September 29, 2016

Nic’s Picks – Week 5

Nic's Picks

Week 4 – (7-1)

Total – (21-12)

Week four was a good week, my only blemish was picking the Razorbacks to upset the Aggies in Fort Worth. This week is crazy with more tough picks to make, as there are 3 top 10 matchups and 4 total ranked matchups (as said by the AP). Clemson is hosting Gameday for the 4th time in the last four seasons and 5th time ever, the Tigers are 3-1 in the previous four. The 3 vs 5 matchup is tied for the highest matchup in Death Valley history, unless you want to go by the Coaches poll in which it is a 3 vs 4 matchup which is the highest, but I prefer the AP. Now on to the picks:

#7) Stanford (3-0) at #10) Washington (4-0), Friday, September 30th, 9pm, ESPN – The first of the three top 10 showdowns this weekend takes place on Friday night. It is a big one as the Huskies have risen to national relevance under Chris Petersen, can they slow down Christian McCaffrey enough to get the win and take control of the Pac12 North. McCaffrey had a streak of 8 straight 200 plus all-purpose yard games end in the Cardinal win over UCLA but he still had a solid day. I have seen a few Stanford games and outside of McCaffrey they don’t really impress me so I am taking the Huskies to defend their home turf. Washington 27 – Stanford 20

#14) Miami (3-0) at Georgia Tech (3-1), Saturday, October 1st, 12pm, ESPN2 – Mark Richt makes his first trip back to Atlanta to face the Yellow Jackets, a team he went 13-2 against as Georgia’s head coach. Does Richt truly have GT’s number, or did he have superior athletes while at Georgia? I am going to go with it was a combination of the two, Brent Venables also has their number as he has held that vaunted rushing attack to under 100 yards in consecutive years, Miami will look to duplicate Clemson’s defensive game plan. Kaya and the offense keep rolling, heading into the showdown with Florida State on October 8th. Miami 34 – Georgia Tech 17

#22) Texas (2-1) at Oklahoma State (2-2), Saturday, October 1st, 12pm, ABC – The Longhorns look to have shaken off their let down loss at California in their bye week and get back to form before the Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma State is off to a bumpy, inconsistent start to the season and is hoping to find some consistency on the right side of the win/loss column, I’ve got Shane Buchele coming up big through the air in this one. Texas 45 – Okey State 35

#11) Tennessee (4-0) at #25) Georgia (3-1), Saturday, October 1st, 3:30pm, CBS – The Volunteers finally got the ‘gator off their back this past weekend and now look to make Kirby Smarts first season in Athens get even rockier. The Bulldogs had a good season opening win over North Carolina but have since won twice by 3 total points and then lost by 31 in Oxford, MS. I expect this one to look more like last week for Georgia even at home as I believe that win for Tennessee may have been the one to help them over the edge. Tennessee 41 – Georgia 28

North Carolina (3-1) at #12) Florida State (3-1), Saturday, October 1st, 3:30pm, ESPN – The ‘Noles offense appeared to be on point down in Tampa, the defense may still have some question marks, especially without Derwin James. North Carolina, now 23rd in the Coaches poll but still unranked according to the AP may be hitting their stride offensively as Trubisky had his best performance yet in the ‘Heels comeback win over Pitt last week. I expect a high scoring affair as North Carolina doesn’t have a defense and FSU’s is still MIA as well. Florida State 38 – North Carolina 34

#8) Wisconsin (4-0) at #4) Michigan (4-0), Saturday, October 1st, 3:30pm, ABC – The second of the top 10 showdowns this weekend and it is an epic one. The Badgers look to sweep the state of Michigan in back to back weekends. The Wolverines looks to prove that they are for real. Wisconsin has without a doubt been challenged more through four games than Michigan has but I don’t think it matters here. Michigan takes care of business in the Big House, but it is close. Michigan 24 – Wisconsin 20

#9) Texas A&M (4-0) at South Carolina (2-2), Saturday, October 1st, 7pm, SEC Network – The Gamecocks continue to struggle like most people predicted for this season, at 2-2 I reexamined the remainder of their schedule and I think 4-8 is about right. Yes a couple weeks ago I said that 7 wins was possible and now I am saying it is 4. This week is a loss, as the Aggies proved me wrong in their 45-24 defeat of Arkansas last week, I was expecting a collapse and it didn’t happen and won’t happen this week either. Texas A&M 35 – South Carolina 17

#3) Louisville (4-0) at #5) Clemson (4-0), Saturday, October 1st, 8pm, ABC – And finally the game we have all been waiting for, Louisville at Clemson. Lamar Jackson, the Sophomore QB for the Cardinals has stolen the spotlight that was all about Deshaun Watson in the pre-season and made it be all about him. Louisville as a team has come in and stolen the spotlight from Clemson, the preseason darlings. Well Clemson hasn’t lost yet, they haven’t been as impressive as they were expected to be offensively but the defense has been as dominant as ever. Through 4 games the Clemson offense has scored the exact same as last season, last season it was the 5th game of the season before the offense took off. Deshaun and company looked impressive in the first half at GT but the coaches even admitted that the play calling and offense became a little conservative in the second half. Part of me thinks Clemson comes out and makes a statement in this game and wins by 10+ points, another part still has flash backs to 2013 Florida State game and knows that is possible as well. At the end of the day I think it will be a good back and forth game that lives up to the hype surrounding it and the home team comes out on top. Clemson 45 – Louisville 41


Vegas Confidential – Clemson/Louisville & Points to Ponder

Vegas Confidential

This is a game that you should enjoy watching without worrying about a bet. No real history between the teams and not many trends.

Weekly SUR Pick’em + Lock of Week

Weekly SUR Pick'em
The SUR crew of Matt Wilczewski, Marty Coleman and Chris Cox pick the week’s featured games against the spread and share a million star lead pipe lock. Feel free to get rich…at your own expense.


Marty: 9-18; Locks – 1-1-1

Matt: 16-11; Locks – 0-3

Chris: 16-11; Locks – 1-2

#5 Clemson (-9.5) at Georgia Tech
MC: Clemson (39-19)
MW: Clemson (34-17)
CC: Clemson (34-24)

Oklahoma State (+8.5) at #21 Baylor
MC: Baylor
MW: Oklahoma State
CC: Oklahoma State

#9 Wisconsin (+5.5) at #12 Michigan State
MC: Wisconsin
MW: Wisconsin
CC: Michigan State

#16 Georgia (+7) at #19 Ole Miss
MC: Ole Miss
MW: Ole Miss
CC: Georgia

#23 Florida at #15 Tennessee (-6.5)
MC: Tennessee
MW: Florida
CC: Tennessee

Pittsburgh (+7) at North Carolina
MC: Pittsburgh
MW: North Carolina
CC: Pittsburgh

#20 LSU (-3.5) at Auburn
MC: Auburn
MW: Auburn
CC: Auburn

South Carolina (+2.5) at Kentucky
MC: Kentucky
MW: Kentucky
CC: South Carolina

#7 Stanford (-3) at UCLA
MC: Stanford

#24 Arkansas (+6) at #17 Texas A&M
MC: Texas A&M
MW: Arkansas
CC: Texas A&M

Florida State (-3) at South Florida
MC: Florida State
MW: Florida State
CC: Florida State

Gambling Lock of the Week
MC: Houston/Texas State (Under 65) – Houston, known as a high flying offense, has been under in all 3 games this season, while Texas State racked up 3 points against Arkansas last week. This game, on the road in San Marcos, Texas, is sandwiched between 2 conference games for the Cougars and they’ll take their foot off the gas in the second half.

MW: Parlay: Ole Miss(-285)+ AZ St(-190)= +106 odds. Well, I figured I’d change it up since I seemingly can’t win through spreads or over/unders. Moneyline parlay here at plus odds with Ole Miss and Arizona State. Georgia narrowly survived at Missouri, and I honestly haven’t been overly impressed with them as of yet. They’ll get a pissed off Ole Miss team as their firmest competition thus far and I like the Rebs here. I’ll pair that with a fade of the Cal Bears, fresh off a big home win against previously unbeaten Texas.

CC: FSU -3 versus USF. Everyone is going to be down on the Seminoles after they received a thorough shellacking at the hands on Louisville last weekend. That game reminded me a lot of the 51-14 FSU/Clemson game from a few years ago where everything just snowballed out of control. The Noles still have one of the most talented teams in the country and they’ll bounce back with a comfortable win over on the road just like the Tigers did in ‘13. (Def. Maryland by 13)

Nic’s Picks – Week 4

Nic's Picks
Week 3 – (5-3)/Season – (14-11)

Three weeks have passed and I sit at an…eh…56% winning clip, helped by my picks in week 3. My best pick of the week was picking Ohio State to win 45-28. (The actual score was, 45-24 pretty solid if I say so myself.) A close second was Houston beating Cincy 40-16. Thanks to a fourth quarter meltdown by the Bearcats, I predicted 38-17. Much like Florida State fans, I do not want to discuss taking FSU to beat Louisville. Now onto my picks for week 4, do I have Clemson breaking the curse in Bobby Dodd? You bet they will.

#5) Clemson (3-0) at Georgia Tech (3-0), Thursday, September 22, 7:30pm, ESPN – The Tigers lone Thursday night game of the 2016 regular season is upon us. Clemson has won their last 5 Thursday night contests dating back to the ’09 game in Atlanta. The Tigers did not play on Thursday in 2010 or 2011 and then beat Wake Forest in 2012 and 2014, NC State in 2013, Georgia Tech in 2013, and Louisville in 2015. Only two of those five have been in convincing fashion, and that Louisville game caused Clemson area doctors to see an influx of patients complaining of chest pain. Clemson does not need to do anything special to win on Thursday, just play Clemson football. Watson and the offense found their groove against the fierce SC State defense. Clemson’s defense just needs to play their assignments to win, which can be easier said than done. Brent Venables has done a masterful job coaching against GT since he got to Clemson, and he will do so again this season. Clemson battles the energy of a Thursday night crowd hoping to see an upset in the first half before pulling away in the second half. Clemson 38 – Georgia Tech 20

#11) Wisconsin (3-0) at #8) Michigan State (2-0), Saturday, September 24, 12pm, Big Ten Network – Struggling with mid-level teams seems to be a common theme this season around the country (not just in Clemson) as the Badgers struggled to knock off Georgia State 23-17 on Saturday. Meanwhile the Spartans went into Irish country and secured a New Era Pinstripe Bowl bid for the Fighting Brian Kelly’s. Did Georgia State wake Wisconsin up or did they show that the Badgers are not as good as we thought? Will the Spartans have a hangover from the big win in Week 3? At the end of this season I don’t think either will be ranked this high, but for now Wisconsin knocks off the Spartans after having a close call by Georgia State. Wisconsin 27 – Michigan State 23

#19) Florida (3-0) at #14) Tennessee (3-0), Saturday, September 24, 3:30pm, CBS – The Volunteers come into this game having lost 11 straight against the Gators. Tim Tebow was a Junior in high school the last time Tennessee beat Florida…that ends this season though. I have not been impressed with Tennessee so far this season, but I have not been impressed with Clemson either and I still keep believing in them. Dobbs isn’t the best QB, but he is experienced and he will have a hungry fan base behind him that will forgive the slow start if the team can get this alligator off their back. The Gators will be going with Appleby, a transfer from Purdue, I believe? So, I’m taking Tennessee to break the streak. They all have to end at some point, right? Tennessee 28 – Florida 21

Pittsburgh (2-1) at North Carolina (2-1), Saturday, September 24, 3:30pm, ESPNU – If you like offense, this game should have plenty of it as neither team has any defense. Coming into this season I expected Pitt’s winning formula to be good defense, and pound the rock offense. Well, giving up 39 and 45 points the last two game says maybe that isn’t the case. North Carolina just gave up 28 points to FCS James Madison so…yeah. The home team gets the win in a good ol’ fashioned ACC shootout, Big 12 style. North Carolina 48 – Pittsburgh 44

Penn State (2-1) at #4) Michigan (3-0), Saturday, September 24, 3:30pm, ABC – The Buffaloes of Colorado nearly had Harbaugh and company on the ropes this past weekend. In the end the “Fighting Khaki Pants” pulled away for a comfortable 17-point victory. I expect Penn State to give Michigan a better fight than Colorado, but at the end of the day it is in the Big House. Michigan and Ohio State are in a class of their own in the B1G. Michigan 41 – Penn State 27

South Carolina (2-1) at Kentucky (1-2), Saturday, September 24, 7:30pm, SEC Network – Congratulations South Carolina, I picked against you and you proved me wrong. You gave up over 500 yards, were outgained by over 200, gave up an NCAA record for receptions to a single receiver, and still managed to win the game. That is impressive. Kentucky may be 1-2, and they may have been demolished by Florida in week 2, but in the other two games they scored 35 and 62 points. They showed that while they may not have a defense, they can score. For Kentucky, this may be their only chance for a conference win not named Vanderbilt, and it is at home. I expect them to come out firing, and be able to score more points than South Carolina. I trust their offense to get the key score more than South Carolina’s defense to get the key stop. Kentucky 34 – South Carolina 27

#7) Stanford (2-0) at UCLA (2-1), Saturday, September 24, 8pm, ABC – Apparently Christian McCaffery gets to play at 8 ET on ABC every week so that the Heisman voters will actually get to see him play. Hey, I’m not complaining. He is a terrific player to watch, but I do find that interesting. (Maybe I am complaining?) The Bruins have somewhat bounced back from a week one overtime loss to Texas A&M, but are looking for a signature win. Stanford could be that signature win, but it’s not going to happen. Rosen is more likely to make costly mistakes than McCaffery, so I’m going with Stanford. Stanford 38 – UCLA 28

#17) Arkansas (3-0) vs #10) Texas A&M (3-0), Saturday, September 24, 9pm ESPN – This is a conference game being played at a neutral site. That doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Why do you want to give up your home field advantage to play at a neutral site? I mean, I get that Jerry’s World is a nice facility, but I still wouldn’t want to unless you were trying to establish a cool yearly neutral site rivalry like Georgia-Florida and Texas-Oklahoma. I know Jerry Jones is a huge Razorback, but this just seems like a cheap attempt to make up for neither team playing Texas anymore. Anyway about the game, the Aggies have reached the Top 10. Everyone knows that means it will soon be time for them to start melting away into mediocrity again, and another quarterback transfer or get arrested or check into rehab or get arrested. I like Kevin Sumlin, but until he proves he can coach the Aggies to a full season of success, I won’t buy the early hype. The fighting Bielema’s go into Arlington and still one from the Aggies, and become the next token SEC team to crack the Top 10 and help boost Bama’s strength of schedule. Arkansas 28 – Texas A&M 24

Vegas Confidential

Voodoo in Atlanta? Not going to happen.

Nic’s Picks – Week 3

Nic's Picks


Week 2 Record (4-4)

Total Record (9-8)

It has been a rough first couple of weeks in the picks department, going 5-4 in Week One and 4-4 in Week Two. Things don’t get any easier in week three. Will South Carolina rebound from a rough week in Mississippi? Will Clemson’s offense finally show up and put up points? These are the things that keep me up at night.

#6) Houston (2-0) at Cincinnati (2-0), Thursday, September 15, 7:30pm, ESPN – The Cougars face their first conference opponent and it is on the road on Thursday night. This is the type of atmosphere needed for the Bearcats to take down a top-10 team on their turf. The Heisman candidate QB, Greg Ward, Jr. has been cleared to play for Houston. Is he going to be sharp and on point coming off the injury? If he gets off to a slow start, that could be perfect for Cincy to keep it close and pull off the upset, but I don’t think that happens. Ward and the Houston Cougars come out looking to make a point. Houston 38 – Cincy 17

South Carolina State (0-2) at #5) Clemson (2-0), Saturday, September 17th, 12pm, Fox Regional Network – It is no secret Clemson’s offense has not been sharp through the first two games scoring 49 total points. Struggling to a 19-13 win on the road at an SEC venue is excusable, you got the win; struggling to a 30-24 win over Troy on your home turf with 17 of those 30 points coming in the 4th quarter, not excusable. Watson took ownership of the lackluster start to the season on Monday and I expect a rejuvenated offense that looks like they are having fun and know how to play offense to take the field Saturday. I really hope and expect the offense to get its groove back on Saturday, because the Tigers have a short week before the Thursday night showdown at Georgia Tech next week. Clemson 52 – SC State 7

#2) Florida State (2-0) at #10) Louisville (2-0), Saturday, September 17th, 12pm, ABC – This game is a prime example of why the kickoff times for the beginning of the season should not be announced so far in advance. This game should be at night, but it will be the first time I remember the College Gameday site being a noon game. Now about the game, I expect Lamar Jackson to look a little bit more human this week but for him to still put up solid numbers. The ‘Noles will be without star safety Derwin James, and that could potentially pose a problem for the Seminole defense. At the end of the day, I think FSU will be able to score just as much and a little bit more than Louisville as the Cards defense has looked less than stellar at times. Florida State 42 – Louisville 38

#25) Miami (2-0) at Appalachian State (1-1), Saturday, September 17th, 12pm, ESPN – So was the Mountaineers’ performance on Rocky Top a mirage or are they a team that can really hang with the big dogs? Mark Richt has gone down to South Beach and had the ‘Canes ranked in two of the three polls since he has been there. Is Miami for real? Believe it or not, this could actually be a statement win for the Hurricanes. I have them coming out on top in a fun game. Miami 31 – App State 14

#1) Alabama (2-0) at #19) Mississippi (1-1), Saturday, September 17th, 3:30pm, CBS – The Rebels have had Nick Saban and Alabama’s number the last two years, but last year was without a doubt a lot of luck and good fortune as Alabama turned the ball over 5 times. The ‘Tide won’t do that again this season as Saban has Alabama out to make a point this season. Are they on their way to a 5th title in 8 seasons? Alabama 41 – Mississippi 20

Pittsburgh (2-0) at Oklahoma State (1-1), Saturday, September 17th, 3:30pm, ESPN – The Cowboys lost in probably the most bizarre and unfortunate way last week to Central Michigan on a play that should never have happened. This week they get a Pitt team who is coming off of a nail-biting win over their rival Penn State. Behind a solid power running day by James Connor, the Pitt Panthers get a huge out-of-conference win and jump into the Top 25. This will officially eliminate Ok State from playoff contention if they aren’t already.  Pittsburgh 34 – Ok State 24

East Carolina (2-0) at South Carolina (1-1), Saturday, September 17th, 4pm, SEC Network – If the Gamecocks can figure out how to play in the first half, they might can become a halfway decent team. However, if that doesn’t happen this week this ECU team may be up big enough to get the W. I have ECU carrying the momentum of last week’s win into Willy B, and walking out victorious. East Carolina 28 – South Carolina 24

#3) Ohio State (2-0) at #14) Oklahoma (1-1), Saturday, September 17th, 7:30pm, FOX – What an awesome out of conference game! The Sooners have the home field advantage, and a backs-against-the-wall mentality. If OU loses this one their playoff hopes are likely shot, and the Big 12 would be relying on Texas going all the way. Ohio State is playing better football, and JT Barrett is a better QB than Baker Mayfield. The Buckeyes go on the road in a hostile environment and walk away winners, big. Ohio State 45 – Oklahoma 28

Vegas Confidential

While the Tigers tangle with the South Carolina State Bulldogs, we look to other areas of the country for games worth taking a peek at.

Nic’s Picks – Week 2

Nic's Picks

Week 1 Record (5-4)

Total Record (5-4)

So week one didn’t go the way very many people expected, a lot of crazy things happened, like another #KickSix or just Les Miles still not figuring out how to get his QB to play halfway decent. Okay, maybe that last part wasn’t actually that crazy. Texas stunned the Irish and captured America’s heart and became at least my favorite to win the Big 12, yes I know it was just one game. Also FSU looks pretty good, should be a fun one on October 29th.

As good as last week was this week may be a little less exciting as there are zero games between two ranked teams, and for that reason, South Carolina at Mississippi State is a 7pm prime time game on ESPN2…now onto the picks.

Penn State (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 12pm, ESPN – I scrolled through all of the games on this weeks schedule and this game appeared to be one of the better, more evenly matched games, not good if you’re looking for easy picks to boost your record, hey Clemson gets to play Troy, SC State and South Carolina gets to play East Carolina and Western, why can’t I get a few record boosters as well? Anyway Pittsburgh is at home and they have James Connor back and healthy and Penn State doesn’t have Christian Hackenburg anymore so I am going to go with the home team.  Pittsburgh 24 – Penn State 16

Troy (1-0) at #2) Clemson (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 12:30pm, ESPN ACC Network – ESPN only tells me the ESPN networks that the game will be airing, I’m sure it will also be on the Raycom local channels as well, ESPN is just a TV bully like that. As far as the game goes I look for the offense to get back on track after a lackluster performance in the opener. I took away two things from this past week, our defense has reloaded for a third consecutive season under Brent Venables and Auburns D is also pretty dirty, especially that defensive line. In this game Clemson could name their score and achieve it but Dabo is not the type of coach to unnecessarily run the score up. The offense shows they still have a pulse and the defense posts another dominant performance. Clemson 59 – Troy 10

Kentucky (0-1) at Florida (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 3:30pm, CBS – Ah another stellar SEC East showdown between Kentucky who lost to Southern Miss and Florida who had a sorry showing against UMASS, winning 24-7. Florida has won 29 straight versus Kentucky, who hasn’t won since 1986, about ten years before the kids playing in this game were even born. The game is in the Swamp so that makes the team to pick easy, the score however…Florida 17 – Kentucky 10

South Carolina (1-0) at Mississippi State (0-1), Saturday, September 10th, 7pm, ESPN2 – The pride and joy of my picks from week one, the one I was most accurate on, picking South Carolina to beat Vandy 16-13, the actual score, 13-10. Coming into the season there was no way South Carolina could go on the road and win both SEC games to start the season but as of right now I actually think South Carolina starts out 4-0 and goes onto a 7-5 season in year one of Muschamp. Early on South Carolina struggled with Orth at QB, McILwain got his first experience and moved the ball a little bit but TOs cost the Gamecocks a chance to score. Orth got a second chance to start the second half and was able to lead the comeback and get the victory. Mississippi State will probably be angry, coming off of a loss to South Alabama, but I don’t think that or the cowbells will be enough for them to overcome the loss of Dak Prescott. South Carolina 20 – Miss State 17

Arkansas (1-0) at #15) Texas Christian (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 7pm, ESPN – Both of these schools struggled in week one against what should have been overmatched competition, for Arkansas that is nothing new, they traditionally struggle early in the season under Bielema. The Horned Frogs were eventually able to put away the Jack Rabbits but it wasn’t a pretty defensive effort. If Arkansas can bounce back maybe they can help heal the wounds the SEC took in week one, but I don’t see that happening. At home the high powered offense of TCU will be clicking. TCU 38 – Arkansas 24

BYU (1-0) at Utah (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 7:30pm, FOX – The Cougars pulled out a close one in Arizona against the Wildcats in week one and Utah showed their defense is solid but only scoring 24 points on Southern Utah maybe there is some room for offensive improvement. This one is for in-state bragging rights so both teams should be on their A game. I am riding with the Cougars…BYU 27 – Utah 20

North Carolina (0-1) at Illinois (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 7:30pm, BTN – The Tar Heels look to bounce back after losing a tough one to Georgia in the Georgia Dome. The ‘Heels routed the Illini last season 48-14 but they (Illinois) are at home this season and have Lovie Smith, long time Chicago Bears coach as the new HC. For those two reasons I expect this one to be closer but at the same time it isn’t likely that a HC change and home field will help a 34 point difference. North Carolina 38 – Illinois 27

Virginia Tech (1-0) at #17) Tennessee (1-0), Saturday, September 10th, 8pm, ABC – Finally, the one we have all been waiting for, “The Battle at Bristol”…the build up to this game would have been more reasonable 15 or so years ago. These two programs are two has beens that are trying so hard to claw back to relevancy. VT in game one of the Fuente era started sluggish but eventually pulled away for a 36-13 win over Liberty. Tennessee, the pre-season darling of the SEC East didn’t even make it a game before everyone outside of Rocky Top realized they were once again overrated as Appalachian State had the lead until late, mis-managed the clock and eventually fell in OT to the Vols. There is a good chance that by halftime there may be more people at this game than are even watching on television. I’ll take this as my upset special of the week…Virginia Tech 24 – Tennessee 20

Vegas Confidential

After a banner week of games to choose from, the choices are slim to none this week.  We’ve dug through the rubble and outlined our thoughts on Clemson and give you another one to think about taking a look at below.

Weekly SUR Pick ’em (against the spread)

Weekly SUR Pick'em

The SUR crew of Matt Wilczewski, Marty Coleman and Chris Cox pick the week’s featured games against the spread and share a million star lead pipe lock. Feel free to get rich…at your own expense.

South Carolina at Vanderbilt (-4)

Marty Coleman: Vanderbilt
Matt Wilczewski: Vanderbilt
Chris Cox: South Carolina

Oklahoma at Houston (+11.5)

MC: Houston
MW: Houston
CC: Houston

UCLA at Texas A&M (-3)

MW: Texas A&M

LSU at Wisconsin (+10)


Georgia vs. North Carolina (+2.5)

MC: North Carolina
MW: Georgia
CC: Georgia

Southern Cal vs. Alabama (-11.5)

MC: Southern Cal
MW: Alabama
CC: Alabama

Notre Dame at Texas (+3.5)

MC: Notre Dame
MW: Texas
CC: Notre Dame

Ole Miss vs. Florida State (-4.5)

MC: Florida State
MW: Ole Miss
CC: Florida State

Clemson at Auburn (+7.5)

MC: Clemson 37-24
MW: Auburn to cover, Clemson to win 34-27
CC: Clemson 38-24

Gambling Locks of the Week

MC: Notre Dame -3.5 at Texas. Texas will be improved compared to the 38-3 beatdown administered in South Bend last season, but the Horns will either have a true freshman quarterback or an unreliable sophomore. Not great options. My guess is Texas will be better in games 5-12 than 1-4. Brian Kelly > Charlie Strong, even in Austin.

MW: Under 57 for Ole Miss vs Florida State – Considering the ‘Noles’ secondary strength, I don’t anticipate Kelly being able to sling it much in his first game without Laquon Treadwell. On the other side, Jimbo Fisher will likely rely heavily on Dalvin Cook to ease the jitters of his new QB, Deondre Francois. I see both coaches playing fairly conservative to start off this one, as they search for any weak point in their talented foe.

CC: Over 68 points for Oklahoma vs. Houston. Two fast-paced, spread offenses that return Heisman contenders at quarterback are destined to light the scoreboard up. This game also features two of the brightest offensive minds in the game right now with Tom Herman (Houston) and Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma). I wouldn’t be surprised if this game was played in the 40s.