
BONUS: New England Patriots (pick) Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are one of the best teams in the NFL and I still like the Pats in this one. Cincy is winless in Foxboro. Coach Marvin Lewis is 6-17 in primetime. The Patriots have lost back-to-back regular season games only seven times since 2000. Belichick and Brady will be ready.
Take the Pats
Obligatory disclaimer: Pigskin Grind is not a tout service. All spreads listed are for entertainment purposes only—due to fluctuations, these lines may or may not reflect real time Las Vegas odds.