photo credit VegasParlay.com
by Lisa Horne
Pigskin Grind is back on track going 6-of-10 last week. This season's total is 62-of-110.
There are five college football games and five NFL games in this week's picks.
Why so many NFL games?
Weirder than normal things happen in college football rivalry games. In other words, avoid them at all costs but if you must pick those games, go heavy on the underdogs.
As always, good luck. My picks are in bold.
California +5.5 v Stanford
Stanford (5-5) looks very vulnerable right now. Cal needs to win one of its next two games to get bowl eligible, as does Stanford. Cal would like a little revenge from the 63-13 drubbing the Cardinal gave the Bears last year. This one could get nasty.
No. 24 USC +3.5 at UCLA
The Trojans' secondary gets a boost this week with the return of Josh Shaw, who had been suspended 10 games for lying to school officials about how he hurt his ankles. The Bruins have looked very tough in their last two games but their scoring defense is still a concern. This one is going to be close and will probably be decided by a walk-off field goal.
Clemson -40.5 v Georgia State
If Appalachian State can beat Georgia State by 44 points, surely Clemson can, right? Georgia Southern rolled 69 points on Georgia State by running the ball. Clemson may not have a great rushing game but its 5-star athletes should be able to gash the nation's second-worst rushing defense.
Boston College +19.5 at No. 3 Florida State
Last year the eventual BCS champions beat Boston College 48-34. Hmmm. This year the Seminoles' offense doesn't look nearly as lethal. Florida State should win but by just under three touchdowns? That seems like too much for a team that has underperformed all year.
Missouri +3.5 at Tennessee
I'm not a believer in Tennessee yet, especially since the basis of the Vols' improvement has been wins against Kentucky and South Carolina. Neither team has a winning record. Missouri's scoring defense seems to handle offenses fairly well so put Tennessee on mild upset alert.
Kansas City Chiefs -7.5 at Oakland Raiders
I shouldn't really have to explain this, should I? And I am a Raider fan.
New England Patriots -6.5 v Detroit Lions
The Pats are 5-0 at home and the Lions are 3-2 on the road. I like the Patriots' chances because quarterback Tom Brady appears to be on a mission to silence all of his critics.
Indianapolis Colts -13.5 v Jacksonville Jaguars
The Colts are a very good team that got spanked by the Patriots 42-20 last week. I expect the Colts to rebound big time and take out their frustrations on a team that gave up 41 points to the Redskins.
San Diego Chargers -4.5 v St. Louis Rams
The Chargers are 4-1 at home and the Rams are 2-3 on the road. I am also not a fan of the Rams' defense but quarterback Philip Rivers may love it.
Denver Broncos -7.5 v Miami Dolphins
Miami has been covering the spread more often than not while the Broncos are 5-5 ATS. But this one stat cannot be ignored: Denver is 8-0 ATS following a loss. This game should be a high-scoring affair which favors the Broncos. So does the possible sub-freezing weather forecast.
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.